Letter to the Editor
Ukiah Daily Journal
May 21, 2009
Reasons to rezone the old Masonite Property:
Stop the leakage of money to Sonoma County. This method is very inefficient. Better to replace it with a giant drain to send our money directly to the conglomerate retail businesses back east.
Improve the health of our citizens. Every spring many suffer from pollen allergies. Putting in a giant mall is at least a start for eliminating grassy areas and other plant growth.
Put the useless land to work. Rezoning Masonite for a mall could open up possibilities for other rezoning of land that is now being wasted to grow food.
Encourage competition. By rezoning the Masonite site, owners of the land that is already zoned for retail will have to reconsider what they want to do with it.
It will also give our local government officials something to do — argue over whether to rezone all that land.
Create jobs. Think of all the electricians who will be needed to put in the five new stop lights, all the good (temporary) construction jobs, all the low paying retail sales jobs to give bored, rich housewives in Ukiah something to do. (And we know how many of those live in this affluent area.)
Free up housing for the homeless. How? The buildings that will become vacant downtown and in other shopping areas will quickly be taken over by squatters and thereby solve the homeless problem.
Provide a corporate stimulus plan for DDR. If they get their initiative passed, they can sell the site at a huge profit, thereby getting themselves out of a financial hole.
Bring Ukiah into the 21st century. All the other areas are uniform with the same stores and eateries. Ukiah is just out of step with its unique shops and restaurants. Anyone coming into town immediately recognizes that we are different. We surely don’t want that, do we?
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get into step with everyone else in the country. DDR will lead us to the future.
Board of Supervisors Meeting
Excerpts – Anderson Valley Advertiser (May 20, 2009)
By Mark Scaramella
…Guinness McFadden notes, “On page 42 of the 324-page [initiative] document it says that the plans described are ‘conceptual and do not reflect what may be developed on the site. The plan is subject to change based on market and regional demands.’ That is,” said McFadden, “a blank check. They can do anything they want.”
Redwood Valley landscaper Michael Maltas said he started out in favor of the mall and housing project at Masonite, but when DDR refused to answer his questions he changed to being an opponent. “There’s no evidence of the [retail sales] leakage study they talk about, nor of any study of water use,” said Maltas. “Their address is a rent-a-box at Creative Workshop. They don’t have an office. They have no interest in me. I’ve been a landscaper in this area for 30 years. They say they only need 200 gallons per minute from Masonite’s well. But the Millview district has suffered major cuts so landscaping will be dying this summer. I know that. Do we know the details of that Masonite well? They say it can produce 100 gallons per minute. But in the past they’ve talked about building 700 houses there. I do know that 200 gallons per minute supports just three pop-up sprinklers. So 200 gallons per minute is very small for a project this size. And 700 gallons per minute might collapse the aquifer. When you pull water out and it’s not replenished, it depletes. The water source is questionable. How will it affect those who need water now? Water for people is not there as it is.”
DDR stock downgraded to “Junk” status→
Thanks to Michael Maltas
[DS] We have not been following the torture debate on this blog, but we are most appreciative of this at Andrew Sullivan: What Mancow Teaches Us →