A court upheld our settlement agreement protecting San Onofre State Beach.

Although some minor claims remain, EHL and the Save San Onofre Coalition have successfully defended our settlement agreement with the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) that protects San Onofre State Beach and other wildlands from highway construction. The City of San Clemente and a homeowners association objected to potential routes through the city yet did not defer the litigation pending the outcome of a CEQA process for choosing a route. The court agreed with our theory of the case – that decisions made by the Coastal Commission and State Water Quality Control Board had rendered construction of the tollroad in the State Park infeasible, and that TCA and Caltrans remained free to approve numerous alternatives that spare the State Park. Thus, the agreements did not amount to a surrender of those agencies’ governmental functions.

Moreover, in March 2020, TCA acted to narrow the alternatives it is considering to a single “hybrid” route that stops short of impacting City resources yet, according to TCA, achieves all transportation objectives. This route instead makes use of the existing arterial network to connect to Interstate 5, and defers complementary freeway improvements to other agencies. We have yet to see if the litigation will now settle. The Coalition is represented by Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, our longstanding attorneys in the matter.

In Los Angeles County, EHL was pleased to join Climate Resolve in a lawsuit that blocked a growth-including highway in the Antelope Valley pending additional environmental review. Here we were represented by Mitchell M. Tsai, Attorney at Law. Also, EHL joined the Center for Biological Diversity in opposing a habitat-consuming and GHG-emitting sprawl development in remote Castaic.