06 July 2014

Madrona Lawsuit Filed

A few days ago, Hills for Everyone, which has actively campaigned against the Madrona housing project, approved a month ago by the Brea City Council, proposing 152 homes on 367 acres in Carbon Canyon from Olinda Village east to the Orange/San Bernardino counties line, and Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks, a volunteer support group for county recreational facilities, filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court challenging the council's decision.

A press release announcing the suit quoted former Brea council member and mayor Bev Perry, who is also secretary/treasurer of Hills for Everyone, as observing that, "we had four City Council members sell out the people they were elected to represent, and they threw out Brea's long-standing values of good planning and hillside protection."  Noting the prolonged severe drought that has wracked the region, Perry criticized the council decision "to approve a project that uses five times the amount of drinking water of an average Brea household in order to permanently irrigate huge fire fuel modification zones."

Specifically, the suit alleges that the approved Madrona project violates "state planning laws mandating consistency between general and specific plans and the California Environmental Quality Act for failing to disclose the project's true impacts on traffic and environment in the EIR."

Seeking donations for their cause, Hills for Everyone has already received some $20,000 in the last few weeks and the organization is hosting an upcoming fundraiser.

The Wine and Cheese Fundraiser to fight Madrona is being held Saturday, 19 July from 4 to 6 p.m. at the home of Duane and Luz Thompson in Olinda Village.  A silent auction is being offered as part of the festivities, which cost $30 per person or $50 for a pair, with the at-the-door price $10 higher.  For more information, including advance ticket information, please click here for the StopMadrona.org Web site and direct links to the event.

It will be interesting to see what the lawsuit will entail and what it can do to bring attention to some of the irregularities involved in the decision-making process, especially some last-minute changes and invitations to the applicants to present additional information without prior notification to the appellants and changes to required documents (such as the approved tract map and amendments to the Environmental Impact Report.)

Stay tuned here for more!

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