By Chad Nelsen | Published 2014/05/28
At their April meeting, the Coastal Commission used a very inappropriate process to review and approve the Paradiso del Mare development project on the Gaviota coast. In response, nine Santa Barbara citizens filed a formal grievance with the State.
Their grievance addresses two very important issues.
First, the citizens strongly object to the manner in which the Commission closed the public hearing and then continued to negotiate with the developer from the dais. The appellants and the public were not provided with the new information in advance or allowed to comment on proposed changes to the project before the Commission cast its vote.
To add insult to injury, Commissioner Wendy Mitchell directed some vulgar and dismissive comments to the public attending the hearing. As the letter points out, just before the Commission comes to a final vote, Commissioner Mitchell can clearly be heard in the video below saying, “Blow their minds…. Let’s blow their f***ing minds.”
This is a short clip from the Coastal Commission’s official public video archive. The clip can be found at the 9 hour, 23 minute mark of the full video, which is available here.
You can read the grievance letter here.We are hopeful that the Commission will address the procedural issues these citizens have raised. We also hope the Commission takes responsibility for these offensive comments to ensure that the public in California, who volunteer their time to participate in our legally mandated public process, are given the respect they deserve.