Rancho Mission Viejo and the REAL Weapons of Mass Destruction
In early 2003, we sent thousands of American troops halfway across the world under the pretext of finding so-called "weapons of mass destruction". Not surprisingly, we haven't found any yet. But we needn't have gone beyond our own borders to look for them.
For the REAL "weapons of mass destruction" are right here among us. They are the developers' bulldozers that threaten to obliterate everything in their path in order to cram more and bigger houses down the throats of Orange County residents and thus further maximize the profits of these same greedy developers.
Sadly, there has been little or no concern on the part of local elected officials and their trusted cronies whom they appointed to the various planning commissions with the consequences of their decisions. Planning commission hearings were nothing more than dog-and-pony shows where commissioners, armed with glowing staff reports and bogus Environmental Impact Reports, usually prepared by developer-paid consultants, pretended to listen to the public, holding hearings NOT BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO, BUT BECAUSE THEY WERE REQUIRED TO BY LAW.
As a result, the proverbial chickens have come home to roost. Unchecked, unwarranted, unsafe, and unnecessary development has resulted in land erosion, traffic congestion, air quality degradation, polluted beaches and, above all, an adverse impact on our environment.
The proposed Rancho Mission Viejo mega-development is NOT about property rights. It's about REQUIRING THE PROPERTY OWNER TO ADHERE TO THE GENERAL PLAN AND EXISTING ZONING that was put in place many years ago to preserve what little open space still remains in Orange County. Rancho Mission Viejo was NEVER intended as anything but ranch land and open space. We must retain that designation.
If we, as decision makers---and, as a former elected official (and, parenthetically one of the very few honest ones in this County), I include myself in this category---if we do nothing else during our tenure in office, at the very least, we can leave a legacy of open space and a clean and healthy envirionment for future generations to enjoy. And needless to say, a legacy of clean and honest government would be beneficial as well!
Former Laguna Niguel City Councilman
Candidate for Orange County Board of Supervisors (5th District)
"A Voice --- Not an Echo"