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Our Times: Orange County Community News

San Juan Capistrano

June 19, 2000|Jennifer Kho, (949) 248-2152

The debate over the proposed Whispering Hills development has become a duel of consultants.

Citizens Against Uncontrolled San Juan Expansion, or CAUSE, has hired a team of consultants, which this week released a report analyzing the city's draft environmental impact report for the proposed 356-acre project.

The 60-page-plus report challenges the assertions made by consultants in the city's draft environment impact report.

The proposal includes plans to cut slopes as much as 125 feet in some areas and add up to 95 feet of dirt in other areas to make the land flat and compact for construction, according to a report by Leighton and Associates in the draft EIR.

Snyder & Smith, one of CAUSE's consultants, stated in its report that the project would be "one of the largest mass grading projects in Southern California."

Phil Schwartze, project manager for Whispering Hills LLC, the developer, countered that the slope and grading is the same type of work that has been done on neighboring properties.

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