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Vote could send money cove's way

March 07, 2002

Paul Clinton

CRYSTAL COVE -- At least two new sources of revenue emerged Tuesday

for the state park's cottages with the passage of a statewide parks bond.

Officials with California State Parks and a local assemblyman are now

moving forward with efforts to secure a portion of some $400 million that

could be available.

On Tuesday, voters approved Proposition 40, 55.4% to 44.6%. The park

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bond would raise $2.6 billion. Of that amount, about $200 million will be

set aside to preserve historic and cultural resources. Another $200

million will be handed to the California Coastal Conservancy to dole out.

The conservancy in early 2001 gave the state parks agency $2 million

to buy out the previous developer at the cove.

The state is now working to refurbish the 46 ramshackle cottages on

the beach.

Estimates put that job at between $12 million and $20 million. The

state has spent $1.1 million to begin work on an interim plan. Also, the

California Coastal Commission has agreed to hand over $2.8 million.

The bond measure could be a bonanza, cove activists say.

"This is a turning point for Crystal Cove," said Laura Davick, who

founded the Alliance to Rescue Crystal Cove. "We should all feel very

fortunate that Prop. 40 passed. We're going to do whatever we can to see

that Crystal Cove is put on the radar screen and see that it's

considered."

Still, Assemblyman John Campbell, whose district includes the cove,

said he is not ready to drop his fund-raising bill for the cove, as he

suggested he would do if Proposition 40 passed.

On Feb. 21, Campbell introduced Assembly Bill 2190, which would divert

rental revenue from mobile homes at El Morro to the cottages.

The bill has met resistance and Campbell said he would drop it, if

some money from the bond measure could be secured. Campbell opposed

Proposition 40.

"If we find funds somewhere else, we'll drop this bill," Campbell said

Wednesday. "I'll be working with [California] State Parks to see if we

can get some of that money allocated to Crystal Cove."

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