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Not Enough Light on Wetlands Pact

January 27, 1991

In "Shedding Light on Wetlands Pact" (Letters, Dec. 9), Friends of Ballona Wetlands Co-Chairwoman Ruth Lansford did not shed enough. She failed to acknowledge that the agreement with Playa Vista's developer, Maguire Thomas Partners Inc., requires the friends to vigorously support Playa Vista and not object to the density and building heights in the current plan.

In her lengthy response to my previous letter criticizing Playa Vista, Ms. Lansford defended the project on several grounds, including its environmental sensitivity and the affordable housing it would create. The fact remains, however, that Playa Vista will have a devastating environmental impact. In an article last April dealing with the surge in Westside development, The Times quoted a Caltrans senior transportation engineer who predicted that Lincoln Boulevard would be permanently clobbered, and that gridlock would be assured due to Playa Vista and other proposed projects.

The above indicates that we all must be vigilant. We must hold our elected representatives in all levels of government accountable to assure that their actions are in the best interest of the community at large, not only for the special interest groups.

No, it is not possible to return to Eden, nor is it feasible to reroute the Los Angeles River to its original basin with its pristine wetlands. But the erroneous notion and mentality, so prevalent in this country, that every square foot of land should be developed ought to be discarded. I am not against the wetlands and its friends, but think that the wetlands should be surrounded, as much as possible, with a greenbelt instead of a smog-generating development.

The human mind is goal-oriented, and there is magic in thinking big, but acquiescence will not make it happen. The community at large should develop a strong "can-do" attitude like that of marathon runners. With such will and determination, the proposed Playa Vista project can be converted into a beautiful environmental-enhancing greenbelt.

MILTON T. BASSETT

Los Angeles

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