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Planner Cites Value of Park at El Toro

October 14, 1998|LORENZA MUNOZ

An urban land use expert told a South County Chambers of Commerce audience Tuesday that parkland in the non-aviation proposal for replacing the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station can increase property values and, thus, tax revenue.

"Parks are a way of making money, not losing money," Alexander Garvin, a fellow at the Urban Land Institute, said in an interview after the chamber luncheon.

"The value of this land with a park will go up much more, and more money will be generated not only to keep up maintenance of the park but also to pay for police, fire and other services," said Garvin, who also is a member of the New York City Planning Commission.

Airport foes, continuing their publicity campaign for their Millennium Plan, brought Garvin to the meeting to answer criticism that the non-aviation plan is an expensive idea that will not pay for itself.

In the 15 years after Central Park was developed in New York City, Garvin said, there was a ninefold increase in the value of real estate surrounding the park.

The Millennium Plan would create a central park among homes, retail centers, a museum and a university at the El Toro site.

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