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Mailbag: Deed doesn't allow for-profit use of TeWinkle Park

April 09, 2012

Re. "City to study park plan," April 7:

Your story on privatization of TeWinkle Park left out an important fact: The land is deed-restricted, and the proposed privatization would likely result in forfeiture of the entire park, including any improvements, to the federal government.

I have repeatedly pointed this out to the City Council at public meetings, but the only response has been that they would get Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) to fix it with the Department of the Interior.

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The 1973 deed, which superseded an earlier deed, made permanent a restriction that the land was to be used "as a public park and only a public park" in perpetuity. Specific facilities and activities were spelled out in the city's application for the land (when most of the Santa Ana Army Air Base was being sold off) and were incorporated by reference into the deed.

A privately operated, for-profit athletic facility is clearly inconsistent with the allowed uses.

The loss of this well-used public park, whether by forfeiture to the federal government or by privatization, would be a calamity for Costa Mesa. I believe that if the people who use the park frequently — and those who would use it if the gates locking up portions of the park were opened — knew what was being planned by the council, they would not let it happen.

Eleanor Egan

Costa Mesa

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Stop Banning Ranch

Re. "Commentary: Banning Ranch will make us miserable" April 6:

Gary Reasoner writes of the disaster that would be the development of Banning Ranch, here in Newport Beach. He is so right.

Our City Council is determined to squeeze as many people as possible into the limited space we have within our city boundaries. On the other hand, the council could stand up and do what's best for all Newport citizens. With their leadership, Banning Ranch could be saved as beautiful coastal open space for all eternity.

Bill Bennett

Newport Beach

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