Rancho La Sierra Development in California Found Illegal; Judge Says Plans Violate Growth Measures
April 5, 2006
Nestled along the Santa Ana River 70 miles inland from Los Angeles, Riverside is home to a rapidly growing population that is turning up the pressure for new development. No stranger to these demands, residents have twice voted to protect their treasured open spaces by placing restrictions on housing development and density. Unfortunately, in February 2005 these protections were ignored as the city of Riverside approved a new 598-unit housing project known as Rancho La Sierra. In addition to violating density limits that cap the development at 162 houses, the proposed project also lies dangerously close to the Hidden Valley Wildlife Area, a 1,500 acre preserve that is the wintering ground for animals like the great blue heron. Joining with local residents, Friends of Riverside's Hills, and San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society, Sierra Club filed a lawsuit to stop this poorly planned development and to honor the smart planning steps taken by local citizens. In a recent court decision, a judge ruled that the Rancho La Sierra project is illegal because as planned it violates both Proposition R (passed in 1979) and Measure C (passed in 1987). The ruling should stop the massive project from moving forward until developers come up with a plan that follows all of the laws on the books.
Details and Documents:
Ruling slaps city for building-rights transfer
April 5, 2006, by Doug Haberman, in Press-Enterprise (free registration required)
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.