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City Life: Longtime business gets no thanks

December 03, 2010|By Steve Smith

A review of some of the recent decisions of the Costa Mesa Planning Commission and the City Council may lead one to believe the city is flush.

Last February, for example, the council blew an opportunity to collect an easy $39,000 by renting out the downtown gym to a Santa Ana-based basketball league that needed a temporary home while its gym was being renovated.

Just a few weeks ago, the panel allowed a small number of complaining residents on the Eastside to dictate the delay, or possible cancellation, of the installation of an LED billboard at the corner of 19th Street and Newport Boulevard. That sign was meant to drive patrons to the mall, where they would spend money, which would benefit the city and, well, you get the idea.

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Last month, however, the council has made its most absurd decision to date.

Garcia Recycling has been on a busy stretch of 19th in Costa Mesa for more than 20 years. During that time, Garcia Recycling has been a good business partner, generating revenue for the city and managing to avoid committing even one violation of any of the rules set forth by the city.

Last June, at the request of Planning Commissioner Steve Mensinger, the Commission reviewed Garcia Recycling's conditional-use permit.

In August, the commission debated whether to revoke Garcia Recycling's permit.

At that meeting, Garcia Recycling was represented by attorneys Stephen Miles and Patricia Chen, who attempted to halt the revocation process. The problem that Miles and Chen had was that they were using that "logic" stuff, which does not apply to many matters before the Planning Commission and City Council.

It was illogical, for example, for the city to not fast-track that $39,000 in basketball money, which was approved by staff, and it was illogical for the council to delay the installation of the Triangle Square sign, which, it should be noted, was approved by the Planning Commission.

Some folks may complain that Garcia Recycling is an eyesore. I am on that stretch of street five or six days a week and I'll be the first to admit that what amounts to a trash collection facility on a thriving retail business zone may not be appropriate, but then, I also cringe at the sight of "Cash for Gold" shops and tattoo parlors.

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