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parks and open space in the news - 2012

Activists Abuse Environmental Laws 11-15-12
OC Weekly - The author contends anti-property rights and anti-growth factions are using the California Environmental Quality Act to prevent the development of 65 homes along Santiago Canyon Road.

Developing Trabuco Breaks Public Trust 11-14-12
Voice of OC - October 2, 2012 will go down in history as the day the Board of Supervisors turned their back on the public and approved massive changes to the Foothill Trabuco Specific Plan and Orange County General Plan says Saddleback Canyons Conservancy co-founder Gloria Sefton.

New Stormwater Runoff Rules Could Cost Cities Billions 11-09-12
Los Angeles Times - Southern California continues to be plagued with stormwater runoff which prompts beach closures and fish-eating bans. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board set limits on 33 different pollutants.

Lawsuit Filed on Saddle Crest Project 11-07-12
OC Register - Environmental groups sue the County over its unanimous decision to approve the 65-unit Saddle Crest project along Santiago Canyon Road. Concerns include: changes to the Foothill Trabuco Specific Plan and County General Plan, increased traffic, degraded wildlife movement corridors and more.

Recall Story Misstated Banning Ranch Facts 10-23-12
Daily Pilot - Sandra Genis provides a response to an earlier article. The Environmental Impact Report did not stipulate any cap on the compensation to be paid to the City of Costa Mesa for the traffic impacts.

Turning Forests into Carbon Banks 10-22-12
Governing: The States and Localities - Government agencies and landowners are stepping up their game by preserving land and selling carbon credits. This effort is expected to increase as California's cap-and-trade program begins in January.

Conservancy Sues Newport Beach Over Banning Ranch Development 09-05-12
OC Register - The Banning Ranch Conservancy has filed a lawsuit against the City of Newport Beach for its approval of the Banning Ranch development. Activists site the development is inconsistent with the City's General Plan and violations with the California Environmental Quality Action exist.

Conservancy Files Lawsuit Against Banning Ranch Approval 09-04-12
Daily Pilot - The Banning Ranch Conservancy has filed a lawsuit against the City of Newport Beach for its approval of the environmental impact report for the Newport Banning Ranch development. The Conservancy cites the proposal violates the General Plan and that the environmental review is inadequate.

On Rural Wildcat Canyon Road, Fears of Uncaged Development 09-04-12
Los Angeles Times - Residents of Silverado Canyon realize the Planning Commission may make two decisions soon that can change the character of the community: Holtz Ranch and Saddle Crest.

Monks Make Case for New Monastery 08-22-12
O.C. Register - The Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey have plans to develop the prized Holtz Ranch in Silverado Canyon. It is likely the Board of Supervisors will decide the fate of this project in Fall 2012.

Billions Evaporate from Measure M2 Tax Take 08-20-12
O.C. Register - Projections when Measure M2 passed were that the measure would bring in over $24 billion dollars. With the downturn in the economy projections are now just over $15 billion.

28 Miles of Bike Lanes and Trails Planned for Orange County 08-17-12
O.C. Register - More than $9 million in federal funding will create 28 new miles of bike lanes with signage and lighting in Orange County. The Orange County Tranportation Authority hopes these new lanes will help folks get from their starting point to their final destination without interruption.

Developer: Coastal Commission Not Obeying Court Orders 08-15-12
Huntington Beach Independent - The developer of the Shea Homes property near Bolsa Chica contends the Coastal Commission has not followed through with court orders to hold another public meeting and re-vote. The meeting has been held, but not the re-vote. The Bolsa Chica Land Trust, opposed to the propose, portends the developer has illegally graded the site and filled in wetlands.

Commentary: $4.4 Million is Not Enough to Cover Banning Ranch Impacts 08-14-12
Daily Pilot - Concerns are raised over the funds Costa Mesa is to receive from the Banning Ranch developers. The article purports the $4.4 million is not enough to cover the impacts to streets that will be generated from the development.

Fair Attendance Declines a Bit 08-13-12
Daily Pilot - The Orange County Fair saw roughly 1.3 million visitors this year--a slight dip from last year. Fair representatives state the numbers were as they expected and the scorching heat may have played a role in the attendance levels.

Coastal Commission Approves Sunset Ridge Park 08-09-12
Daily Pilot - Design changes swayed enough Coastal Commissioners that the City of Newport Beach's 14 acre Sunset Ridge Park has been approved.

Stick to the Rules on Canyon Developments 08-07-12
Voice of OC - The Orange County Planning Commission voted to approve, 4-1, the Saddle Crest development in the bucolic Santiago Canyon. WIth this approval, changes to the Orange County General Plan have been approved with unstudied implications to other areas of the County.

Commentary: Politics Aside, Banning Ranch Agreement is Good for Costa Mesa 08-04-12
Daily Pilot - Stating new constructions jobs and a boost to the economy, Costa Mesa should be pleased to receive the settlement from the developers of the Newport Banning Ranch site. The City Council will re-hear the traffic pact.

Conservancy Remains Optimistic In Open-Space Effort 07-24-12
Daily Pilot - Though the City of Newport Beach approved the development of Banning Ranch, local efforts to secure the land as open space continue. The Banning Ranch Conservancy announces an anonymous donor has agreed to donate $5 million toward the purchase price.

Newport Beach Council OKs Banning Ranch Project 07-24-12
O.C. Register - On a 6-0 vote, the City Council of Newport Beach approved the coastal development of Banning Ranch. The 401 acre site is slated for 1375 homes and a commercial development.

Hidden California State Park Funds Spark Outrage 07-21-12
Sacramento Bee - The Department of Parks and Recreation's Director Ruth Coleman resigned and the second-in-command was fired when $54 million of funds was found in the parks budget.

Commentary: Council Sold Costa Mesa Short on Banning Ranch Project 07-20-12
Daily Pilot - Sandy Genis writes that the settlement between Costa Mesa and the owners of the Banning Ranch land isn't enough. Costa Mesa indicated the costs to fix the roads once the development was in the range of $8 - $10 million and the settlement was for $4.4 million.

Pelican Crisis Worsens; H.B. Center Crowded 07-20-12
O.C. Register - Two hundred pelicans have been brought to the Huntington Beach Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center for undernourishment since July 1st. It is thought these young pelicans are having trouble finding food.

City to Get $4.4 Million if Banning Ranch is Completed 07-18-12
Daily Pilot - Costa Mesa will get millions to offset traffic impacts if Newport Beach approves the development proposal at Banning Ranch. Costa Mesa has no control over the development approvals but this contract would prohibit the city from opposing the project or its permits.

Captured Mountain Lion Will Be Relocated 07-17-12
O.C. Register - A mountain lion was captured in Whiting Ranch Regional Park. It had been seen for nearly a week along park trails and has been described as more passive than aggressive. It is unclear at this time what the fate of this cougar will be.

Why is the FBI Shooting Down a Wildlife Corridor? 07-16-12
Voice of OC - The Federal Aviation Administration transfered a 900 acre nature preserve to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for use as a tactical training facility. The property has been part of a regional wildlife corridor since 1996.

Federal Funds Ensure State Park Won't Close 07-14-12
Chino Hills Champion - Acquisitions for Chino Hills State Park using federal Land and Water Conservation Funds ensure this state park won't close. If the state tried to close it the federal government would sue over breach of contract.

Monks and Canyon Dwellers Go Mano a Mano in Silverado Canyon 06-28-12
OC Weekly - The Norbertine Fathers of Orange County have proposed a large development for Holtz Ranch and conservation groups believe the site should be preserved as habitat land.

Spike in Trail Rage Prompts Etiquette Reminders 06-25-12
O.C. Register - Rude trail behaviors are on the rise and have prompted a reminder to outdoor enthusiasts to be kind and follow the rules.

FBI Hunts for Wildlife Habitat 06-17-12
Laguna Beach Independent - Conservation groups are concerned about the impacts of the FBI's expansion of a shooting range on land that the federal government said would be preserved as habitat lands.

O.C.'s Great Park At Risk After $1.4 Billion in Tax Money is Lost 05-30-12
Los Angeles Times - State officials rule $1.4 billion in funding for the Great Park couldn't be spent on the Park. Now the City of Irvine is scrambling for funding.

Don't Let Developers Reshape Canyons 05-17-12
Voice of OC - Though two properties were sold for conservation, Rutter now has focused all its development efforts on Saddle Crest.

A Bold Plan for Sustainable California Communities 05-01-12
The Wall Street Journal - Senator Darrell Steinberg authors an article on his important bill that limits sprawl and reduces our vehicle trips through legislation known as SB 375.

Old Battles Still Rage On OC Fair Board 04-30-12
Voice of OC - Underlying all the issues at the OC Fairgrounds seems to be the attempt to privatize the iconic 163 acre site.

Fair Board Expands Committee Members 04-26-12
Daily Pilot - The Orange County Fairground Board has accepted a scope of work to expand the committee roster to include five additional members with no special interest in the property.

Attorney General Drops Fair Board as Client 04-23-12
Daily Pilot - The state Attorney General has rescinded on its agreement to represent the fair board (again) because the board has reopened the history to privatize the fairgrounds.

Pringle's PR Firm Part of the Fight Against Water Clean Up Plan 04-16-12
Voice of OC - Former Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle is working for Northrop Grumman, one of several entities being sued by the Orange County Water District for contaminating the groundwater. Pringle's PR firm is working to stop the clean up efforts in Anaheim and Fullerton.

Windfall of Cash Could Hit State Treasury From Global Warming Program 04-07-12
San Jose Mercury News - The State's new cap and trade program could bring in $1-$3 billion in 2014 and up to $14 billion by 2015. Everyone from environmentalists to the high speed rail authority are eyeing the money.

What is the Future of the Tustin Hangers?
PBS SoCal - Local and regional government are working to convert the historic Tustin Hangers into part of the Orange County Park system. The 84 acre site will be developed into a regional facility, while the hangers will become an event center.

NRC Shuts Down San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Indefinitely 03-28-12
Voice of OC - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will not let Edison bring the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant back online until it solves the excessive wear on tubing.

Regulators: Desalination Plant Builders Not Providing Key Info 03-28-12
Voice of OC - The California Coastal Commission is requesting complete information about the plans to build a desalination plant. The project proponents have not filed cost estimates or seismic risk information on the plant.

Penny Foolish on California's Parks 03-27-12
Los Angeles Times - This Editorial covers the state's decision to close 70 state parks in July. Open space, just like other public benefits, are fair game for budget cuts, but will the state actually save money?

Stop-Sign Cameras Ticket 70,000 in Los Angeles Parks 03-15-12
Los Angeles Times - Visiting the Santa Monica Mountains can be a great experience, unless your caught running or creeping through a stop sign. Seven cameras have brought in over $2.4 million in traffic fines for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

Housing Location Determines Wildfire Risk March 2012
PlosOne - A report was just released focusing on the absence of land use planning from the wildfire risk equation. Research shows location, location, location is an important tool to save homes.

Governor Appoints Two New Members To the OC Fair Board 02-22-12
Voice of OC - The Governor appointed Ashleigh Aitken and Stan Tkaczyk to the OC Fair Board. Both seem to have a willingness to learn and understand the issues at stake.

Fair Board Makes Activists Wait 820 Days For Copies of Public Records 03-12-12
Voice of OC - FHBP Board member and activist Theresa Sears was forced to wait 820 days to receive documents requested through the Public Records Act.

Natural Perspectives: The Return of Vanished Species 01-04-12
Huntington Beach Independent - California has seen a decline in its many beloved species such as the sea otter, the tule elk, wolves and more. Theses species and others are finally coming back from their precarious status due to reintroduction, new protective laws and time.

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