Wednesday, September 3, 2014

PSC anti-highway widening lawsuit V. Caltrans update

Over here little PSC and PH1A buddies...
Prior to a ruling from Judge Weiner (within 90 days of the court hearing), the following notes from Jane Northrop's article indicate not much from the Caltrans Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) will change.  The Pacificans for a Scenic Coast vs. California Department of Transportation, CIV 523973 court hearing was completed August 29, 2014. 

Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, 9/2/14. "Pacificans for Scenic Coast and Caltrans square off in court."

Gaffney alleged Caltrans' EIR does not cover the visual impact of the new road. The EIR states that impact will not be significant, he said, but Pacificans for a Scenic Coast disagree.

Again, Judge Weiner asked if Caltrans violated CEQA. "I don't believe aesthetics is one of the guidelines," she said.
"The EIR must cover the direct and indirect impacts. The impact to the California red-legged frog is only directly covered. The EIR studied only the project boundaries," Gaffney said.

Judge Weiner responded the EIR did contain a study about frogs from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  "The government found no indirect impact. How can you say something is missing?" she asked.
Favor Caltrans
On Visual Impact
Judge Weiner noted while some trees will be cut down, new trees will be planted elsewhere, per Caltrans' plans.

On Wildlife
Judge Weiner replied that the EIR states the project will have little effect on the frog.
On Pedestrians
Judge Weiner replied, "It's not part of CEQA that they have to analyze it. I love protecting school kids, but the question is, did they have to do this under CEQA?"

Submitted by Bob Hutchinson 
Related - Fix Pacifica reprint articles:  PSC Highway 1 lawsuit v. Caltrans, includes links to lawsuit court hearings 8/22/14, and 8/29/14.  ReferenceCaltrans Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR).  Listing of linked litigation documents: Pacifica Index.        Note photograph of Laurel and Hardy and the gorilla from Apostasy now, "You are the madness!"  Graphic KAPOW from The Tar Heel Report. 
Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

So far all the braggadocio from Loeb, Bohner Underhill and the rest have turned out to be little more than empty threats. Now they threaten an appeal and more lawsuits. I think we could help stop global warming with all the hot air spewing.

Now do they expect to get reimbursed for their time in court? Maybe that's what they're really after because their case was ill thought out.

Leeches on society.

Anonymous said...

Has the judge rendered an opinion yet?
First session seemed to encourage one side and, if we go by the posted excerpts, the second session favored the other. Judges aren't quite as unpredictable as juries in that they have a track record. Regardless, does anyone really think it ends with this decision?

Anonymous said...

It's not unusual for plaintiff attorneys to recover some court costs, win or lose, if they can demonstrate the case was filed in the public interest or for the public good. Happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

1126 I think it took a second hearing until the judge saw how these people out right lie and say things aren't in the EIR that actually are.

1129 And we as citizens can testify that this case was not in the public interest and accomplished nothing except to delay a urgently needed public works project. I'll sign that petition.