State to review Bolsa Chica

By Joe Segura, Staff Writer, Long Beach Press Telegram, NOVEMBER 12, 2008

LONG BEACH - The state Coastal Commission is set to take a close look today at the method used to handle scores of ancient Native American remains and thousands of buried artifacts unearthed at the Huntington Beach-based Bolsa Chica wetlands.

The commission takes up the issue at the Long Beach City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., the City Council Chambers. The commission meeting begins at 8a.m., but it's not clear at what point the review begins.

The commission staff is recommending the denial of a request to revoke the development permit at the Bolsa Chica wetlands site, ruling the ancient remains found there were handled within state guidelines.

The decision is part of a report released Friday outlining a wealth of discoveries at two archaeological sites at the Huntington Beach-based wetlands, findings that point to ongoing excavation and salvage programs that followed prescribed protocols, the staff stated.

A Native American monitor told the commission last month that developer Hearthside Homes had failed to properly handle "more than 6,000 bags of unsorted material" from the Bolsa Chica Wetlands area.

Ten boxes of human remains also had allegedly not been reported to the coroner's office as required by state law, monitor Anthony Morales said.

Raymond J. Pacini, chief executive officer of California Coastal Communities, the parent company of Hearthside Homes, said all necessary procedures in handling cultural resources were followed.

Commission staff listed among the discoveries at the sites 83human remains that need to be reburied and 83 prehistoric features that were uncovered with the burials. More than 100,000artifacts have been collected, including 5,839items found during grading.

No details of the discoveries were withheld by the applicant's archaeologist, the commission staff concluded.


Note: The Commission voted unanimously to reject the revocation of the permit on November 13, 2008


Reprinted as an historical reference document under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law.