How rather than what
Normally we don’t answer personal questions – personal beliefs aren’t often relevant to the logic of the ideas discussed. However, “What do you personally think about development of the Banning Ranch?” does introduce an important political perspective.
First of all, the point to the post was neither the value of Banning Ranch nor the advisability of building homes on the property. Instead, it focused on the lack of commitment to working solutions exhibited by “Save Banning Ranch” sign-wavers. In spite of our councilwoman’s examples, the harassment by regulatory agencies that the sign wavers demand should not be encouraged as a political tool.
We believe that the issue is one of “how” rather than “what” or even “why.” This is often the essence of debates between (intelligent and informed) conservatives and liberals.
We all agree that new land is not being made and that seacoast is beautiful and precious. We all pretty much agree that once concrete is poured and contracts written, the land will never return to “wild” coastal plains.
The question is who should determine how the land is used. Should government decide the best use of private property? Should alphabet agencies endlessly harass the legal owners or decree the use of their property?
Or should volunteers (willing to do actual work) and private enterprise ensure that the area remains, at least, no more polluted or crowded or restrictive than it is right now? (Or better, improved into recreational wetlands!)
We believe that it should be cleaned up and used as a recreational area. Could private parties convince the owners to cooperate? Probably, if they were credible.
Just as an example: what if Bill Gates decided the area would make a great “Bill Gates Memorial Swamp?” He’d tell the owners that he intended to buy the property at a reasonable price. The owners would consider battling Gates as well as regulatory agencies . . . and would probably fix a price to start negotiations. Substitute a credible group or groups for Gates. If they have resources and resolve the results would be similar.
Would Orange County and the world benefit from houses on the property? Overall, no. Would Orange County and the world suffer if government took over responsibility and assumed the power to decree what a landowner could do with the property? Definitely.
How, rather than what or why is the issue for thinking and concerned residents. It’s worth debate.