Friday, March 28, 2008 | I find it ironic that in your March 27th article, “New to Local Political Game, Bio and Tech Score Early Victory,” that biotech would argue the hazardous nature of its industry to stop residential growth onto industrial land. Six years ago, they were singing a different tune. In 2002, the city approved hundreds of thousands of square feet of biotech labs and manufacturing within feet of our homes and local elementary school in Torrey Hills. Then, they couldn’t wait to tell the local school district or us how incredibly safe it was to have this biotech complex in our community. I remember a community meeting where a panel of industry “experts” held forth for about an hour on how ridiculous our health and safety concerns were.
Because no other organization in this city would help us, we established our own, the Torrey Hills Community Coalition, to fight this project. After three and a half years, we won when a California Appeals Court ruled the project in violation of our community plan. While it would have been nice if biotech had come clean six years ago about the hazards inherent in the industry, it is something of a consolation that they are now, if only in their own self-interest.