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Linda Sadeghi, San Clemente
Last Friday morning, the California Coastal Commission approved the Miramar development project. Maybe our first reaction is “Hooray! We have saved the Miramar!” But have we actually? Or have we been hoodwinked into entitling an overbuilt private project out of desperation?
The Miramar is in horrific condition, neglected for years with broken glass, exposed wires, open holes, skaters breaking off stucco, a magnet for local transients, trash-laden and with almost permanent stains of public urination. Have we forgotten that the same developers we are now applauding for “saving” the landmark are the same ones that have kept the property in this sad and neglected condition for the last decade, flagrantly ignoring code enforcement pleas? Did we realize that former public officials have helped entitle the private property for a quick flip? Or that the city spent $20,000 of grant money for this private development group?
Have we analyzed the proposal’s addition of 50 percent square footage encroaching on this historic footprint or are we really okay with zero percent landscaping and 9-foot perimeter walls to alter our historic district of lush lawns? There is no sidewalk on the south side of the project – are we okay walking our kids on the north side against oncoming El Camino Real traffic with no landscape buffer?
Perhaps we fell into a well-built trap—that of the owners doing absolutely nothing, not even the most basic of maintenance, for a full decade, in order that we welcome any solution whatsoever, even if it means solid concrete, overbuilding and historic desecration. Fort Knox at the historic entrance to our “Spanish Village by the Sea.”
By the way, the developer was a no-show at the Coastal Commission hearing.