An attorney representing a group opposed to a commercial radio tower near Wildwood Canyon State Park in Yucaipa asked "What's the rush?" in response to a county spokesman's statement that San Bernardino County staff will not recommend rescheduling a public hearing about the tower.
"Having worked with numerous public agencies for decades, it is common practice for boards not to hold controversial public hearings during this time of the year," Mark Edwards of the Redlands the law firm Mirau, Edwards, Cannon, Lewin & Tooke, said Friday afternoon in an email.
The law firm represents the group Citizens for the Preservation of Rural Living. John Mirau, lead partner in the firm, is the group's president.
"Lazer's radio tower has been an extremely controversial issue that has been going on for over three years and was already denied unanimously by the current Board of Supervisors," Edwards said.
"What's the rush? Shouldn't the County err on the side of caution and postpone the hearing until after the holidays to ensure the public's voice is heard? It's hard to understand why the County would not grant a reasonable request for a continuance especially when it is coming directly from the organization who filed the appeal in the first place."
Earlier Friday, County Public Information Officer David Wert dismissed the citizens group's contention that the Board of Supervisors is attempting to "suppress public participation" by scheduling a hearing about the tower five days after Thanksgiving.
"Staff will not recommend that the Board of Supervisors reschedule the hearing," Wert said in an email Nov. 16. "The November 27 date in no way suppresses public participation. Anyone who can't attend the hearing can have an equal, and some would argue a greater, impact on the process by submitting their comments in advance in writing."
The Citizens for the Preservation of Rural Living bill themselves as "a coalition of San Bernardino County residents, elected officials, environmental advocacy groups and Wildwood Canyon State Park and Pisgah Peak wilderness recreational users."
The group's website states:
"The members of CPRL are opposed to the commercial development of Wildwood Canyon State Park and Pisgah Peak wilderness by the Oxnard, California based corporation Lazer Broadcasting, Inc."
Lazer Broadcasting owns and operates 19 Spanish language radio stations in 10 California markets, plus one affiliated station in Lancaster, according to the company's website.
"Lazer Broadcasting programs the top rated Regional Mexican format known as 'Radio Lazer,' the Adults Hits known as 'La Mejor,' and the Traditional Mexican Ranchero known as 'La Mexicana,'" the website states.
Lazer has offices in Oxnard, Brawley, and Reno, Nevada, according to its website.
According to Citizens for the Preservation of Rural Living, a public hearing about Lazer Broadcasting's application to build the tower is scheduled to begin 9 a.m. Tuesday Nov. 27 at 385 N. Arrowhead Ave., 1st Floor, San Bernardino.
For more information about Citizens for the Preservation of Rural Living visit www.stopthetowernow.org.
For more information about Lazer Broadcasting visit www.radiolazer.com.