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Stephen Goldfarb April 23, 2014 at 06:20 PM
When the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) was implemented in 1997, it was hailed asRead More&quo t;enlightened" public purpose legislation. That is because it allowed private owners to economically develop their property while setting aside land for conservation. Former Mayor Susan Golding, in her cover letter to the MSCP, embraced this concept. She wrote, "The MSCP is an historic accord established to strike a critical balance between development and the protection of valuable habitat. Together, the City of San Diego, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the California Resources Agency, and members of the environmental and building and development communities have worked to develop a sound plan to put aside habitat or endangered species while making it easier and less expensive for most property owners to develop their land. When it is complete, San Diego will be home to the largest urban preserve in the country." She also wrote, "Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt has called this plan a 'model for the country...that truly demonstrates that the preservation of ecosystems and the unique plants and wildlife they support is compatible with growth and development.'" As we have stated, a private owner is allowed to economically develop 25% of his or her property in exchange for deeding 75% of their property to the City for conservation. Everyone was listening except the special interest Mission Trails Regional Park expansionists who thought it would be a great idea to deprive the owners of economic use of their property so the property could be acquired to incorporate into the park.
Stephen Goldfarb April 24, 2014 at 10:43 PM
The California Energy Commission ruled today to grant Cogentrix the one year extension toRead Moresuspending proceedings that Cogentrix requested. Cogentrix reasoned that the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant opens the possibility that the Quail Brush project may be needed. The outpouring of community opposition has been massive, probably precedent setting. The Energy Commission's ruling is well reasoned, and worth a look.
Stephen Goldfarb April 24, 2014 at 11:14 PM
TMcC commented above regarding the City's conduct to acquire East Elliott property for parkRead Moreexpansio n or a landfill as follows: "Seems like a case of psuedo-eminent domain or govt/corporate highway robbery. 'Eminent domain: The power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners. see, e.g. Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp. 458 US 419 (1982).'" TMcC's comments are perceptive. The City has the right of Eminent Domain to acquire private property for a government purpose. That is the process that should have applied here. Eminent Domain provides protections to the property owner. The City is required to pay for the property at its highest and best use prior to changes made to downgrade the property for its intended government purpose. The owners may obtain their own assessment of property value. The parties may adjudicate differences in valuation. That is not what is happening here. The City first acts to pressure the property owners to sell their property by regulating the property into dis-use. They offer prices that are far under the highest and best use of the property. The City's offers are on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. The City has down-regulated the property as "open space". And the City is acting in opposition to the Multiple Species Conservation Program. Its a shameful picture. An additional irony is that fomenters of this plan like to call San Diego "America's Finest City".