The Board of Supervisors approved the Environmental Impact Report for the Esperanza Hills project on March 10th, but didn’t approve the permissions (entitlements) to build until June 2nd. There are essentially two options before us:
- Stop the Fight: We can stop the fight and we know exactly what will occur: The construction of 340 houses on the Esperanza Hills property with primary access granted down San Antonio and a secondary access at Stonehaven. We will sit through two years of dust while they grade the land. Then there will be up to seven years more to finish construction. Not far behind Esperanza Hills, Cielo Vista will finish seeking approval for its 112 houses.
- Continue the Fight: The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) allows 30 days from the filing of the project’s approval to file a lawsuit challenging the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Our deadline to file a lawsuit is July 3, 2015. There are numerous issues we and our legal team have raised. There are three outcomes that could result from a lawsuit. First, we win and stop the project. Second, we modify the project and reduce the impacts. Third, we lose the lawsuit. There is no way of knowing right now what the outcome will be, but if we don’t try, we know the project will be built as proposed.
There are numerous legal avenues we are considering and there are multiple players in the mix. We anticipate the CEQA lawsuit to be filed by July 1st. The costs of which would not need to be paid all up front. Instead, they would come incrementally as the time is put in by the attorneys over the next year. Our approach is to keep costs as low as possible and still remain victorious.
We still have an existing $2,000 a month challenge grant through the end of the year, our anonymous donor has generously offered a $15,000 challenge grant to support the legal fund. We have until the end of July to meet this match. We have met the $2,000 challenge grant every month since it was offered. These YL Defense donations, which are made to our fiscal sponsor Hills For Everyone, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.