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Residents Should Fight Buildup in Brea Hills

June 02, 2002

Re "A Battle Rejoined in Brea Hills," May 6: Orange County residents should oppose the Nuevo Energy development in the Brea Hills. The company's Environmental Impact Report declares that there will be little impact from building 914 units because it can all be mitigated. In the EIR, the company documents an additional 10,000 units proposed, approved or under construction in North County.

The thing it can't mitigate is the loss of unique farmland. Nuevo also has declared that the road it will build over the ridge into Tonner Canyon (the only migration route left for wildlife into the Puente Hills) will actually improve the ability of animals to migrate.

The Board of Supervisors should reject any development that would have such a negative impact on the quality of life in north Orange County. The board should support creation of a greenbelt in the hills from the Santa Ana River to the Los Angeles County line to address the serious lack of open space.

Compared to the more-affluent South County, there is a lack of parks and open space in the north that raises serious environmental and social justice issues that will only be exacerbated as more gated communities are built on the little remaining open space. The proposed greenbelt, stretching from the Puente Hills through the Cleveland National Forest to the coast near San Clemente would protect the environment and make our county a more desirable place to live. It would also help to reverse the decline of older cities in north Orange County by focusing on redevelopment near existing infrastructure and transportation.

This is our last chance to prevent Orange County from becoming another Los Angeles.

Kirk D Schneider

Fullerton

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