The State Supreme Court will decide sometime in the next 60 days whether it will accept the case.

From the Hi-Desert Star


Friday, August 26, 2016 6:47 pm

By Leah Sanson, Hi-Desert Star

JOSHUA TREE — The Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance announced Monday it will try to take its battle against Dollar General to the California state Supreme Court.

The Fourth Appellate District ruled in June that the Alliance did not provide enough information for a fair argument to consider the negative economic impact of the store, proposed at Twentynine Palms Highway and Sunburst Street.

Local business owners have decided to petition the state Supreme Court to hear their case.

“The county should evaluate the potential of the economic impact,” said Celeste Doyle, a member of the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance.

Members of the Joshua Tree community have been fighting against the construction of this Dollar General for over four years now. They say the store would cause blight and damage the downtown area’s unique character. A corporate spokesman contacted this week argued the store would be good for Joshua Tree.

“We are very committed to providing things the community members need at low prices,” Dan MacDonald, senior director of corporate communications, said.

In its lawsuit against San Bernardino County and store developer Dynamic Development, the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance received a favorable ruling from the Superior Court of San Bernardino County, but Dynamic Development filed the appeal to the Fourth Appellate District, which ruled against the alliance.

“We just wanted the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to acknowledge and consider the effects of the project,” said Doyle.

Now, the Alliance has filed to the state Supreme Court. The California Supreme Court’s process is discretionary, so it could choose not to handle the case.

If the California Supreme Court accepts the petition, the downtown alliance will file a more in-depth legal brief to the court.

“We are asking the California Supreme Court to resolve the decision based on all of the previous information,” Doyle said.

“The county approval is still in limbo,” she added.

MacDonald said the location of the proposed Dollar General meets all of the company’s criteria for a successful store. The demographic is favorable, there is no real competitor and there is heavy traffic flow on Twentynine Palms Highway, where the store is proposed.

“We are very confident it will do quite well,” said MacDonald.“We plan on operating this store for a very long time in the community.”

He said the community may have some misconceptions about the store and its values but, assures the community that the company aims at providing affordable prices for common products.

Doyle said the store will not benefit the community of Joshua Tree at all. She said it will just take profit from the community with no net benefit.

MacDonald said. But, he estimated the new store will be up and running three to four months after the project has been approved.

Press release from the JTDBA…

Joshua Tree vs. Dollar General

On Monday, August 22, 2016, the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance (JTDBA) filed a Petition for Review with the California State Supreme Court, requesting that the Court overturn the adverse ruling recently issued by the 4th Appellate District in JTDBA vs. San Bernardino County/Dynamic Development, (a.k.a., Joshua Tree vs. Dollar General) (Case No. E062479).

The Joshua Tree Community has steadfastly opposed the proposed Dollar General Store in our small, commercial, central district as inconsistent with, and undermining the County-adopted Joshua Tree Community and Economic Plans. The project would cause negative economic, traffic and neighborhood impacts the County has refused to address, as required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the County’s own Conditional Use Permit standards.

The JTDBA successfully challenged the County’s approval of this project, winning an order from the Superior Court of San Bernardino County that required the County to evaluate the likely, negative impacts it would have on the economic stability and future of Joshua Tree.

In essence, Joshua Tree is a small, rural community and the primary, most-used entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. The central, commercial district straddles the State Highway that runs through the center of town (Highway 62), is mostly only one block deep on either side of that road and not even two miles end to end. The restaurants, grocery and retail stores, art galleries, hotels and other shops are virtually all small, independent and locally owned and operated businesses. These businesses re-invest in their shops and the community, building the local economy as they draw more and more tourists and locals to experience our unique, friendly, small-town atmosphere. The presence of a corporate predator like Dollar General, with its misfit, cookie-cutter building crammed onto a lot too small to accommodate it at an intersection already overburdened and in the midst of the most densely-populated neighborhood in Joshua Tree would not only mar this district, but also undermine, even sabotage, what the Community has made of itself: A space and a place that is different from everyplace else, that embraces and reveres its natural environment, and welcomes and introduces visitors from all over the world to the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park.

Just before the County Board of Supervisors voted to approve this thing, Staff told the Board that this project would be the tipping point for Joshua Tree . . . it would be the “camel’s nose under the tent” that leads to more corporate chains moving in, displacing and replacing locally-owned businesses, taking their profits out of the community instead of re-investing, and making Joshua Tree just another corporate, commercial strip: Generica.

The Appellate Court reversed the lower court’s order, ruling that members of the Community had not provided adequate evidence to require that the County address the negative economic impacts the project would have. The Appellate Court ruling is contrary to CEQA standards, which require only that the Community make a “fair argument” that the project will lead to the identified harmful impacts, thus requiring the County to study and evaluate that likelihood. JTDBA has filed its Petition with the State Supreme Court requesting that it instruct the Appellate Court to follow the law and re-instate the lower court’s ruling.

Posted in blight, Dollar General, Dynamic Development, Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


From http://jt105-alliance.freeforums.net/

ALTAMIRA (development around Friendly Hills) UPDATE:
Meeting on September 1, 2016
6:30 TO 8:30pm at the Joshua Tree Community Center.
The Appeal to the Board of Supervisors is on September 13.
The agenda and timing is TBD.
We’ve created a group forum for petition signers and/or anyone interested in opposing Altamira to try to gather support/attendance for the Sept 13th BOS hearing. The URL is http://jt105-alliance.freeforums.net/

More on Alta Mira

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


Big news!

In mid-June, the pro-Dollar General side won an Appellate Court ruling against the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance [JTDBA], a grassroots group of Joshua Tree residents, friends and neighbors who have been fighting Dollar General’s plan to locate a store here for over four years.

This morning, the JTDBA’s Celeste Doyle reported that this Monday, Aug. 22, JTDBA is going to appeal that decision to California’s State Supreme Court:

Our attorney advises that a Petition for [California State] Supreme Court Review will be filed Monday.
We will post the Petition when we get a copy.

Posted in blight, Dollar General, Dynamic Development, Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance, news | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Three parties appealed to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to overturn the Planning Commission’s approval to build a 115-acre industrial solar complex on the grounds of the old Roy Williams Airport on Sunfair in Joshua Tree. (The project is within view of the nearby National Park.)

All three appeals failed today, 4-1. Only Supervisor James Ramos, whose district includes Joshua Tree, voted against the project.

What happens next? A lawsuit or three to stop the project from going forward seems likely.

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


Yesterday the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors held a hearing regarding three appeals against the Planning Commission’s approval of NextEra’s proposal to build a 115-acre industrial solar complex on the old Roy Williams Airport facility on Sunfair in Joshua Tree.

Local activist Peggy Kennedy reports on what happened:

After public comment finished three [of the five] supervisors remained. [Supervisor/Chairman James] Ramos made a motion to continue until Aug 16 at 1pm. Public Comment is closed. JTSolar LLC (NextEra) will have 5 minutes and the three appellants will have 3 minutes each on Aug. 16. They will vote on the motion to deny the appeals or possibly another motion will be presented. Not sure about the latter.

You can view yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, which includes the hearing, starting here: http://sanbernardino.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=13&clip_id=3887

More info on this issue is available from the local activists at solarjt.com

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


From Solar Joshua Tree

The appeal date of August 9 is approaching fast, and we are asking members and friends of the community to write a letter of opposition to the NextEra solar project in Joshua Tree. We need to show the County Board of Supervisors how much we do not want this project. Thank you in advance for your help!


Posted in NextEra Energy Resources, Roy Williams Airport | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments


In mid-June, the pro-Dollar General side won an Appellate Court ruling against the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance, a grassroots group of Joshua Tree residents, friends and neighbors who have been fighting Dollar General’s plan to locate a store here for years. At that point there seemed to be a very tight deadline for the JTDBA to file an appeal of this decision to California’s Supreme Court.

Celeste Doyle from the JTDBA has now posted this update on Facebook:

The Appellate Court recently ruled that its decision in this case will be published. This extends our deadline for filing for Supreme Court review. (I do not have the new deadline). Our attorney is aware that there is a lot of support for filing. We are still consulting. Apologies I don’t have more information.

Posted in Dollar General, Dynamic Development | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment