The enforcement action against Newport Banning Ranch and West Newport Oil Company (Banning Ranch owners) that was originally scheduled to be heard at the January California Coastal Commission hearing has been rescheduled to March in San Diego. The Commission will meet from Wednesday, March 11, to Friday, March 13. The location and the exact date of the enforcement hearing have not been announced, but we will post here as soon as we have that information. You can also subscribe to our email list to receive updates via email.
Despite the postponement, we are going ahead with our plans to support the Coastal Commission Staff's Enforcement Action in every way possible, including urging people to come to the rescheduled hearing in March. Please see the Enforcement Report below for more information on the violations and the “Cease and Desist” orders. We will be following the enforcement hearing developments closely and will keep you up to date as we learn more.
As always, we want to thank you for standing with us. It’s been a year of great progress for our cause and we couldn’t have done it without your support. The Conservancy wishes you all good things in 2015—and that includes saving Banning Ranch as permanent, protected open space!
Terry Welsh, President Banning Ranch Conservancy
From the January 2015 Coastal Commission agenda:
"Items F8 and F9 below share a single, combined staff report.
1. ENFORCEMENT REPORT. Report by Chief of Enforcement on Statewide Enforcement Program. (LAH-SF)
2. Settlement Agreement and Settlement Cease and Desist Order No. CCC-15-CD-01 (Newport Banning Ranch, LLC, et al., Orange Co.) Public hearing and Commission action on proposed administrative order directing respondents to, among other things: (1) cease and desist from engaging in alleged unpermitted development, including mowing, at properties collectively known as Banning Ranch, located adjacent to 5100 block of West Coast Hwy, in unincorporated Orange County; (2) remove certain oil production structures and materials that are present on those properties as result of alleged unpermitted activities; and (3) restore certain areas impacted by the subject activities, and some additional areas, to Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area status. (AJW-LB) POSTPONED
Settlement Agreement and Settlement Restoration Order No. CCC-15-RO-01 (Newport Banning Ranch, LLC, et al., Orange Co.) Public hearing and Commission action on proposed administrative order directing respondents to, among other things: (1) remove from the properties described below oil production structures and items located there as a result of alleged unpermitted activities; and (2) restore certain areas impacted by the subject activities, and some additional areas, to Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area status; on properties collectively known as Banning Ranch, located adjacent to 5100 block of West Coast Hwy, Orange County. (AJW-LB) POSTPONED.”
• Help us permanently stop the mowing on Banning Ranch! Sign our petition to the California Coastal Commission. We’re asking the Commission to put a permanent end to the mowing and clearing of ESHA (Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas) on Banning Ranch and to restore the habitat. Banning Ranch’s wildlife, rare birds and marine life won’t survive without the habitat!
• SPON's new look. Be sure to visit SPON's relaunched website and learn about their new campaign, "Still Protecting Our Newport - Inspiring the Next Generation" at www.SPON-NewportBeach.org. Click here to go directly to the website. SPON'S initial goal with this effort was to alert the public to the negative impacts of Ballot Measure Y in Newport Beach, which they did very successfully. Measure Y was defeated in the 2014 mid-term elections by a popular vote of 13,448 (69.50%) to 5,901 (30.50%).
•The Banning Ranch Conservancy Vision Plan. Our 2nd edition of the Vision Plan can now be accessed online. Please click here.
•The BRC needs volunteers. If you have experience with Wordpress websites, please contact Suzanne Forster at (949) 650-8806. We need volunteers to help with site design and content. If you have experience with Quickbooks for Nonprofits or would like to help out at a BRC Event or with our fundraising efforts, Suzanne would love to hear from you as well.