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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | SADDLEBACK /
SOUTH BEACH: SOUTH COUNTY

El Toro Airport Foes Appeal Further Plans

March 10, 1998|LORENZA MUNOZ

Opponents of a commercial airport at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station on Monday appealed a judge's decision that allows the county to continue planning for the facility.

Superior Court Judge Judith McConnell ruled Jan. 6 that the county's environmental impact report for the project was inadequate, but the judge did not force the county to stop the planning process for the 4,700-acre base, which the military will abandon next year.

The El Toro Reuse Planning Authority and Taxpayers for Responsible Planning hope an appeal will halt all planning and force the county to change its strategy.

"We believe that Judge McConnell's ruling did not go far enough in holding the county accountable for its planning process," said Richard Dixon, chairman of ETRPA. "We want the county to comply with the spirit of the Board of Supervisors' actions in December of 1996 and provide the public with an accurate environmental analysis of the plan for the reuse."

McConnell ruled that the environmental document did not adequately address the traffic and noise problems an airport would bring to the region.

County officials have said they will appeal that aspect of her ruling.

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