$3,000,000 paid to environmental groups to drop fight

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Crowdog
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$3,000,000 paid to environmental groups to drop fight

Post by Crowdog »

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Community and environmental groups have agreed to drop their fight against a toll-road construction project in exchange for a $3 million contribution from the developer to promote environmental preservation in San Diego County.

The settlement, approved on May 9 and announced Tuesday, will provide money to buy land that is historically and environmentally significant and to protect threatened and endangered species, said Kassie Siegel, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Legal and environmental challenges have delayed construction of state Route 125 in southern San Diego County for 15 years. The Center for Biological Diversity and four other groups filed a lawsuit in 2001 alleging the road would threaten at least 10 plants and small organisms.

In March, a federal judge ruled in favor of the defendants - the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

With the settlement, the environmental groups agreed not to pursue an appeal.

Road developer California Transportation Ventures plans to begin major construction in September. The project should be completed in less than four years.

Nearly half of the settlement money will come from the city of Chula Vista, which contends the road will alleviate traffic in new housing developments. The money comes from a fund paid by developers for building permits.

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Post by Crowdog »

State Route 125 foes make a deal to end long fight

By Amy Oakes
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

May 14, 2003

An alliance of community and environmental groups has agreed to drop its fight against construction of state Route 125.

In return, the developer of the road, which runs from Spring Valley to state Route 905, will provide $3.07 million for environmental preservation throughout the county. The settlement was approved May 9 and announced yesterday.

"It's an excellent settlement that provides certainty of significant environmental and community benefits," said Kassie Siegel, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

The center, along with four other groups, filed a federal lawsuit in October 2001 against the $400 million project, alleging the road would violate the federal Endangered Species Act and threaten at least 10 plants and small organisms with extinction.

In March, a federal judge ruled in favor of the defendants – the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Siegel said some of the opposing groups, which included San Diego Audubon Society, Preserve South Bay, the Sierra Club and Preserve Wild Santee, had planned to appeal the decision. With the settlement, they have given up their right to appeal.

Siegel said the money will be used to buy land of historical and environmental importance and to protect threatened and endangered species, such as the Quino checkerspot butterfly, California gnatcatcher and rare vernal pool plant species.

The project has been delayed by legal and environmental battles for the past 15 years.

"We don't anticipate anything else being a real issue for us," said Joe Cazares, vice president of construction for California Transportation Ventures, the developer of State Route 125.

CTV plans to begin major construction in September – after the breeding season for sensitive species on nearby lands. Construction should be complete in 41 months.

The road, which will be a toll road, has been planned for many years. It is seen as a vital link between state Route 54 and state Route 905.

Despite the opposition's efforts, CTV received its final federal approval two years ago. The company got financing for the project last fall when an Australian firm, Macquaries Infrastructure Group, acquired a major stake in CTV. The Sydney-based firm owns toll roads worldwide, but this would be its first in the United States.

The city of Chula Vista has long supported State Route 125, which is expected to alleviate traffic in its new communities east of Interstate 805. Yesterday, the City Council was scheduled to give CTV $1.4 million toward the settlement. The money comes from a fund paid by developers for building permits. Cazares said the rest of the settlement will be paid by the developer.

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Post by L&L Corvairs »

And here I always believed that black mail was illegal....

SHAME on me SHAME, SHAME...... :shock: :shock:


PS...Crowdog...gotta give ya credit for posting good stuff. Keep up the good work. :)
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Re: $3,000,000 paid to environmental groups to drop fight

Post by OVERTIME »

The money comes from a fund paid by developers for building permits.
And guess who they pass that along to?

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Post by Radrat »

This is so f'n outrageous.. Now tell me this isn't about money..
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Post by quad1100 »

See, no matter who you are and what your cause they can always be bought!

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Post by robio »

The fact that the environmental groups will forget their principals for funding is hard proof that it is about money. It also shows that their stand against the highway (which pretty much travels through develop areas anyway) was purely political.

This just adds to the drain in their credibility.
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Post by ejunior2 »

I guess as long as they get $$$$ the freeway isn't really all that big a thread to those 10 endangered plants/animals after all. It's plain where the CBT's heart really is.

Hope you're proud of 'em danny boy. :evil:
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Post by porboy »

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

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Post by FunRunner »

Siegel said some of the opposing groups, which included San Diego Audubon Society, Preserve South Bay, the Sierra Club and Preserve Wild Santee, had planned to appeal the decision. With the settlement, they have given up their right to appeal.
:roll: Gee, isn't that a total surprise? these groups are so totally phony; of course their program is all about money; it's time to make them ante up for their Court costs.

Janine

Post by Janine »

Money the root of all EVIL!!!!! :twisted:

Enviromental Groups!!!!! EVIL!!!! :twisted:


Just kills me. Sounds like the CBD and there payoffs. Boy these mental groups are good.

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Post by OBSESSED »

Janine wrote:Money the root of all EVIL!!!!! :twisted:

Enviromental Groups!!!!! EVIL!!!! :twisted:


Just kills me. Sounds like the CBD and there payoffs. Boy these mental groups are good.

Janine
The LOVE of Money is the Root of all EVIL!

The Environomentalist Wacks at the CBD Love the Green

The Love of the Green stuff makes you EVIL

They are.

It is just so obvious!

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Post by DesertDogs »

Ahhhhh, you are all right on with your comments...except we forgot one thing..that 3,000,000..$3 million, will be used against us!!!

What the frick were they thinking?

This is why we keep getting beat up....we need to generate that kind of money to fight.....
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Post by Voice »

The money comes from a fund paid by developers for building permits.
The cost of building permits in San Diego is one of the most often mentioned reasons for the high cost of homes and businesses in San Diego.
For example: A couple of years ago when San Diegans were complaining that their cost for gas was more expensive then the cost of gas in Los Angeles the gasoline station owners mentioned the fact that there is not as much compititon in San Diego because there are not as many gas stations. Why aren't there as many gas stations? According to the current station owners, "Because it costs too much for the building permits!"

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"May God Almighty ... bless the leaders of societies with the courage to learn from the mistakes of predecessors,"
"I hope that you will be able to take fullest advantage of the opportunity to serve and leave behind a positive legacy."

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