Mayor Bob Simmons visited Rossmoor Friday to meet with the Save Our Stanley Club, which is organizing efforts to oppose Rossmoor's plans to build a new event center.
The event center and a new parking lot will impinge on the historic Stanley Dollar Clubhouse and nearby oaks, cause traffic and safety issues, the SOS activists say.
SOS activists want the city to reopen the permit process. They believe event center plans submitted by Rossmoor this year do not match those submitted when the event center was approved by city commissions in 2009.
"Under our system of government, the mayor can (and should, in my view), listen to all views," Simmons wrote in an email to Patch after the meeting. "The mayor does not have the power to take away rights that have previously been granted. Rights have been granted here, and taking away rights is just not how we, as a country or as a people, do things."
Rossmoor resident Jack Archer wrote in an email that he wasn't impressed with Simmons' arguments: "It seems perfectly clear to me that any politician worth her or his salt might easily say to an attorney giving advice one has reason to be a bit skeptical about -- go back and think again, and by the way, here are a few facts I don't think you've adequately considered."
Archer said, "I fear, however, that a legal challenge is just over the horizon. SOS will need funds for it, so I encourage all who are in a position to give to do so."
SOS activists are also pursuing a process to attain a listing on the national historic register for the Stanley Dollar Clubhouse and its grounds — a designation that might curtail plans for the adjacent event center.
Simmons credited the SOS Club for "the professional and civil manner in which Friday's meeting was conducted." He expressed his appreciation to those who spoke at the meeting. "Almost to a person, the speeches were done with dignity and respect, yet they fully communicated the passion of those who oppose the Event Center."
In March, the Golden Rain Foundation Board of Directors, the governing body for Rossmoor, voted 7-2 to go forward with 10+ million dollar plans for an event center.