The neighbors will go another round

by Carolyn Chase
ast month's article, "The Values of a Neighborhood," about Pardee's plans to develop Carmel Mountain/Neighborhood 8A urged you to provide the people~power needed to persuade the City Council to get a better deal and if at all possible find a way to facilitate conservation of this special place.
The deal came down at City Hall on Halloween and the public was there in force. At least 260 San Diegans took the trouble to come downtown in opposition to the Pardee/Manager proposal. The Council remarked on the city-wide public interest in this process.
I've decided to bestow a few awards:
The Patience and Decorum Award goes to the audience who, being promised a "time-certain" agenda item for 2PM, were left to wait until 4:45 for the item to begin, with a 6-3 vote to continue the item taken at about 6:45pm.
The Best Friends Award goes to Scott Harvey who addressed his 2O-year "close friendship" with Pardee VP Mike Madigan. Madigan is finance co-chair for Harvey's State Assembly Campaign. He explained that since the City Attorney opined that he did not have a conflict of interest, then he must not.
Pardee gets the Grass Rools Envirnnniental Impersonation Award. The Greens, dressed in full matching costumes as gnatcatchers, were outdone by the Pardee significant others, consultants and employees who evidently aren't needed at the office when their boss goes downtown. They arrived early, wearing badges that said "Preserve the MSCP." I hate to be too cynical, but somehow I don't expect them at future hearings to actually support the Multiple Species Conservation Program.
The Most Disingenuous Award goes to Mike Madigan who claimed he was being asked to "give up one of the last remaining resources of our company. Correct me if I'm wrong, but last time I checked Pardee was one of the wealthiest developers in Southern California, and owned by one of Foriune magazine's top 50 industrial companies.
The Don 't Tread on Me and What's The Truth? combined-Award goes to the smaller property owners who seemed to have been left out of negotiations with the City Manager - even though their land use designations were being changed in the Pardee/Manager Plan. When questioned by the Council over whether or not the City brought these owners into the process, City Manager Jack McGrory and City staff replied that yes, they did work with other owners to forge the "compromise." At least one smaller parcel owner angrily testified that this was not the case, and privately afterward another owner assured me that she was not part of the process. As a member of the public, I'd like to know the truth. If I were a member of the City Council, I'd be angry with the negotiators for not respecting smaller property owners. Without property-owner consensus and community support, a plan should not be shoved through.
The New Neighbors Award goes to another one of the one-acre parcel owners who told me a story of woe about her dream of building on her one acre. She pointed out an error in my article in re ferring to 8A as part of the "Future Urbanizing Area." I apologize for this error. 8A was not part of the FUA. She realized at the time that purchasing land in the FUA could mean that she wouldri't be able to build. Her purchase was based on the Tentative Map in 1975 showing development, without which she is now hard-pressed to afford to bring utilities on to her property.
The Most Articulate Award goes to Councilmember Barbara Warden who asked a key, simple question: "Is this the best land use plan for this site?" She succinctly stated that the Pardee/Manager Plan did not contain elements that she would expect to find based on other, complex, difl'icult, but successful development plans she had seen forged in the past. Without those elements, she could not support the plan.
Bravo. So even though Mike Madigan claims he will not give up any more land beyond the "line the City Manager drew on our property," the parties were told to try again to find "a holistic solution," involving all fl~e pr9perty owners and community members and seeking consensus. All your support is appreciated. Stay tuned. You will undoubtedly be needed to participate in this process again. If you want to be added to a list of folks to be contacted as the process continues, please call me at 272-2930.

Carolyn Chase is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Penasquitos Canyon, Chair of San Diego's Waste Management Advisory Board and recipient of the Mayor's Spirit of San Diego Award.