Some good, some bad…
In March, the California Supreme Court ruled that the City of Newport Beach had wrongly approved the Banning Ranch Development. That maans that before the developer can bring a proposal back to the Coastal Commission, they must first get an approval from the City on the new project.
Redondo Beach Waterfront
At the May hearings, the Commission found substantial issue on two projects in Redono Beach. The Sierra Club participated as an appellant. The Palos Verdes Group will be tracking these as they work their way through the appeal process and come back for de novo hearings.
At the June hearings, it was announced that a judge had denied the Sierra Club lawsuit against the commission over the approval of the Edge project.
The Coastal Commission, at a hearing at the Newport Beach Civic Center, on February 9 2017, 9 am, will vote on the revised findings from the September 7 2016 hearing (where the proposed NBR project was denied on a 9-1 vote).
This procedure, which is routine after the Coastal Commission takes most actions, will enter the conclusions and other revised findings resulting from the September 7 hearing into the official record.
The item is 12a and the revised staff findings can be found at https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2017/2/th12a-2-2017.pdf
At the December hearing in Ventura the Commission approved the Oil Consolidation CDP.
The development proposal that was denied is in litigation. The developer sued the Coastal Commission. There is separate litigation over the original city approval of the project, which is now before the California Supreme Court. A ruling is expected in the next few months.
The hearing on consolidating the oil operations at Banning Ranch has been scheduled for Friday, December 9 in the City Council Chambers at Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli Street.
The Banning Ranch mineral rights owner and oil field operator (Horizontal Drilling LLC) is applying to the Coastal Commission for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to consolidate their oil field operation onto, and to drill new wells in, two areas of Banning Ranch totaling 14 acres. These two areas are known as Oil Remainder Areas North and South (ORA-N and ORA-S). ORA-N is proposed for the base of the bluffs where the tank farm is currently located, while ORA-S is proposed for the entrance gate off PCH near Cappy’s were the City of Newport Beach’s oil operation and Sanitation District Bitter Point pump are located. The applicant would then abandon their wells outside ORA-N and ORA-S.
The CCC staff is recommending approval with conditions. The staff report can be reviewed at: https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2016/12/f14b-12-2016.pdf
The Banning Ranch Conservancy, along with the Sierra Club Banning Ranch Park and Preserve Task Force and other Banning Ranch groups are opposing the approval of the proposed consolidation based on, among other reasons, seismic activity, ESHA buffers, water injection issues, and sea level rise.
As discussed at the CNRCC Meeting in San Luis Obispo, we would like to have a good public presence at the hearing. If you are able to attend, there is information to help you plan your trip on our Ventura Guide. The hearings start at 9:00 am, but there are a number of other items on the agenda before the Banning Ranch item at 14.b.
Sage, the burrowing owl, addresses the California-Nevada Regional Conservation Committee meeting on the importance of attending the next Coastal Commission hearing in Ventura. Sage had assistance from his translator, seen in the background.
Thanks to Geraldine Villanueva, Sierra Club California Staff, for the photo.
The next round on Banning Ranch is coming up in December in Ventura.
The owner of the mineral rights (Horizontal Development LLC) and the oil field operator (West Newport Oil Co.) are planning on consolidating their operation, which is currently spread over the entire 400-acre property, onto two small footprints totaling 15 acres, and are specifically applying for a CDP to drill a maximum of 82 new wells on these 15 acres over several decades.
Due to an agreement related to an ongoing lawsuit, the Commission has agreed to hold a hearing on this permit before the end of 2016. It had been tentatively scheduled for November in Half Moon Bay, but is now scheduled for December in Ventura. We would like to get a good turnout for the hearing, which will be held at Ventura City Hall. Members of the Los Padres and Angeles Chapters are encouraged to plan a trip to Ventura for the hearing.
See the Ventura Guide page for travel information.
Banning Ranch Postponed Again
Days before the May hearing, the developer requested another postponement. Wednesday they asked that the item be heard in September on the far North Coast, as far as possible from the project site, to minimize public participation.
The staff report for the May hearing is at: http://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2016/5/th11c-5-2016.pdf
Two Controversial Projects to be Considered in September
At the urging of Banning Ranch, consideration of its proposed project will be heard in September. E-mail correspondence concerning this project may be sent to BanningRanchComments@coastal.ca.gov. Poseidon Water’s proposal to build a desalination project in Huntington Beach will also be heard this September. At the urging of NGOs and the public, the CCC decided Thursday to hear both projects in Newport Beach.
Iron Rangers Continued
At the April hearing, the Commission heard testimony but then decided to Continue the item to a future date.