Not too many sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places have new home sale kiosks, banners and trailers full of an ancient American Indian remains, but whoever said Bolsa Chica is like anyplace else?
The Orange County Register's Cindy Carcamo reports that federal officials have determined the "cogged stone" site at Bolsa Chica is eligible for listing with the National Register of Historic Places, which would normally protect the area from development.
Well, it would protect it if it were not mostly developed already.
The area of discovery of hundreds of carved stone disks--or cogged stones--that may have been used for sacred rituals is on the mesa overlooking the protected Bolsa Chica wetlands and the beaches beyond that. Brightwater-Hearthside Homes has built on the mesa like gangbusters, and the city of Huntington Beach seems hellbent on annexing more of the adjoining, unincorporated land so Hearthside can do a number on it, too.
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One small problem, as Carcamo reports.
"We value the property as a significant resource," says National Register of Historic Places historian Paul Lusignan. "There was a tremendous amount of information about the prehistoric site and distinction for the fact that it has the cogged stone site, which is a unique archeological feature found in very few other locations."
Members of the Juaneno and Gabrieleno-Tongva bands of mission Indians, whose ancestors once shared the land, have been saying that for years--saying that at every opportunity when local, county and state agencies have greenlighted construction there.
In case you're wondering how Hearthside viewed the National Register of Historic Places designation, it officially opposed it. Carcamo's piece goes on to quote different sides saying the listing will have some or no effect, depending on who signs their checks. And so it goes.