Huntington Beach Tomorrow, an environmental organization, has accused the city of using its Channel 3 cable-television station to propagandize for the controversial Pierside Village project.
City Public Information Director William Reed, however, denied the charge Friday and said equal time will be offered to opponents of the project.
Pierside Village is a proposed complex of restaurants to be built on bluffs next to the municipal pier at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway. The land is now paved for street-level parking lots facing the beach.
Critics say the project would ruin the ocean view. Supporters say the plazas and promenades that would surround the complex would give more people the chance to see the ocean.
Bob Biddle, president of Huntington Beach Tomorrow, Thursday sent a letter to Reed that criticizes the city for having Pierside Village developer Jonathan Chodos appear on the cable program.
"Since when is our publicly owned Channel 3 an instrument for developers to present their projects to the public?" Biddle's letter asks. "The Save Our Parks organization, which we have embraced, was turned down by you several months ago for access time on the very same (Pierside Village) subject. . . . You are presenting only one side of an issue."
Reed Friday said the charges are "not true."
"The city always invites opposing viewpoints, and Huntington Beach Tomorrow will be invited to be on Channel 3 to give its position against Pierside Village," Reed said. "Save Our Parks is now scheduled to be on Channel 3 on Aug. 23."
Biddle had threatened to seek Federal Communications Commission action against the city if Reed did not provide public cable-TV access to those with opposing views on Pierside Village.