Bolsa Chica Mesa Landowner Fined $430,000 for Damaging Ancient Native American Village

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Brightwater, dark history
A near-unanimous California Coastal Commission and the Goodell Family Trust have agreed on a settlement that will have the property owner paying a $430,000 fine for unearthing artifacts at the Cogged Stone Site, the 9,000-year-old Native American village on the mesa overlooking the Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach. The trust must also rebury the artifacts and restore the areas that were disturbed when archaeologists dug a series of deep pits on the six-acre site without state permission.

A Native American monitor must also be present for the reburials, as would have been required by law for the original excavation.

Hearthside Homes stooge Ed Mountford appeared before the commission meeting in Santa Monica Wednesday on behalf of the Goodell Family Trust to do what he does best: apologize, grovel and plea for mercy after desecrating yet more sacred land, bones and artifacts at Bolsa Chica. Hearthside, of course, is just the latest incarnation of the builder that has done despicable things on the culturally and environmentally sensitive coastal property for three decades, usually in defiance of state law. In 2005, the Coastal Commission controversially greenlit Hearthside's 350-home Brightwater project next to the Goodell site.

The most recent excavation was done after the property owner received permission to do surface studies that would not involve digging. Instead, three large pits were dug, damaging prehistoric shells, scorched rocks, animal bones and other cultural artifacts.

Despite Mountford suggesting a $130,000 penalty would be in order, the commission held an emotional hearing that was followed by a 10-1 vote to triple that offer. Funds from the settlement will be used to create an archaeological conservation project along the coast.

Speaking of digging, a Goodell rep abruptly withdrew an application to do even more of it when it became clear the commission was in no mood.

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13 comments
Wayawalker
Wayawalker

ED MOUNTFORD and Hearthside Development deserve everything they get X 10000000,maybe someday someone will dig up his grandparents and store them in a trailer--what comes around goes around

mitch young
mitch young

More people = more 'development'. More people is driven exclusively by immigration these days. 

Online
Online

WHAT ABOUT THE PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE OCEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!The california coastal commission initially issued permits to build this development that stipulated how to handle the artifacts and remains.  They also required public access to the ocean using a 10 foot wide paved trail for pedestrians and bicycles with parking for public visitors.  It didn't happen.  The builders made a 4 foot wide gravel dog walking trail with barbed wire and use full time renta-cops to hassel anyone trying to get to the ocean through this development.  The trail is posted no bicycles.They have a pattern of deception with the coastal commision and a disregard for the native american burial sites.  No surprise the whole thing recently went bankrupt and bilked investors out of $300M.  How people in those houses can sleep at night being on top of an indian burial site is beyond me.Hope the new owners are good citizens and try to fix this.  Live up to basic legal agreements for the development made by previous owners and clean up this mess for the community.Give due respect to the native american sites and make a beautiful public route to the ocean in North HB (ever try running the Warner Avenue gauntlet on a bicycle?).

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Lesson learned.  If you find something of value, don't tell anyone about it; especially the liberals.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Sorry Mitch, but I'm afraid the Brightwater development exists for rich, piggy native-borns who think they are entitled to homes right by the ocean at the cost of Native American burial grounds, the local wildlife and one of the last precious pockets of our open space...

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

Yeah, Brightwater is teeming with immigrants, doing the dishes, mowing the lawns and wiping the asses of the homeowners' children. 

peaceloveunderstanding
peaceloveunderstanding

This is a apart of southern California history, no matter what your political affiliation is, these sites should be respected and handled with care. If you find something, respect it.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I thought if you find something then its yours? 

Guest
Guest

No, no, no. If you find something, sell it on Ebay.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Now, if we could convince FWB to get one, we'd be all set. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

Yeah Look I have a cool picture now too.... 

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