Sheldon says “Suck it, Surf City” – the Poseidon shill is also behind our High Density Development!

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From Steve Sheldon's Facebook wall, 2012, celebrating the approval of "our" construction project on Beach & Ellis, with a science-fiction depiction of how it will look.

From Steve Sheldon’s Facebook wall, 2012, celebrating the approval of “our” construction project on Beach & Ellis, with a science-fiction depiction of how it will look.

The preacher's son superimposed on today's grotesque reality.

The preacher’s son superimposed on today’s grotesque reality.

At tonight’s Huntington Beach council meeting – Tuesday night February 17 (thanks Presidents) – new Councilman Erik Peterson will bring forward an agenda item to put the brakes, as much as possible, on the high-density development (HDD, mostly enabled and encouraged by 2010’s Beach-Edinger Specific Plan) that has been driving HB citizens of all political stripes crazy for the last few years:


Submitted by Councilmember Peterson – Potential review of the Beach and Edinger Corridor Specific Plan (BECSP)

Recommended Action:
A) Adopt a moratorium on new projects in the BECSP in order to review and revise the plan to address issues like: a cap on the maximum amount of dwelling units allowed by the BECSP; a requirement that all projects must obtain a Conditional Use Permit; requiring a minimum percentage of retail and/or commercial space in a mixed-use development; increase setbacks and decrease massing on future projects; increase minimum parking standards; and maintain the suburban beachside community character of the City.

B) As part of the process to amend the BECSP, a BECSP review board will be established. Each Board Member will be directly appointed by a City Council Member. Findings and recommendations from the board will be forwarded to the Planning Commission and then to the City Council for approval.

And a lot of us citizens will be there supporting Erik’s motion – tea partiers, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, independents, liberals, environmentalists, people who want to stop the unnecessary Poseidon boondoggle, people who support Poseidon, and people who aren’t sure.

sheldon zombieSo, some of us on the HB Open Community Forum just thought it was interesting and worth sharing when we discovered a Facebook post from mid-2012 showing that the most grotesque example of our HDD – the six-story, built-out-to-the-sidewalk Elan Apartments on Beach and Ellis – was partly the project of Poseidon’s biggest booster on the OC Water District, the florid, plump, preacher’s son Steve Sheldon.   In the screenshot above, still proudly online and public, Newport Beach’s Sheldon refers to the project as “ours,” and sure enough research reveals him to be one of the highly-paid consultants who helped push it on the then-developer-slave 2012 council (over only the dissenting votes of the much-maligned Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman.)

It’s also handy to have Sheldon list the politicians responsible for foisting the monstrosity on us:  the ravenous Developer Democrat Keith Bohr, the property-rights-of-the-rich-above-all Republicans Don Hansen and Matt Harper, and the generally much-less-clueful follower-Reeps Carchio and Dwyer.  Also, many of us would gladly have our “tired old retail center” back, over the bulging slouching behemoth Sheldon has saddled us with.

(And have we forgotten, or never heard about, Sheldon destroying Garden Grove’s downtown Main St businesses by plopping a huge condo building on the area’s parking lot, with the connivance of the Broadwater machine?)

Sheldon caught by John Earl hobnobbing with Poseidon brass after an OCWD meeting.

Sheldon caught by John Earl hobnobbing with Poseidon brass after an OCWD meeting.

Well, it felt unsurprising and appropriate to us Poseidon opponents, to discover that the most inexorable Poseidon pusher on the OC Water District, the one who treats public speakers so rudely, the one whom the FPPC recently ruled is just barely legally permitted to vote on Poseidon matters one year after years of being on their consultant payroll, is also the proud layer of the Beach-Ellis Turd.  But can we see any more connection between high-density building in Huntington Beach and the Poseidon desal boondoggle, besides just this unpleasant personage?

Well, yes!  As one councilmember (who plans to support Erik’s moratorium) reminded me yesterday, Huntington Beach residents really DON’T NEED the desal water that Poseidon is trying to push on us, but the more residents developers manage to squeeze into this poor town, the easier it is for the Connecticut water pirates to make the case that we DO need their overpriced water.

scamBut beyond that, there’s just the general philosophy of government and doing business that Sheldon and many other OC politicians/developers/consultants exemplify – on this blog, we call them OC’s kleptocrats, and they hail from both major parties – Pringle’s crowd and Ackerman further north, Sheldon and Bohr in our area, Pulido in Santa Ana, Allevato farther south.  They don’t draw a line between public service and personal profit.  Their watchword is “public-private partnerships,” which tranlates “privatize the profit, socialize the risk.”  They see our public lands and open spaces as calling out for them and their friends to exploit them.  And they dump “negative externalities” on the rest of us (traffic, parking, debt, pollution, infrastructure needs) just like some kind of sociopaths.  And I’m quite sure that, surrounded and supported by each other, they feel they are doing good by doing well.

Well, it’s time for us grownup citizens to wake up and stop letting these selfish destructive children run rampant on our world.  I’ll see you there tonight, HB council chambers, 6 PM!

[Hat-tip Amelia Brooke, Mark Bixby]

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.