Letter to the Editor: Comment on Newport Banning Ranch Land Trust Picnic

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[Newport Banning Land Trust] was created, funded and is composed of the developers that want to destroy Banning Ranch!

One important fact they left out [of the Indy’s July 17 article] is that they’re planning on bulldozing and grading the entire upland mesa, rendering it a virtual lunar landscape.

Around 2.6 million tons of contaminated soil would be dug up, creating fine particulate matter that will pollute the air and water. The earthmoving equipment will kill any wildlife.

This group likes to profess that they’re saving open space, but in actuality they can’t build on the lowland wetland. Instead, they are going to sell 2/3 of it. It will be destroyed under the guise of mitigation, where a project elsewhere had destroyed habitat and had to make up for it with mitigation.

Don’t be fooled by their pretty photos and fake conservation greenspeak. The real conservationists are the Banning Ranch Conservancy. Please contact them at their website or on facebook. They will be providing a free bus to the CA Coastal Commission hearing in October to fight these imposters. Get on board at Banningranchconservancy.org.

 Cindy Black

Newport Beach


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  1. Cindy, with all due respect what you call “Banning Ranch” is anything but. It has been an active oil field for the past 75+ years, with toxic pollution of all kinds (according to the most recent soil surveys)permeating the soil down to a level of 70 feet.

    The history of Newport Shores should be a poster child for all of this. During the early 1960’s the oil company drilling on this property was taken to court by the Orange County District Attorneys office for illegal pollution.

    As a part of the settlement this oil company was required to give up land that would eventually become Newport Shores to the county (which was eventually turned over to Newport Beach when Newport Shores became a part of the city). The oil company was also required to pay for what is now the Newport Shores Clubhouse and pool. The land on the property was too polluted to be sold so Orange County (eventually, Newport Beach) would only lease the property for 99 years (eventually offering the land back to the current leases for $15,000 per parcel during the late 1990’s).

    The point being made is that the pollution that is being cleaned up current runs off into the adjacent canal, polluting the aquatic environment. The removal of all this pollution is a good, not a bad thing.