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A parallel type of project in California
May 10, 2012 - Jessica Collier
Don Dew Jr. shared this Associated Press story on the Times Union website with me today.
It’s about a development in a protected area of California proposed by a group that includes Clint Eastwood as an investor.
Dew wrote in his email that he finds it interesting that the West Coast Sierra Club appears to be working with these developers, while the chapter here is participating in a lawsuit against the APA’s ACR decision.
I found it interesting that the developer worked personally with a representative from the Sierra Club to figure out how to create a scaled-back development.
With the ACR, Preserve Associates certainly made some significant concessions in their plans over the years, getting rid of a shooting range, canoe launch, and a few groups on condos on the steepest slopes, which probably would have had the best views in the development.
But I believe they did so in order to get a project that was within the guidelines of the APA, not because it was “the right thing” to do, as happened with this California project. I don't want to project any sort of intentions onto Preserve Associates, but it's pretty well noted that they took an adversarial view when it came to environmentalists challenging parts of the project, rather than befriending them.
It sounds like, while the Clint Eastwood development got rid of a planned golf course, they ended up with not too much of a drastic change in housing numbers. The story makes it sound like the mansions were scaled back from 100 to 90-ish, though granted the AP often leaves out plenty of details out of necessity. With that change, they somehow managed to save about two-thirds of the endangered trees originally slated for destruction on the site. I'd imagine much of that was saved with the elimination of the golf course.
Also, this project was 13 years in the making. I think we can all have a collective sigh of gratitude that the ACR isn’t quite that long in process. Yet, at least.
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