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Cherry Valley Pass Acres & Neighbors v. City of Beaumont

ELR Citation: 40 ELR 20026
Nos. No. E049651, (Cal. App. 4th Dist., 11/22/2010)

A California appellate court affirmed a lower court decision denying a petition challenging a city's approval of a project to build 560 residential units on a 200-acre site long used for agricultural purposes. A citizens group filed a petition, claiming that the environmental impact report (EIR) was legally inadequate as an informational document because it failed to properly address the project's significant impacts on area water supplies and agricultural land uses and that the city therefore abused its discretion in certifying it. But the EIR adequately analyzed the project's impacts on the basin and the water district's total water supplies. Moreover, substantial evidence shows that mitigation measures to reduce the project's direct and cumulative impacts on long-term agricultural uses in the area were not economically feasible. The court also rejected plaintiffs' claim that the city failed to proceed in a manner required by law because it limited the EIR's analysis of project alternatives to economically infeasible ones and rejected alternatives if they did not fully mitigate significant agricultural impacts. Similarly, the court rejected plaintiffs' claim that the findings the city made in adopting the statement of overriding considerations were not supported by substantial evidence.