NEXT COURT DATE IN DOLLAR GENERAL BATTLE SET FOR JUNE 6, 2016 IN RIVERSIDE

From longtime local activist and Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance (JDTBA) member David Fick:

The Oral Arguments to the Dynamic Development (and San Bernardino County) vs JT DBA are Monday, June 6, 2016 8:30 AM at the Fourth District State Court of Appeals (Division 2) in Riverside.

Dynamic Development is the real estate developer for the Dollar General franchise for Joshua Tree. They are working with the County to overturn the JTDBA’s 2014 victory in “CEQA Court” (CEQA: California Environmental Quality Act), in which San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Donald R. Alvarez agreed with the JTDBA that the store could put the town’s economy at risk.

Judge Alvarez subsequently ordered the County to conduct an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to determine whether Joshua Tree business and property owners would suffer economic harm from the proposed 9,100 square foot formula retail chain store.

A series of opening briefs on Dynamic Development/SB County’s appeal were filed by each side with the three-judge Court of Appeals panel last year. Sometime after the oral arguments are heard in Riverside on June 6, the Court will issue a ruling.

Note: We’ve heard that “CEQA Court” rulings are rarely overturned in appeal, but we don’t have numbers on hand to support that claim.

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UPDATES COMING ON INDUSTRIAL SOLAR FIELD AND ALTA MIRA PROJECT APPEALS

Item “I” on this coming Monday’s (May 9) Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meeting:

Local citizens have filed appeals challenging two recent San Bernardino Planning Commission project approvals in Joshua Tree. The Alta Mira project calls for 248 houses on 115 acres between Alta Loma and Sunny Vista Drive in South Joshua Tree. The Joshua Tree Solar Farm would be located on the 110 acres of the former Roy Williams Airport in the Sunfair Community. Thomas Fjallstam will present for the JT Solar Farm and Janet Johnston for the Altamira project.

Details:

Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council
Regular Open Session Meeting
6:30 P.M. Monday May 9, 2016
Joshua Tree Community Center
6171 Sunburst Ave.
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Posted in Alta Mira, blight, Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Committee (MB MAC), NextEra Energy Resources, Roy Williams Airport | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

STOP INDUSTRIAL SOLAR SPRAWL IN JOSHUA TREE WILDLIFE CORRIDOR JUST OUTSIDE OF NATIONAL PARK

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 7.32.18 AM

This is a fundraiser to appeal the Planning Commission’s recent misguided approval of a proposed 115-acre industrial solar farm on Sunfair.

We are appealing the decision to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, where we have a much better chance of prevailing against the industrial solar creeps.

The appeal itself costs $1,331. Then there will be various legal fees, hiring a lawyer, etc. The money is being handled by responsible and respected members of the Joshua Tree community.

Let’s get this happening! These jerks want to build gated industrial solar fields across a wildlife corridor, less than two miles from the National Park’s border. Sick and stupid. We can win this!

Go here now and donate: https://www.gofundme.com/265567fg

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COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION OKAYS INDUSTRIAL SOLAR SPRAWL IN JOSHUA TREE, 4-1; DECISION WILL BE APPEALED TO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

As expected, we lost yesterday. Here’s how local radio station KCDZ 107.7 is reporting it…

COUNTY APPROVES JOSHUA TREE SOLAR FARM – April 22nd, 2016

For the second time in two weeks, the county planning commission made a controversial decision on land use that went against the wishes of Joshua Tree residents. Reporter Mike Lipsitz explains…

The County Planning Commission today approved the controversial plan by NextEra Energy to put an industrial scale solar plant at the site of the old Joshua Tree Airport. The 4 to 1 split decision gives the go ahead to the 100+ acre development, despite impassioned pleas by a number of area residents who oppose the plan. Commissioner Paul Smith, representing Morongo Basin, cast the lone opposing vote. Yesterday’s decision is the second time this month that County Planning has supported a project that flies in the face of the development standards put forth in the Joshua Tree Community Plan. This is the first large scale solar development in Morongo Basin to receive approval since the county adopted a 31-point Solar Ordinance in 2013. Unless an appeal is filed with the County Board of Supervisors in the next 30 days, yesterday’s decision will be binding.

An appeal to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on this stupid decision is in progress. More as we hear it.

Posted in blight, NextEra Energy Resources, Roy Williams Airport, solar | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

THURSDAY, APRIL 21: FREE BUS RIDE TO HEARING ON PROPOSAL TO BUILD ANOTHER GIANT INDUSTRIAL SOLAR FIELD IN JOSHUA TREE

Joshua Tree resident Mark Lundquist, who is Field Representative for Supervisor James Ramos, writes:

“I have a charter bus reserved for the April 21st Planning Commission meeting in San Bernardino. NextEra will be seeking approval for the Joshua Tree Solar project. This is an opportunity for up to 35 people to attend in person the Commission meeting and voice their opinion. If we get a decent response the bus will leave the Joshua Tree county government building parking lot at 6:15 that morning and travel straight to San Bernardino for the meeting. The meeting starts at 9am. The bus ride is free. People wanting to sign up can also call my office and reserve a seat. Please spread the word!!”

Contact:
Mark.Lundquist@bos.sbcounty.gov
760.366.1488

Posted in NextEra Energy Resources, solar | Tagged , | Leave a comment

JOSHUA TREE LOSES AS COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES ‘ALTA MIRA’ CONDO PROJECT, 4-1

From local radio station KCDZ 107.7

The [San Bernardino] County Planning Commission yesterday approved the controversial Alta Mira housing development planned adjacent to Friendly Hills Elementary School in Joshua Tree. The 4-to-1 split decision gives the go-ahead to the 248-unit gated community. Commissioner Paul Smith, representing the Morongo Basin, cast the lone opposing vote. He argued that the project violates the spirit and intention of the Joshua Tree Community Plan, that the traffic study conducted for the project was outdated, and that the tortoise studies for the project relied on tainted and outdated information. Unless an appeal is filed with the County Board of Supervisors in the next 30 days, that decision will be binding.

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PLANNING COMMISSION DELAYS VOTE ON ALTA MIRA GATED CONDO PROJECT

From local radio station KCDZ 107.7:

March 25, 2016: After a postponement last week due to a power outage, the County Planning Commission still didn’t make a decision yesterday about the controversial Alta Mira housing project. Reporter David Haldane was at the teleconferenced meeting, and files this report…

Eloquent. Angry. Passionate. Intense. Those are a few of the words describing some of the testimony at yesterday’s four-hour public hearing before the county Planning Commission. The one describing it all, though, is opposed. Opposed to a 248-unit housing development near Joshua Tree’s Friendly Hills Elementary School that many believe would ruin the neighborhood.

In the end, the commission postponed until April 7 its decision on the 105-acre Altamira project. Along the way, though, the testimony – mostly from an overflow crowd in Joshua Tree where the proceedings were televised interactively – raised some pointed concerns. Among them: that the project would adversely affect the environment, create major traffic problems and be inconsistent with the town.

Alexis Sonnenfeld, a 20-year resident, felt that he’d made his point.

“I think that they get that nobody up here is for this. And it certainly raises questions. So I feel that in that sense, we were effective.”

Posted in Alta Mira, blight, news | Tagged , , | Leave a comment