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A Philosophy for Development

May 24, 1987

Irvine's City Councilman Ray Catalano's aim (Times Commentary, May 17) is scintillatingly accurate when he says areas like Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, and Mission Viejo are scrambling to wrench themselves from the choking yoke of the county Board of Supervisors. They hope to create their own cities.

Catalano's aim is also painfully accurate when he hits the cancer of Orange County: the enslavement of the Board of Supervisors by the development industry, an enslavement in my opinion not arising from greed, graft, or corruption that shamefully branded some past boards. Perhaps it is indifference, ignorance, scofflawing of research techniques, and an "I-know-best" attitude that has produced rudeness to citizens opposing unchecked growth. But nothing more.

"At the top of the list (of supervisorial indifference or ignorance)", writes Catalano, is "the board's continued approval of new development despite the fact that the road system . . . is inadequate." And there's no plan. Catalano is again right.

But Laguna Beach Mayor Neil Fitzpatrick has offered a plan. Or rather a philosophy from which a plan could flow. "Determine what traffic the present Orange County road system will carry, " the mayor has suggested. "That's the growth parameter." It is not to build up Orange County open space and then find some "research" people to justify the buildup.

THOMAS L. ALEXANDER

Laguna Beach

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