news......


Banning Ranch Conservancy Awarded $1.25 million.....
The would-be developer of Banning Ranch will pay the Banning Ranch Conservancy $1.25 million in attorneys' fees in a settlement of a lawsuit the conservancy filed over the now-shelved Newport Beach housing, hotel and retail development. The California Supreme Court sided with the Banning Ranch Conservancy last year in its argument against the adequacy of the project's environmental impact report, ultimately leading to the city's revocation of approvals to build on part of the 401-acre swath of coastal scrub and grasslands at Newport's western edge. Much of the site has been occupied by oil operations for decades. Michael Mohler, project manager for developer Newport Banning Ranch LLC, said the company "will continue to evaluate all options that could lead to accelerated cleanup of the oilfield and public access to the property. Banning Ranch Conservancy will be included in those discussions." ...........(Daily Pilot - 03/30/2018)

Developer vs. Coastal Commission.....
The Banning Ranch developer has attempted drop its lawsuit this week against the California Coastal Commission for denying its project. Newport Banning Ranch LLC filed documents in Orange County Superior Court seeking to have the case dismissed. Arguments posted contend the lawsuit became a moot point as a result of other judgments. .....(12/16/2017)

City of Newport Beach Nullifies Approvals.....
On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the Newport Beach City Council reversed all required approvals for the Banning Ranch development. The California Supreme Court ruled recently that the City of Newport Beach improperly approved the development, and the Orange County Superior Court, under direction from the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal, ordered the City to nullify all Banning Ranch-related approvals.

Court of Apeal Judgement.....
The court concludes the Banning Ranch Conservancy is the prevailing party for purposes of making a cost award. The previous judgment is reversed with directions to the trial court to issue a new and different writ of mandate commanding the City of Newport Beach to set aside and vacate all approvals relating to the Project and to take no further steps toward approving or otherwise implementing the development of the Project site unless and until the City certifies an EIR which addresses the deficiencies identified by the Supreme Court and is otherwise in compliance with the requirements of CEQA. The Conservancy shall recover its costs incurred on appeal. .....(06/21/2017)

Supreme Court Case Ruling.....
Huge News: The California State Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Banning Ranch Conservancy's appeal. This win essentially renders the EIR as being invalid.....this is a MAJOR victory - a substantial blow to the proposed development project. The Courts opinion stated:
In this court, the parties have briefed and argued both the general plan and CEQA questions. The CEQA dispute centers on whether an EIR must identify areas that might qualify as environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA) under the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Coastal Act; § 30000 et seq.), and account for those areas in its analysis of project alternatives and mitigation measures. We hold that CEQA so requires. The City‟s EIR is inadequate because it omitted any consideration of potential ESHA on the project site, as well as ESHA that were already identified.
The entire court opinion may be viewed here. .....(03/30/2017)

Developer files lawsuit.....
The Banning Ranch (NBR) developer filed a $490 million dollar lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission on Friday (11/04) for essentially, not approving the project. More details at the OC Register. ......(11/05/2016)

Banning Ranch Property Violations.....
Early March, State of California regulators found nearly 150 violations on the oil operation side of the Banning Ranch property in Newport Beach. The state’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources issued a report this week that said the field included leaky oil well heads, discarded concrete rubble, oil drums and pipes covering land that was supposed to be cleared. The State says they have until March 31 to correct the violations or they’ll face a fine. ....(03/21/2017)