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California in Brief | HUNTINGTON BEACH

Groups sue over wetlands walls

June 06, 2008|Susannah Rosenblatt

Two environmental advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Thursday against the state Coastal Commission, complaining that stone walls built by a developer at the entrance to a public trail into Bolsa Chica wetlands discouraged people from entering.

The 10-foot-high wall and trellis structures built by developer Hearthside Homes are "placed up there to suggest private territory instead of the public identity they should have," said Steve Hoye, executive director of nonprofit Access for All, one of the organizations that filed the suit.

"You certainly get the sensation that you're actually entering someone else's turf."

The suit seeks to have all three pairs of the monument-like structures, two sets of which are on Bolsa Chica Avenue south of Los Patos Avenue, removed.

"We'd really like to see the public face of this particular location be made more plain," Hoye said.

An April Coastal Commission staff report recommended the removal of one of the decorative monuments, which were built before the commission's approval; the commission voted to keep the structures in place.

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-- Susannah Rosenblatt

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