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Proposal for Topanga Golf Course

December 28, 1985

The article of Dec. 9 by Al Martinez was an insult to everyone in Topanga and the Valley, whatever their position on the Montevideo Country Club.

It was our homeowners association (Viewridge Estates) that required the removal of the condominiums and heliport from the project. Mr. Martinez states this is a part of the project, but, if you check the records, you will see they have been removed. We have also filed other conditions with the county. Mr. Martinez is also obviously completely unfamiliar with the people and style of living at the Summit. I ask you in all fairness to print the other point of view.

Just how does the opposition perceive private ownership and the free-enterprise system? How do they propose that Topanga develop a tax base that supports it without development? The opposing forces do not have the right to pass judgment on the proposed use of privately owned land. They do have a right to an opinion--that is all. If they expect credibility, they should provide a viable alternative for said land, including a feasibility study and a developer willing to build it, not just theorize about it. (This would assume a geographical study and an engineering report). The opposition complains of urbanization. A world-class golf course is hardly urban! This project is not precedent-setting but it is unique. No other place in Topanga is situated like this site. No other site has 117 acres zoned for 400 houses and no other site is surrounded by existing high-density housing as Summit Valley is.

In stating they are only concerned with stopping development--not with providing a plan for desirable and feasible usage of the land--they are declaring themselves to be obstructionists, not conservationists.

The County of Los Angeles has a standard procedure for amendments to the "plan." This is a normal and active procedure. The "plan" is only a guideline and was never intended to be unchangeable. Even the Constitution of the United States is amended. Furthermore, the Montevideo Country Club is not in conflict with the Santa Monica Mountains general plan--that point was clarified at the Planning Commission on Dec. 4. Our area plan is a temporary interim document. Also, it has been determined that, due to remedial repair work, as required by law, any project built in Summit Valley will require the same amount of earth movement.

The opposition speaks of public sentiment against. More explicitly, well orchestrated public hysteria. At the Dec. 4 hearing I watched people being told when to stand and shout and when to sit and be quiet. The arguments for the Montevideo Country Club are valid ones. The opposition did its best at the Oct. 17 and Dec. 4 hearings to deny the people most affected by this development a proper hearing by turning a serious procedure into a circus. We have not even been given time for rebuttal to their Oct. 17 testimony, and I just don't know how many more work days and tax dollars can be sacrificed to their thirst for domination that they like to call representation.



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