Condors Trump Construction in Newhall

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said “No Way” to Newhall Ranch developer Lennar Corp that wanted a special exemption to kill California condors during the construction of a 60,000 person development community in the Santa Clara River Valley.

According to the LA Times:

… the developer will be allowed to capture and relocate one condor in the next 25 years. There are only 150 California condors left in existence and the Newhall Ranch project site is one of their primary breeding grounds.

…the agency also said that it would allow the developer to capture and relocate one condor over the next 25 years, if necessary, according to agency wildlife biologist Rick Farris.

If that isn’t construction controversy enough, according to KCET:

…Newhall is on the verge of receiving a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit to bulldoze and fill in the rare alkali wetlands of the Potrero Canyon–an important condor breeding site. The E.P.A. has questioned the environmental sensibility of that decision and may step in should the Corps permit the fill.

…Mind you all these terrible environmental sacrifices are being considered to build thousands of homes in an area that is among the leading foreclosure capitals of the world. There were 1,000 foreclosures in Santa Clarita last year. That didn’t stop the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission from recently approving construction of Newhall’s 4,200-unit second phase of construction. Local planning groups are livid at the fact these new homes will be linked up to the already overworked Valencia Water Treatment Plant–which could cost taxpayers upwards of $250 million in upgrades to handle the increased flow.

We know the economy has got to chug forward, but creating a whole mess of empty developments with more burden on the taxpayer? We think a trip back to the drawing board is in order…