By Angela Rainsberger
Huntington Beach Neighbors (HBN) filed its opening brief Nov. 9 in litigation against the City of Huntington Beach over its Downtown Specific Plan Update (DTSP) Environmental Impact Report (EIR), approved by the City Council a year ago. The trial date for the lawsuit is set for Mar. 17, 2011 at 8 am.
During consideration of the EIR, attempts to achieve reasonable, resident-friendly modifications to the DTSP fell on deaf ears with a majority of the City Council.
The brief shows a number of problems with the EIR and illustrates why it does not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). All of these CEQA challenges were raised during the EIR’s public comment period.
The City spent nearly $1 million on consultants, plus an estimated $1 million for city staff and support processes, to create an error-filled EIR that is not legally adequate. This taxpayer money was spent on a deficient plan that ignored the community’s requests, during a time when city budgets are tight, and critical services such as police, fire and public works are being impacted.
When combined with Pacific City, the DTSP more than triples the amount of development downtown. Without intervention, we could see double the number of bars, increased crime and gridlock during summer months, and more.
The HBN litigation seeks to protect the downtown area and residents’ quality of life for the long term.
For more information and a full copy of the brief, please visit www.hbneighbors.com.
HBTomorrow supports efforts toward responsible development downtown. HBT collaborates with other groups that share our mission and goals, including HB Neighbors.