By Scott Sink
OC Voice Staff Writer
Motorists passing through Huntington Beach may see local Native Americans and concerned residents picketing in front of the Brightwater housing development, built by Hearthside Homes, on Bolsa Chica and Warner.
The protesters are denouncing the building of houses upon an 8,500 year old village site, which includes at least 174 human burials.
“We’re trying to make people aware about what’s going on here,” said Paul Moreno, an organizer of the event from the Micmac Nation. “What has been done here isn’t right. Developers have destroyed 90 percent of Orange County’s sacred sites.”
Although the Coastal Commission approved the building permit in April of 2005, a broad-based coalition of indigenous peoples and environmentalists contend that Hearthside did not comply with the laws protecting sacred sites and archaeological remains.
Specifically, developers are required to report any and all findings of human remains to the Coroner, who forwards this information to the Native American Heritage Commission.
However, the Coroner has only presented six reports, as opposed to the 174 reports required by law.
Since it believes that Hearthside has not fully disclosed the findings at the site and has improperly handled burials and other archaeological evidence, this coalition is requesting the revocation of their building permit.
Members of the coalition include several members of the Acjachamen Nation, the people indigenous to southern Orange County, and the Bolsa Chica Land Trust.
On another note, another coalition, consisting of the Coastal Law Enforcement Network, Access for All and Marcia Hanscom, have sued Hearthside Homes and the Coastal Commission over the lofty entry monuments at the development.
These edifices are 10 feet and 6 inches high, 23 feet wide and 8 feet deep. The suit alleges that these tall stone walls “establish an ambiance of private exclusivity upon a public roadway that” leads to other trails and parks, and obstruct the “priceless scenic viewshed of the California Coast for the benefit of the public.”
The petitioners are asking the Coastal Commission to revoke its approval of the monuments upon these grounds.