Scale down Trancas mall plans

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Our neighbor Dan Bercu has cleaned up most of the trash from his land in Trancas Creek. Hooray! It only took a few years of nagging and then a snide letter to the newspaper.

Now, Dan wants to build a shopping center that will spread right across the creek, into what used to be the Riders and Ropers parkland, and before that a saltwater lagoon.

But this isn’t about Dan Bercu. He is merely the front man for the LaSalle investment bank from Chicago, which sees a great opportunity to turn Trancas into Brentwood. And LaSalle’s plan might be reasonable in Brentwood, Laguna Beach or at Cross Creek, but it is too big for the flood plain and historic lagoon site at Trancas Creek.

Most neighbors to the Trancas Shopping Center expansion feel that Mr. Bercu should have the right to do what he wants with his land, within city and state regulations. And if he would make his project a bit smaller, and design a safer driveway, we all could support it.

Mr. Bercu and his backers, however, want a bunch of re-zonings, exemptions and variances. They want to shoehorn in as many buildings as they can by pretending the lagoon was never there, and then bulldoze dirt into the existing floodplain to seal its fate.

And they plan to close off direct parking lot access from the HOWS Market lot to the Trancas signal, which will pile up huge loads of unsafe U-turns on PCH at both Trancas and Guernsey.

Clean up your plan, Mr. Bercu, like you did the creek. Then we can all support your vision. And I’ll buy you dinner.

Hans Laetz