I strongly feel that if this proposed Surfliner Inn is built – and it looks more and more that it will be – Southern California will lose the very last little sliver of what was once a true paradise.
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the ‘50s. What was a magnificent agricultural landscape now has become, with few exceptions, an overcrowded nightmare. Carpinteria, in its current form, is what attracts visitors. Visitors are not attracted by the city council’s ongoing effort to somehow make it more like Disneyland!
If, as the city council claims, its mission is to serve the city of Carpinteria and its residents, how did seeking out the developer to request a proposal for yet further commercial development serve the interests of either the city or its residents?
Carpinteria is the very last beach community remaining in Southern California. Every one of them is today only recognizable by a freeway off-ramp sign. Each and every one of them has been ingested, consumed by development. When you arrive in Carpinteria, there is an immediate feeling of being in a city – a real community, separate and recognizable as such. As rare as that is, how does someone come to take that so for granted? How does anyone not realize how rare that is, how blessed we are to be able to call Carpinteria home?
Against ongoing, angry opposition from individual citizens and local groups of disenchanted citizens, the city council, by a vote of 4 to 1, went forward with the planning process.
The project is going ahead. It is to be built on public land. Yet the public, the residents of Carpinteria, do not have the right to vote on the proposal. Should the public not have the right to vote on the future use of public land?