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Reader should rethink redevelopment

August 24, 2003

In this week's Community Commentary regarding redevelopment, Ila

Johnson makes a most remarkable statement toward the end of her

opinion piece. She states: "I am a property rights advocate, but

property rights are not absolute and really cease when they begin to

interfere with the rights of others' enjoyment of their property ...

"What? Can you say convoluted? If she isn't enjoying someone else's

property enough, then that property owner's rights should cease?

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Johnson, you've got to get a grip.

Earlier in her commentary, she tries to make the point that

Westside industrial use is a holdover from the past, when it was

justified. But today, she calls it inappropriate because we need new

housing "in these highly desirable locations." The next sentence

gives you all the insight you need into her thinking: "Costa Mesa

should not be held hostage today by decisions of the past". What are

you advocating, the equivalent of a City Council mulligan? An

official "do-over?"

Let's see now. There are all these commercial and light industrial

businesses infecting the Westside. Many have been in the city longer

than Johnson, of course, but that shouldn't matter. The vast majority

operate entirely within the laws and the codes, but I guess that

shouldn't matter either. They employ thousands of workers and produce

tens, maybe hundreds of millions in sales and huge amounts of taxes.

But, because the breezes blow on the bluffs and Johnson thinks we

need some more houses, we should seize their property scrape the

ground flat and build a few hundred condos. Fairness shouldn't enter

into this, I guess. These Westside property owners who have their

entire lives in their businesses should just quietly fold their

tents.

Where, I ask, do these businesses go? Where do the jobs go? Where

do the thousands of newly unemployed find work? Does Johnson care?

If Mayor Gary Monahan is right and there's no money to pay for an

eminent domain seizure of these properties, count me among the very

pleased. And, as a small Westside business and property owner, I hope

it stays that way.

Let me add in closing, I don't give a damn whether Johnson ever

enjoys my property or not. It's my property, and I intend to enjoy it

enough for the both of us.

CHUCK CASSITY

Costa Mesa

Sadly, I read the all-too-visible column written by Ila Johnson --

a clear expose of the heartlessness, anti-business and socialistic

thinking patterns of the uninformed liberal.

"The industrial use [of the Westside] needs to go," she sings

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