FACING CHECKMATE: ALTAMIRA HOUSING PROJECT GOES TO MARKET 

FACING CHECKMATE: ALTAMIRA HOUSING PROJECT GOES TO MARKET 

Like a high stakes game of chess, since 2006 developers of the proposed Altamira housing project and those opposed have come to what appeared to be the last possible move, only to avoid a “checkmate” by some unexpected stroke of luck. Hanging in the balance is the fate of the proposed 248 new homes on 105 acres next to Friendly Hills Elementary School in Joshua Tree. Reporter Mike Lipsitz fills us in on where the players now stand…
After the Planning Commission approved the project (4 to 1), a group of those opposed to it formed an alliance and appealed the decision to county supervisors. Then following a cliffhanger continuance last September, the Board of Supervisors upheld the Planning Commission’s approval. A month later, the JT105 Alliance, as they called themselves, filed a CEQA, or California Environmental Quality Act, lawsuit. They contend the County failed to require an Environmental Impact Report, and did not properly review the project for consistency with either the County General Plan, or the Joshua Tree Community Plan, which is a required “finding” for approval by both State and County Law. Next, a six-month stay was agreed on so the developers could explore options proposed by the JT105 Alliance during a mandatory settlement discussion. That’s when the Alliance got wind that the project was listed for sale online. The price tag? $3 million and all the headaches that come with it.
Follow the link at www.mbconservation.org/alta_mira_housing_project

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