26 August 2014

Madrona Lawsuit's Two New Plaintiffs Announced!

A press release issued by Hills for Everyone, the main plaintiff in the July lawsuit filed with the Orange County Superior Court against the Madrona project, approved by the City of Brea's council in early June for 152 luxury houses on exposed hilltop terrain on the north side of Carbon Canyon, announces that there are two new additional plaintiffs (along with HFE and Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks, an Orange County support organization for the county department, joining the suit.

The public interest groups signing on to the suit are the Sierra Club and the California Native Plant Society.  Eric Johnson, a Brea resident and Chair of the Sierra Club's Puente Hills Task Force, commented that, "when dangerous land use decisions are made that will destroy natural lands, waste our precious drinking water, and put people at risk, those decisions must be challenged."

Celia Kutcher, who serves as the California Native Plant Society's Orange County chapter chair, expressed dismay over the loss of 1,400 oak and walnut trees and the habitat that exists with them by noting that, "we've found that pursuit of this lawsuit is necessary and proper in order to protect the legal rights of its [the Society's] members" which are tied to the organization's mission and goals.

This blog has often discussed the myriad problems raised by this terrible project, which was nearly fifteen years in the pipeline and only remained there because of an inadvisable legal agreement signed by a skittish city afraid of being sued by the developer.  In fact, the project wouldn't even get past the application stage under current codes.

Impacts of traffic on an already heavily-traveled Carbon Canyon Road, which cannot be widened; public safety concerns with a property that has burned four times in thirty years; massive grading; five times the water usage of an average Brea home at a time of increasing water scarcity; and the loss of rapidly-diminishing oak and walnut woodland habitat are the main concerns.

Though the matter now goes to the courts, there is much support interested citizens can make—mainly, by supporting the lawsuit with donations offered to Hills for Everyone.  For more information on the project and how to help fight it, log on here.

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