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falls behind schedule in Orange County
Planning for the Rancho Mission Viejo
(RMV) – the 23,000 holding that is the center of a global
biodiversity “hotspot” – was supposed to proceed
with three synchronous processes: land use, habitat, and wetlands.
However, the Natural Community Conservation Plan, or NCCP, has fallen
behind while the development application for 14,000 units is still
Central to Supervisor Tom Wilson’s South County
Outreach and Review Effort (SCORE) for RMV planning was
an NCCP linked to the development project and to a Special
Area Management Plan, or SAMP, for wetland resources.
Citing wildlife agency staff shortages as the primary
cause of delays, the County of Orange has now decided
to allow an environmental impact report for the applicant’s
proposal to move forward independently.
EHL is deeply concerned over this
sequencing and, along with other groups, has submitted strong legal
comments on the revised procedures. We remain fully determined to
bring a comprehensive outcome together. Meanwhile, The Heart and
Soul Coalition (www.ocheartandsoul.org)
continues to mobilize grassroots support for a “win-win”