Editor, Ceres Courier,
After all the years of reading your articles I always thought you were a pretty right-wing capitalist but now I am starting to wonder if you're getting soft.
Are you suggesting that the city grant a zoning change to its general plan (something that a city almost never does) to subsidize the inability of a business to turn a profit? Hey, I have some property in Ceres maybe the city can change my zoning to let me open a casino. Where does it stop?
Any change of zoning to allow homes on what is now mixed use/recreational (current zoning strictly prohibits homes) is nothing short of everyone in Ceres just writing a check to the existing owner. There is a natural order to these things that needs to transpire: Sale, bankruptcy, foreclosure. Since when has our city government digressed to the point that we jump to zoning changes, let alone a general plan change also known as spot zoning, because one business can't turn a profit? Did I go to sleep and wake up in communist Russia?
I agree, no one can tell the owner what to do nor should they. That said, Ceres is not Mexico and we do have rules, laws and zoning ordinances (not to mention CEQA) in place to protect neighboring property owners, the environment and the residents of Ceres from one individual from taking advantage of the rest of society. No one should be guaranteed a profit that is why business capital is considered "at risk." If the golf course does not turn a profit it can be shut down, or sold within the existing parameters of the law. Anything else and were disturbing the natural order of free enterprise. I'm certain that the golf course would sell at a foreclosure sale and thus remove the debt load and allow it to be efficient and profitable.
With regard to Big Bear park, do you honestly feel that Waterford is better off now that they have tract homes polluting one of the most beautiful stretches of rivers in the county? The Texas Rangers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010 and since then they have been American League Champions twice. Six Flags Entertainment filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and their share price was up 32 percent this year and have expanded their number of parks. Yes, there is an afterlife for recreational companies and the list can go on and on of companies that transformed themselves after being in financial ruins.
Before we close the door on our city's only golf course, someone else deserves a shot at it. The owner can decide if that shot is provided voluntarily through an orderly sale while it's still operating or involuntarily through a bankruptcy or foreclosure sale. Either way, someone will run it and someone will own it.
As a city we don't bow to the threat of someone not meeting their minimum ROI to justify zoning changes.
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