Bait and Switch: the broken promise of the Great Park.


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(Reprinted in its entirety with permission from Eddie’s Corner, the weblog of Eddie Rose, at www.eddierose.org)

When I served on the Laguna Niguel City Council from 1994-1998, I was at the forefront of efforts to stop the proposed commercial airport at the old El Toro Marine base.  Instead, I supported a “Great Park” concept, along the lines of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, one which included vast open space, with walking, bicycle, and equestrian trails. natural wetlands, a wildlife refuge, botanical gardens, sports facilities, such as golf courses and softball fields. picnic grounds, children’s play areas, cultural venues, and much more.  This concept was eventually approved by the voters, and plans for the commercial airport were relegated to the scrapheap where they belonged. 

This was the promise to the residents of Orange County.  Now, thanks to back-room dealing by the Great Park Board of Directors and the Lennar Corporation (the Great Park’s major developer), the proverbial bait-and-switch has taken place.  The proposed golf course is gone.  In its place—more unneeded and unwanted housing.  And now, the proposed nature preserve has been scratched—apparently replaced by an FBI shooting range!  What will be next?

This is why voters regard appointed political hacks as being in the same slimepit with car dealers, developers, plumbers, and Wall Street banksters.  When voters approved the Great Park concept, we did so for more open space—not an extension of urban sprawl.   It’s time to seriously consider making the Great Park Board of Directors an elective office, thus replacing the existing Board with honest and competent individuals, dedicated to promoting the vision of the people of Orange County, and not just continuing “business-as-usual”. 

The Honorable Eddie Rose

Former Laguna Niguel (CA) City Councilman

“A Voice—Not an Echo”


About Eddie Rose