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Lake Elsinore General Plan Approved; Environmental Issues Discussed

Climate change and conservation land were talking points for the Lake Elsinore City Council.

“We have a General Plan.”

Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale proclaimed those words Tuesday night after City Council unanimously approved the weighty document that outlines how the city will take shape in years to come.

The plan has been seven years in the making, and replaces the existing Comprehensive General Plan approved in 1990.

Click here to read the city’s General Plan.

, Tuesday night City Council agreed to strike a chapter contained in the Climate Action Plan within the Environmental Impact Report for the new General Plan. The chapter outlined climate change science and policy, including scientific background and effects of climate change.

Required by state law, the Climate Action Plan identifies goals to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions in the city.

“I don’t think the city should be perpetuating that myth,” said Councilwoman Melissa Melendez of the climate change chapter. “I do not think we need to promote propaganda.”

When the Planning Commission voted to strike the language on Nov. 15, City Attorney Barbara Leibold explained that the chapter served as background and could be modified to clarify that the science presented was sourced and did not necessarily reflect city views. She said it was unclear whether elimination of the chapter is defensible.

However, Leibold did not express concern on the issue publicly during last night’s meeting.

None of the other council members weighed in on the climate change debate.

Council members did comment, however, on wording pertaining to the General Plan’s chapter on Resource Protection and Preservation.

In the draft General Plan, the city’s goal was to add between 4,830 and 7,870 acres over a 25-year period to a reserve system in the city under the county’s Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. The county’s MSHCP was designed to set aside 500,000 acres of conservation area and open space in Western Riverside County.

In 2004, the city adopted the MSHCP, and Lake Elsinore -- with its vast open space -- was tapped by the county to contribute significant acreage, Magee said.

Magee said the city only wants what it was promised when the MSHCP was adopted. Both he and Hickman called for editing the new General Plan language regarding the amount of acreage the city would add to the conservation area over the next 25 years. Both called for a number closer to the 4,830 acres, and the council agreed.

Roberto December 17, 2011 at 12:56 AM
Instead of "Dream Extreame" it should be "Let's make Compatibility a Reality" It's time to stop letting outsiders peddle their high density projects then move on. If it doesn't fit, we quit. The resources we have are finite and it's better to build projects that elevate the community. We have enough slum housing and apartments.

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