|From:||Center for Public Environmental Oversight <email@example.com>|
|Date:||29 Jan 1998 11:37:37|
|Subject:||El Toro Airport Opposed|
January 14, 1998 6:16 PM EST IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 14, 1998--Detailed evidence was unveiled Wednesday that a clear majority of Orange County voters do not support an aviation use for the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station after it closes next year and would prefer another more productive use for this property. Registered voters surveyed last month by a nationally-recognized polling firm said they opposed plans to convert El Toro into an international commercial airport because it would hurt Orange County's quality of life by increasing air and noise pollution, traffic congestion and crime. The survey also found that Orange County voters disapproved of the way the reuse planning process was being handled by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and county planning staff. "The public is alarmed at how the reuse planning process of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station has been handled," said Richard Dixon, chairman of the El Toro Reuse Planning Authority. "The findings within this public opinion survey reinforce our contention that residents of Orange County overwhelmingly prefer a non-aviation alternative when the El Toro Marine Base is closed in 1999. Other polls have shown the same." The survey is the most in-depth assessment of public opinion to date on the specific issue involving reuse of El Toro. "Through the recently released UCI poll showed public concern over the county's airport plan and its management, we felt compelled to dig deeper into public awareness of the issue and ask them point-blank, if given a choice between aviation and non-aviation use, which would you prefer? The results and the public's opinions are very clear," said Dixon. The El Toro Reuse Planning Authority (ETRPA) commissioned the public opinion survey to learn more about public perspectives on plans for the base and preferences for its various uses. The survey also provided ETRPA with feedback that will be used to develop a meaningful non-aviation plan to truly reflect the current and future needs and desires of the county. The public opinion survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a nationally-recognized, independent research firm with headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Public Opinion Strategies has extensive nationwide experience conducting similar research projects on various public policy issues for numerous clients. "The survey found very compelling information and opinions among Orange County voters," said Tom Shepard with Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger, ETRPA's public affairs firm who managed the survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. "When asked at the start of the survey, 51 percent of the respondents said they opposed and 43 percent favored a commercial airport alternative for El Toro. "Near the end of the survey, after all the arguments for both sides were presented, opposition to a commercial airport grew even stronger to 57 percent while those who favored an airport declined to 38 percent. If an election were held today, an aviation use for El Toro would be rejected by a significant margin." A vast majority of respondents countywide also overwhelmingly disapproved of the county's management of the airport. "It's becoming clearer that this concern is being shared by residents across the county. Some have characterized this as a north-south county issue, but the results indicated disapproval of the county's handling of the aviation plan in all areas of the county," said Shepard. The survey showed strong support for non-aviation uses being considered for the El Toro property. The public would prefer to see the land used for an educational complex that may include universities and museums; for parks and other recreational uses; or as a technology center where high-technology firms would be encouraged to locate. The survey also revealed that Orange County voters believe the county government should be spending its money trying to solve other problems, like crime and congestion, rather than spending it on forcing the conversion of El Toro into an international commercial airport on a public that sees better uses for this prime piece of property. In the survey, 69 percent of the respondents felt taxpayer dollars could be better used on problems other than El Toro, while 28 percent believed the county was not wasting money on ensuring an aviation reuse option for El Toro. About 58 percent of those surveyed also felt Southern California had enough airports, while 39 percent believed another airport was needed. "Another important message we found in this survey was the high percentage of voters who felt the county was mishandling the reuse planning process for El Toro," said Patricia Bates, Vice Chair of ETRPA. "About half of those surveyed believe the process has been unfair to the public and they felt they couldn't trust the county government on this issue." The survey of 600 registered voters was conducted by telephone between Dec. 4 and Dec. 8. Survey results are accurate to within a 4 percent margin of error. (c) Business Wire. All rights reserved.
Prev by Date: Elk Hills Early Transfer Lawsuit|
Next by Date: US Army Landfill in Germany
Prev by Thread: Elk Hills Early Transfer Lawsuit|
Next by Thread: US Army Landfill in Germany