Conservation Update, 2014 Jul | Madrona, Saddle Crest, Banning Ranch, Bolsa Chica, Rio Santiago

CHINO-PUENTE HILLS:In early June, the Brea City Council voted 4-1 to approve the long-contentious 162-unit Madrona (aka Canyon Crest) project. Background and

Hills For Everyone, which has campaigned for decades to preserve open space in the Chino-Puente Hills, is now fundraising to fight this decision in court.

ACTION NOW!:  Go to donate directly to the litigation fund.
Also HFR is hosting a Wine and Cheese Event with a silent auction on Saturday, July 19th, to fundraise. Tickets are on sale now: $30 per person or $50 for two, both $10 more at the door. Buy tickets in advance at

SADDLE CREST:The lawsuit, in which CNPS/OCCNPS is a co-defendant with four other enviro groups, continues to wind its way through the legal process of briefs, motions to strike, opposition to motions. It is expected that the Court of Appeals will deal with all these when it considers the merits of our case–which maybe will be in another 2-3 months. In the meantime, fundraising to cover our side’s legal costs continues.

ACTION NOW!:  Go to to donate–be sure to indicate the Saddle Crest litigation fund. A generous supporter will match donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $911.00.

BANNING RANCH:Coastal Commissioners, staff and public toured Banning Ranch on June 11. This was a chance for Banning Ranch Conservancy supporters to actually get onto Banning Ranch and see what the Conservancy has been working so hard, so long, to save. An audio recording of the entire tour is to be posted on the Coastal Commission website,, as is the pre-tour briefing. Version 9 (or higher) Windows Media Player is required.

BOLSA CHICA:GOOD NEWS!! The Ridge development proposed to put 22 houses on an archaeological site that was a native village and sacred site for 9000 years. BUT—at the June 12 Coastal Commission hearing, the City of Huntington Beach withdrew its application for the Ridge! This means that landowner Signal Landmark must start again at the city level if they still wish to pursue development. The Bolsa Chica Land Trust spearheaded the long, strong campaign for preservation of this precious open space—to keep the Sacred Cogged Stone site a place for us all, instead of yet another bunch of houses. The Land Trust continues the campaign–there is much more to be done before the site is truly preserved. For info and to help:

RIO SANTIAGO: GOOD NEWS!!On June 10 the Orange City Council voted to uphold its Planning Commission’s denial of the 395-unit Rio Santiago project. Impacts from development could not be properly mitigated; the site is in a flood plain and next to a landfill that is prone to natural hazards like dam inundation, methane gas, and liquefaction. The Orange Park Association was the leader in this effort.

                                        —Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair

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