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Judge OKs Refuge as Chula Vista Loses Bid to Develop Bay

May 14, 1988|RALPH FRAMMOLINO | Times Staff Writer

Eventually, the sides agreed to settle the dispute. The developers agreed to dedicate 300 acres, including the 44-acre Gunpowder Point and the 50-acre area known as the D Street Fill, for a wildlife preserve if the environmentalists dropped their lawsuits. Under the agreement, no roads or other paths will be allowed across the refuge, said the Sierra Club's Jackson, and the city's new $2.2-million Nature Interpretive Center on Gunpowder Point will stay open.

When the agreement was struck, the Sierra Club agreed to lift its court injunction on the east side of I-5 as a show of good faith. Jackson said it will lift restrictions for the west side of the freeway when the proposed preserve is finally deeded to the federal government.

Project coordinator Dimond said the settlement does not affect 140 acres Santa Fe owns south of the marsh and along the Chula Vista bayfront. That land can still be developed as a business park, offices, retail outlets and residences, just as the city has proposed, he said.

"What we want to do--and here's the thing that counts--is to move ahead and develop the mid-bayfront as it is currently planned," Dimond said.

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