instead of behind closed doors.
Among them is Sandy Genis, a co-founder of Friends of Harbors, Beaches
and Parks and a former Costa Mesa mayor.
Genis said Wednesday she is concerned the meeting could be viewed as
an attempt to craft a project without public input.
She also likened it to the secret deal California State Parks struck
with resort developer Michael Freed in 1997 to act as concessionaire for
a $375-a-night resort.
That contract, a controversial 60-year pact to operate the resort,
came as the state abandoned its 1982 general plan for Crystal Cove.
"If we do that, we're no better than those folks in Sacramento who
made their alternative behind closed doors," Genis said. "We did not come
together to subvert the public process. We came together to fight the
Genis said she also objects to public comments from Smith, who has
said the meeting would be a forum to "throw out some ideas on the table."
Reached Wednesday, Smith said the meeting was not an attempt to cut a
secret deal. It will be used as an opportunity to update activists about
the rapidly changing landscape of Crystal Cove's future, she said.
"This all has to go through the public process," Smith said. "In the
meantime, we just want to make sure nothing slips through the cracks."
Jeannette Merrilees of the Sierra Club was reluctant to prejudge
"We need to push for public workshops," Merrilees said. "I don't know
what it's going to be. All I know is I've been invited to lunch."
Another of the meeting's organizers, Laura Davick, the founder of the
Alliance to Rescue Crystal Cove, could not be reached for comment