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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

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Judge Halts Chino Canyon Grading in Palm Springs


http://saveourmountains.com/

Palm Springs, May 16, 2007

Superior Court Judge Harold Hopp issued a preliminary injunction today to prevent Shadowrock from grading in the heart of Chino Canyon. The Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity asked the Court to enjoin the developer from grading until the court could rule on their lawsuit claiming that the City of Palm Springs had illegally extended the Shadowrock Development Agreement.

The Court agreed with the Sierra Club and the Center, finding that there was a likelihood they would prevail, and that if grading were to proceed, the damage to Chino Canyon would be irreparable. The ruling protects Chino Canyon and the voter's right of referendum.

According to D. Wayne Brechtel, Sierra Club legal counsel, "Shadowrock was hoping to do some grading so that it could claim it had vested its development rights and no longer needed the ten-year extension that is scheduled for a public vote this November. The court put the brakes on the ill-advised plan and put Shadowrock on notice that it cannot circumvent the court's jurisdiction or the voter's right of referendum."

Last spring, by a 3-2 vote the Palm Springs City Council narrowly approved a 10 year extension of the already 13-year old Shadowrock Development Agreement. Immediately, Save Our Mountains collected enough signatures to refer the decision to the voters of Palm Springs. The election will take place on November 6.

Jono Hildner, Chair of Save Our Mountains and head of the "NO on Shadowrock" campaign said, "Today the Court recognized that beginning to grade the site was an end run by Shadowrock to avoid the will of the people. This decision is an important victory for all who want to preserve Chino Canyon and ensure that the citizens get to exercise their right to say NO to this devastating project."

"We are looking forward to the vote in November," says Hildner, "where it will become crystal clear to the City that residents care for the scenic beauty and environment of the Chino Canyon and will go to the ballot and say NO to the kind of reckless development allowed in the Shadowrock Development Agreement."

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