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Addresses of government officials

Save Crystal Cove: Ideas and Sample Letters

Urge Governor Davis, State Parks Director Rusty Areias, State Parks Commission chair Judith Frank, and State Resources Agency director Mary Nichols to drop the project for an expensive private resort in Crystal Cove State Park.  Here are some sample letters with points you can incorporate.

A barrage of letters to the decsision makers will help a lot.  It costs us nothing, takes the least amount of time on your part, and is known to be the most effective form of lobbying.

We also encourage you to write letters to the editor of the L.A. Times (email:, particularly in response to articles on Crystal Cove.

Please Fax a copy of your letter with any response received to: "Save Crystal Cove": (949) 494-2958, or mail to "Save Crystal Cove at P.O. Box 4834, Laguna Beach 92652.


1.  Start by thanking the Governor for his attention to schools, for the recent Bolsa Chica victory at the Coastal Commission hearing, or his decision to reduce parking fees to $3 per vehicle at Parks.

2.  Ask when the State Parks Department will hold Public Workshops on the General Plan Amendment for Crystal Cove State Park.

3.  Ask for information on an issue of interest to you, or explain your special interest in this issue in order to get a carefully considered reply. Some examples:

Please donít "give away" our long fought for,  hard won State Park now worth unappraised millions to a Limited Partnership firm for private profit-making.   Resorts abound in this area.  Parks are needed for coastal access.

Why  is the Davis administration continuing to pursue Pete Wilsonís "hard times" private financing plan for the Historic District within Crystal Cove State Park when the budget surplus makes "hocking" our State Park for 60 years an absurd solution?

A yearly rent of  "5% of gross income or $100,000" is woefully inadequate  for the commercial use of this beachfront real estate even if we wanted to give it up for 60 years.

Open the Park Planning process to the public now.  Persons who participated in the 1982 Plan  Process have not complained about the resulting "Development and Public Use Plan for the Historic District"; only about the failure of the State to move ahead with long overdue funding and implementation.

After three years of strong, persistent opposition to the resort proposal and the proposed General Plan Amendment, canít we just let the Concessionaire off the hook to find a more appropriate location for his business?

4. Ask if your ideas will be considered in planning for Crystal Cove Park.  Again, when will Public Workshops on the Park General Plan be scheduled?


Sample #1:

To the Honorable Gray Davis

Governor, State of California
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA  95814

Dear Governor Davis:

It has come to my attention recently that the California Parks Department, under a previous administration, avoided both public debate and citizen input to propose a 60 year high-priced resort for the Historic District area of Crystal Cove State Park.  This proposal does not fit the Park Plan approved in 1982 calling for family, group, and hostel use at "moderate rates" and is not appropriate for the Crystal Cove area.

We need your leadership as Governor to restore an open democratic process for creating or changing plans for California Parks and to prevent special exceptions to laws governing State Parks which benefit private rather than public ownership interests.  Let us work together to explore funding for a workable "consensus" plan in Crystal Cove Historic District, one of California's truly "special" places.

We look forward to your response on behalf of generations to come.

                                                                    Thank you,

Sample #2:

Points to make:

A luxury resort on State owned beach-front park land, which was purchased with bond funds for public use, is not
only inappropriate, but totally unnecessary where resorts are plentiful within a short distance and more are under construction in the immediate vicinity.

Funding is always a problem, in bad times or good, like now.  But it doesn't seem like good stewardship of the public
trust imposed on parklands to lease Crystal Cove Historic District for sixty (60) years to profiteers whose primary
concern is the bottom line.

The process by which the previous administration authorized this precedent-setting contract is outrageous for its lack
of any real public input in its planning.

Questions to raise:

Will the developers preserve and protect our rare and precious resources without Ranger supervision?

Will they reap the "no vacancy" ocean-front benefits for 60 years and return to us a 55 year old shopworn beach

Will the National Historic District listing survive the alterations and "additions" allowed under the proposed contract?

Will  Californians two generations from now even remember that the resort is really a park?

What happens at the end of 60 years?  Will the lease simply be renewed?

Conclusions:  give your own version of what you think should happen next.  Some possibilities:

Neither the status quo nor the Wilson proposal is supported by the taxpayers, voters, or people of California.  The
middle ground or compromise is the 1982 General Plan.

The 1982 General Plan for Crystal cove State Park should be implemented to preserve Crystal Cove Historic District
as a PARK for all Californians and future generations, rather then be amended to allow a private luxury resort.

Plans for both the Crystal Cove Historic District and El Morro Trailer Park should be considered together and
included in any Amendment of the General Plan for Crystal Cove State Park bieng drafted by the Parks Department.

Explore funding alternatives, public, non-profit, and private before concluding that the 1982 plan is no longer feasible.

If all funding possibilites fail, General Plan Workshops should be conducted to reach consensus on how the
public wants to develop (or not) our coastal park.

Sample #3:

Office of the Governor
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA  95814

To the Honorable Gray Davis
Re:  Parks Commission Appointments

The fate of the 60 year Concessionaire Contract to develop and operate a resort in the Historic District of Crystal
Cove State Park will soon be determined by our State Parks Commission.  Their decision will set a precedent not
only for existing parks in need of infrastructure, but all those special places we hope to rescue from burgeoning
development via A. B. 18, the Villaraigosa/Keeley Bond measure, which we strongly support.

I am strongly opposed to the resort as a flawed concept for a State Park.  It is inconsistent with the publicly conceived
General Plan approved by the Commission in 1982, contrary to various codes that govern Parks, and is the product of
a flawed, non-public process.

The  project provides a dangerous precedent for all State Parks and may discourage support for parks acquisition if
voters believe they are buying parks to turn them over to for-profit entities for the use and enjoyment of those who
can affort luxury rates.

It is crucial that persons appointed to this commission be strong advocates for Parks and appreciate the need of all
humans to experience renewal in the natural world as a basic one.  Please choose members whose experience shows
understanding of the need to protect and save those special places that have meaning beyond economic value and
should belong to all Californians.

As discussed with Director Areias, we are united in opposing the resort proposal which has been unable to get any
significant support in the community.  A neutral position is not exactly support.  We know of no group,
environmental or otherwise, that is actively pursuing the success of this proposal.  We are interested in a creative
funding package to implement the 1982 Plan.

 I urge the state to abandon this reckless pursuit, and as soon as the resort contract (General Plan Amendment)  is "off
the table", to hold planning workshops similar to the Halprin process used for the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park,
using the publicly conceived and approved General Plan for Crystal Cove and its develpment Plan as a starting point.

The resort proposal was a Wilson Administration "final solution"  to allow tax cuts while starving schools and Parks
despite good times and a budget surplus: a policy soundly rejected by California voters in electing you to our state's
highest office.

Crystal Cove State Park was acquired (1979) with bond funds and classified a "Park" by the State Parks Commission
who in 1982 approved its publicly conceived General Plan as well as "The Development and Public Use Plan" for the
Historic District.  The park should not be the subject of department shift in use inconsistent with approved Plans, nor an exception to the California Public Resource Codes.

Sample #4:

Department of Parks and Recreation
Director Rusty Areias
1416 9th Street #1405
Sacramento, CA  95814

Dear Mr. Areias,

Because of the new Davis administration's enlightened view towards the environment, I urge you to revisit current plans to develop a resort at the Historic District in Crystal Cove State Park--one of the most outstanding open space and recreational assets in the state.  A high-end resort will exclude the very public that most needs and uses parks, especially in an area that already has many facilities for those who can afford high-priced rooms.

Please consider the strong opposition of many diverse local groups, and open up a public planning process for this park.  The 1982 General Park Plan could be used as a starting point from which to work.  Let's start over and get it right.

I would very much appreciate an answer to my letter at the following address:

Your name
City, State, Zip

Thank you,

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