of ‘Desert Rose' development seek High Court review
Whitlock, Decenber 10, 2015
looking for further environmental review
for the “Desert Rose” development
in Olivenhain recently appealed the case
to the California Supreme Court.
The California Court of Appeal in October stated the
developer behind the 16-home development isn't required
to complete an environmental impact report, reversing
an earlier trial court's decision.
“The Court of Appeal held that there was no substantial
evidence of a fair argument of a significant environmental
impact, despite the written and oral testimony of experts
and area residents,” wrote attorney Everett Delano in
a petition to the California Supreme Court.
Delano is representing Save Desert Rose, a group of
residents arguing that an environmental impact report
would shine a light on the project's negative traffic
and wetland impacts.
petition goes on to say that the Court
of Appeal's opinion conflicts with a “low threshold” for
requiring an environmental impact report, adding High
Court review is necessary to decide important
questions related to the California Environmental
Marco Gonzalez, an attorney for project developer Woodridge
Farms Estates, said in November he doubted that High
Court review would prove to be a viable option. Gonzalez
at that time also stated the project would result in
environmental enhancements and affordable housing, and
thus an environmental impact report is not necessary.
Bill Butler with Save Desert Rose said in an email
that the Building Industry Association of San Diego
and other groups have petitioned the Court of Appeal
to publish its ruling.
“Were this to happen, it would have statewide ramifications
and most likely, make it more difficult for cities and
citizen groups to require environmental impact reports
from builders and developers,” Butler wrote.
Butler also stated that Delano's California Supreme
Court petition strengthens the case that the city should
have required an environmental impact report. After
the Encinitas City Council approved the development
in 2013, the organization filed a lawsuit.