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Fires Fuel Opposition to South County Projects

November 09, 2003

Let's learn from the recent fires. As a member of Supervisor Tom Wilson's South County Outreach and Review Effort, I have been involved for over a year in a study of the Rancho Mission Viejo Development Plan.

I spoke out strongly against development in the San Mateo watershed and Verdugo Canyon. Homes in Southern California chaparral areas are prone to destruction by fire.

The Rancho Mission Viejo Development Plan proposes to disperse about 100 expensive home sites through the upper San Mateo watershed and Verdugo Canyon in these chaparral and grassland areas.

Also in the upper San Mateo watershed, the company proposes a "golf community" of about 100 homes and yet another golf course.

There will be destructive fires in this area sooner or later. The homes will burn. Firemen will risk their lives, fire containment costs will soar, and the homeowners will demand the removal of the chaparral and the elimination of natural open space.

This area near the Cleveland National Forest should remain natural open space as part of a state conservancy or a conservation easement in perpetuity.

Paul Carlton

San Clemente

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