The city had abundant, tax paid legal advice and yet still erred by
printing each council members handwritten signature on the letters. A
technicality, just like the failure of the original initiative to state
the actual names of the proponents instead of simply listing ROAR as the
Let's talk about what the columnist either got seriously, egregiously
wrong, or twisted so badly that it might as well be wrong. First, he
states that the ROAR initiative cannot accomplish a curfew and limited
airport expansion. Is he right? Well sort of, the ROAR initiative cannot
guarantee a curfew and cap on flights. What it does guarantee is that a
new, larger, terminal cannot be built unless a curfew and caps on flights
are in place.
The columnist states that the ROAR initiative would unintentionally
allow a 70% boost in the number of commercial jets using the airport. Is
he right? Not really, the initiative calls for both a 10% cap on aircraft
operations and a 10% cap on the number of passengers. In theory, if all
the small planes were barred from using the airport it would be possible
to see a 70% increase in commercial flights. But, since there is a 10%
cap on passengers, if the airlines increased their flights by 70% their
load factor would drop down from the 60% to the 40% range. Has anyone
ever heard of an airline operating profitably at a 40% load factor?
The columnist states that claims of property values "plunging" with an
expanded airport have been discredited. Discredited when, and by whom,
and with what credentials? The columnist does not say. Let's talk about
someone with credentials, Richard Bell. Bell has an MBA in real estate
from UCLA and has an impressive list of credentials as an appraiser. In a
1997 letter to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Bell notes his
findings in a preliminary analysis of what would happen to housing values
if an airport were opened at El Toro.
The basis for Bell's analysis was a comparison of the prices of homes
located near LAX, John Wayne and Ontario Airports. The decrease in
property values due to proximity to an airport ranged from 15.1% to
42.6%. The average decrease was 27.4%. I wonder if the columnists home
has dropped in value by 27.4%, or even 15.1%, if he would consider this a
"plunge" in value?
The columnist mentions ROAR's "utter lack of credibility." Has he
looked in a mirror recently?