I want to extend my thanks to all who stand with us in our mission to save Banning Ranch as open space and I am especially grateful to those who made our Pledge Drive such a success with their generous contributions. The funds will allow us to continue our legal challenge against the Newport Beach City Council's certification of the Banning Ranch Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
The lawsuit against the City has progressed to the Administrative Record phase. The Administrative Record consists of all documents relevant to the Banning Ranch EIR and is being prepared for the court by the City of Newport Beach. Updates on the lawsuit will be provided when available.
Newport Banning Ranch's Coastal Development Permit (CDP) application deemed incomplete In February, Newport Banning Ranch, LLC (NBR), the developer, completed and submitted their CDP application. On March 1st, the Coastal Commission staff responded to the submittal with a "Notice of Incomplete Application". Per the staff letter, a host of issues had not been satisfactorily addressed and the application failed to meet even the minimum requirements of "an adequate description of the proposed development, project site and vicinity sufficient to determine whether the project complies with all relevant policies of the Coastal Act." The entire Notice of Incomplete Application is available here. Looking for Wordpress expertise If you have expertise in web site management and knowledge of Wordpress, we could very much use your help for both temporary and ongoing projects! Please email Suzanne Forster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) CEQA is our State's strongest environmental law. Yet, over the decades, developers have become very savvy. Rather than redesigning their projects to protect the environment, developers hired high-paid attorneys and consultants to skillfully navigate around CEQA's legal requirements.
Sunset Ridge Park and the proposed Banning Ranch development are examples of this strategy. In both cases, undeniable evidence brought forth by local citizens clearly showed the harmful impacts these projects would have on the environment. However, consultants hired by advocates of both projects artfully dismissed and marginalized the community's legitimate concerns. The Newport Beach City Council approved both projects without changes.
Clearly, CEQA needs to be strengthened! Yet legislators from both parties are currently working in Sacramento to weaken CEQA. Using scare tactics and claiming that environmental laws kill jobs, their intention is to make it more difficult for citizens to challenge environmentally destructive projects. Please take every opportunity to create more public awareness about this issue and to let your elected representatives know that CEQA needs to be protected and strengthened. Thank you for keeping the Conservancy in your plans to donate or to volunteer. Your support continues to be essential to our success.
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