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Our Times / Orange County Communities

Brea

March 08, 2000|David Ryan, (714) 520-2511

The state Parks and Recreation Commission isn't likely to seek criminal charges against the developer of Brea's proposed Canyon Crest project for apparently drilling on government property, officials said. Gary Watts, the commission's supervisor for the area, said the agency still needs to do some investigative work but is less likely to file criminal charges than it was last month. "At this point, I'm pretty confident that we're not going to file any charges," he said.

"The situation was pretty much accidental, and if indeed they were on the park[land], they have agreed to clean things up to satisfaction."

On Jan. 20, a geologist working for Irvine-based developer PBR may have crossed the eastern boundary of Chino Hills state park and drilled a 60-foot-deep hole while gathering information for the project's environmental study. The Canyon Crest project would be 400 to 450 homes on 732 acres near the San Bernardino County line in Brea. The tract would be split by Carbon Canyon Road.

PBR President Bill Phillips said the company was conducting geologic tests required by state environmental laws when the geologist apparently crossed the boundary into the state park. He said a lack of boundary markers in the area where the geologist was conducting his test would have made it difficult for him to determine exactly how far from the state park he was. Watts said PBR has consistently told the state it would pay to fix any damage that may have occurred.

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