The Press Enterprise made a strong case for keeping the Riverside County Multi Species Habitat Conservation Plan in tact despite some cities reconsidering their agreement.
A little sunshine from the Press Enterprise:
The group fought the approval of a specific plan amendment to the Meridian business park that would have allowed future tenants there to add rail cars to the nearby rail track.
The group claimed more environmental studies were necessary to look at the effect more rail traffic might have on nearby neighborhoods.
The settlement would do away with any rail-related approvals in the specific plan. If LNR, the master developer of the business park, wants to seek approval for rail-related used in the future, it will require a separate environmental study, according to the settlement’s terms. LNR will also pay $16,000 to the Friends of Riverside’s Hills for group’s legal costs and fees.
For a little background read Meridian Plan Approved But Not Without Rail Reservations.
Back in the 1990’s, business leaders, county officials and environmentalists spent months working out future development guidelines for Riverside County and it’s generous open spaces.
One of the results was a map ofÂ ‘cells’ encompassing the entire county. Some of these were designated ‘MSHCP’, Multi Species Habitat Conservation Protection. These were the cells where no development was to occur.
Fast forward a decade and it’s as if all the hours of discussion, examination and good will never happened if we’re to believe the story in the Press Enterprise covering the March Air Reserve Base and the last hope of connecting Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park to linked MSHCP cells critical for the biological viability of the park and surrounding cells.