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Bixby Project Opponents Unfazed

February 09, 2000|ALEX MURASHKO | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Despite a group's claim that the mayor, three former mayors and three councilmen are in favor of the Bixby Ranch shopping center development, members of a citizens group opposed to the project are not flinching.

Citizens Against Excessive Traffic, which was successful in getting Measure M on the March ballot, says that those in favor of the project amount to only a group of current and former politicians, and not a majority of Seal Beach voters.

Measure M would revert the Bixby Ranch Co. property on Seal Beach Boulevard from commercial to recreational/golf zoning. An organization opposed to the measure, Seal Beach Residents for Responsible Planning, say they have a "broad spectrum of support." In a recent release, the group names Mayor Paul Yost and former mayors Tom Blackman, George Brown and Edna L. Sharp as supporters.

Seal Beach Residents for Responsible Planning "amounts to a small power clique," said Don May, campaign chairman for the pro-Measure M group. "We have 5,000 [residents in support] of the measure."

May said his group's major concern is increased traffic. Residents of Los Alamitos and the Rossmoor communities have also shown opposition to the proposed Bixby development and although unable to vote on the Seal Beach measure, many have volunteered and donated money, he said.

Brown, a Leisure World resident who preceded Yost as mayor, is chairman of Seal Beach Residents for Responsible Planning. He has campaigned heavily for the project with community meetings and fund-raising. "The fact that we have such a large, diverse group supporting [the development project] illustrates how bad Measure M is for the future of Seal Beach," he said.

Alex Murashko can be reached at (714) 966-5974.

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