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Canyon Project Exposes Community's Chasm

September 01, 2002

Re " 'Keep Out' Echoes From O.C. Canyons," Aug. 22:

NIMBYism is one of California's biggest hobbies. Everyone wants to tell someone else what to do with their property. NIMBYs kept badly needed power plants from being built in South Gate and the City of Industry. NIMBYs belatedly killed an El Toro international airport seven years after it was approved by voters. NIMBYs have thus far stopped home building projects at Huntington Beach and Dana Point and elsewhere for many, many years. And they wonder why housing costs are unaffordable. Houses are so unaffordable thanks to restrictive building codes, outrageous building fees and, perhaps worst of all, NIMBYs sticking their noses into anything to do with other people's property.

John Jaeger

Irvine

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The proposed home developments in Santiago Canyon would destroy valuable canyon habitat. In one development, homeowners are then "required" to build 4,000-to 10,000-square-foot homes and install lawns within a year. The paradox is that the developer's marketing plan will probably trumpet the canyon's scenic beauty and rustic charm. Then the homeowners will be required by the homeowners association to install a lawn, which will conflict entirely with the beauty of the canyons, which are rich with native oaks and scrub.

Furthermore, the large homes and lawns will require much water, which is in short supply in Southern California. If homeowners are required by the homeowners association to maintain their lawns, then pesticides will likely be used, creating toxic runoff that flows into the creeks. The wild nature of the canyons has always been part of their appeal, and it is slowly being destroyed and cannot be regained.

Laura C. Curran

Newport Beach

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