Conservation Groups Appeal San Bernardino County’s Approval of Church of the Woods’ Sonrise Project in Rimforest - Mountain News : News

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Conservation Groups Appeal San Bernardino County’s Approval of Church of the Woods’ Sonrise Project in Rimforest

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Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2020 9:36 am

On Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, the Save Our Forest Association, The Sierra Club Mountains Group Of the San Gorgonio Chapter, and the San Bernardino Audubon Society, filed an official appeal to the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors, requesting a thorough reexamination of the validity of the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Church of the Woods proposed project. 

The appeal calls into question the proposed project’s consistency with the General Plan, Development Code, the Lake Arrowhead Community Plan and state environmental laws. 

The administrative appeal challenges the Planning Commission’s approval, on Jan. 23, 2020, of the project based on significant unavoidable impacts to traffic and circulation (up to seven new traffic signals), biology (riparian habitat destruction, clearcutting 16.9 acres of forest, harm to threatened and endangered species), noise, and esthetics (massive earthmoving of hillside at Daley Canyon/Hwy 189, and degradation of US Forest Service designated Scenic Byway). 

“We support the Church of the Woods congregation in their desire for a larger facility, but cannot allow the County to ignore the laws and policies designed to protect public safety, quality of life, our unique forest environment and imperiled plants and animals,“ said Peter Jorris of the Audubon Society. “The County of San Bernardino needs to follow its own guidelines more faithfully and to accurately assess the full impacts of this project to avoid permanent harm to our community, visitors, the forest and its wildlife.” 

Many residents in our community have expressed concern that the proposed project, with over 300 new parking spaces, will create traffic circulation problems from Rimforest to Lake Arrowhead, while increasing the risk of downstream erosion and water quality degradation in Little Bear Creek, the headwaters of Lake Arrowhead. 

“We appreciate the Church’s efforts in support of our community; but not with this project, at this location. It is too disruptive. The County is violating the law by accepting this proposal’s flawed Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and making an unsupported, inadequate Statement of Overriding Consideration,” said Steven Farrell of the Mountain Group Sierra Club. “Even with its significant shortcomings, the EIR identifies severe impacts to the public and to the site that the Planning Commission has misleadingly declared to be of no consequence.”

Contacts for the appeal are Hugh Bialecki, Save Our Forest Association,(909) 336-7504, Peter Jorris, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society, (909) 867-3536, Steven Farrell, San Bernardino Mountains Group, Sierra Club, (951) 777-9150.

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1 comment:

  • ottomorton posted at 1:40 am on Thu, Feb 13, 2020.

    ottomorton Posts: 0

    Thank you for your post. Great plan of church.