Congratulations to Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks for 20 years of strong, persistent, successful environmental activism! Here’s to the next 20 years and beyond!
COAST TO CLEVELAND WILDLIFE CORRIDOR
The final EIR is expected soon for the proposed dense residential development—970 units in multi-story buildings—on a County-owned 44-acre parcel at the corner of Alton Parkway and Irvine Blvd. The project site straddles an 11-acre wildlife corridor segment that the County previously built as mitigation for realigning Borrego Creek and widening Alton Parkway. The corridor segment was intended to link the mostly still-natural 900-acre FBI property, to the north, with the Great Park corridor segment and ultimately to the 22,000 aces of Coastal Greenbelt parks to the south. The proposed dense development on both sides of the corridor will bring too much noise, light, and intrusion of people and their pets. Wild animals and birds will be less likely to use the segment, defeating the purpose of the overall corridor. Background on the corridor: lagunagreenbelt.org/coast-to-cleveland-wildlife-corridor/. Project plans: ocgov.com/gov/ceo/currentplans/current_plans/westalton.asp.
The Bolsa Chica Land Trust has committed to raising $1 million to buy the adjoining Ridge and Goodell properties. So far they have raised $600,000. The properties, totaling 11 acres, are a unique archaeological site as well as a still-natural addition to the 1200 acres that have already been saved as Bolsa Chica Reserve.
ACTION NOW: Go to bclandtrust.org to help buy the properties.
SANTA ANA MTS: THE PRESERVE AT SAN JUAN IS BAAAACK!
In 2008, a project for high-end luxury estates was proposed for a 580-acre inholding just off Ortega Highway, just south of El Cariso village. That proposal fizzled, but was recently revived, slightly scaled back but otherwise little modified; see plans: ocpublicworks.com/ds/planning/projects/the_preserve_at_san_juan.
OCCNPS concurs with comment letters by Sea and Sage Audubon, Endangered Habitats League and Cal Fish and Wildlife: this project is totally inappropriate for this remote site. Its many problems start with being surrounded by dense chaparral on National Forest land and accessed only by narrow, winding, already-overburdened Ortega Highway (SR 74). The plan’s faults are fundamental and unmitigable. The site is entirely within Orange County, so project approval rests with OC Public Works and ultimately the OC Board of Supervisors. Will the plan be approved by the county? Stay tuned!
See Hills For Everyone‘s website, hillsforeveryone.org/category/breaking-news/, for the latest on threats posed to the hills’ open space and wildlife corridor by plans for a solar farm and water-storage dams.
—Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair