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Email:   i  nfo@sbmlt.net                                                                                                           San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust                                                                              501(3)(C) non-profit organization                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tax ID# 33-0700417                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

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A Solution Worth Pursuing

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A highly welcome pronouncement issued from the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust last week.

Trust officials announced on April 14 they had closed escrow on 80 acres of the now-defunct Eagle Ridge housing development, located on Grass Valley Road near the southern end of the Lake Arrowhead Country Club.

When the development went into default two and a half years ago as one of the first local manifestations of the coming impacts of the recession, the cessation of work created an eyesore at the northern end of developer Rob Roy's 182-acre property.

That scar on the land is still there, and begs for someone to clean it up. Perhaps the Land Trust's involvement will provide the answer.

A Land Trust representative said this week his organization is looking for public input and suggestions on how the land-which includes 45 undisturbed acres and 35 where substantial grading has occurred-can best be used for public benefit.

We have a suggestion, and it's one others have also pondered. With last Saturday's town hall meeting in Twin Peaks having highlighted so broad a range of environmental issues with the proposed Church of the Woods Sonrise project, we think a land swap between the Land Trust and the church, enabling the project to be relocated to a potentially less controversial site, should be high on the Land Trust's list of solutions to be explored.

The church owns 37 acres in Rimforest, along Highway 18 between Bear Springs Road and Daley Canyon Road. It hopes to win county permission to build a new and much larger campus there, compared with its existing home in Lake Arrowhead.

The sheer size of the project, more than 20 times the footprint of the current church site, combines with issues about water quality, storm runoff, wildlife habitat destruction, traffic and noise to make the project's future uncertain, and opposition continues to mount.

The dissent is taking specific forms, including petitioning and letter writing to county decision makers. Opponents are also collecting money to file a lawsuit in case the project is approved.

The way the prospect of a prolonged legal battle persuaded the Royal Rangers to drop their plans for an adventure camp in Twin Peaks recently may be sending a signal to the folks at Church of the Woods that some other approach might be more likely to succeed.

If, for example, the church and the Land Trust could come to terms on trading 40 Eagle Ridge acres-including the already graded portion-for the church's 37 acres in Rimforest, it could go a long way toward relieving the tension that continues to build over this project.

Further, because some of the work needed to develop the church project has already been done on the Eagle Ridge property, the idea of a swap could be even more attractive to church leaders by reducing costs.

With so many of the project's controversial aspects still unresolved, we believe it's premature for us to take a position on the project itself. However, since a land exchange might be a way the controversy could be defused, we commend Isaiah 1:18 to the church and the Land Trust.

That Bible verse says, in part, "Come now, let us reason together." It's a sentiment we hope will touch the hearts and minds of church leaders, and one whose outcome could remove an issue that threatens to create lasting ill will in our community.

.http://www.mountain-news.com/opinion/editorials/article_bbe8da92-6ba0-11e0-bd7a-001cc4c002e0.html 

http://www.mountain-news.com/opinion/editorials/article_bbe8da92-6ba0-11e0-bd7a-001cc4c002e0.html  

 

 

A highly welcome pronouncement issued from the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust last week.

Trust officials announced on April 14 they had closed escrow on 80 acres of the now-defunct Eagle Ridge housing development, located on Grass Valley Road near the southern end of the Lake Arrowhead Country Club.

 

When the development went into default two and a half years ago as one of the first local manifestations of the coming impacts of the recession, the cessation of work created an eyesore at the northern end of developer Rob Roy's 182-acre property.

That scar on the land is still there, and begs for someone to clean it up. Perhaps the Land Trust's involvement will provide the answer.

A Land Trust representative said this week his organization is looking for public input and suggestions on how the land-which includes 45 undisturbed acres and 35 where substantial grading has occurred-can best be used for public benefit.

We have a suggestion, and it's one others have also pondered. With last Saturday's town hall meeting in Twin Peaks having highlighted so broad a range of environmental issues with the proposed Church of the Woods Sonrise project, we think a land swap between the Land Trust and the church, enabling the project to be relocated to a potentially less controversial site, should be high on the Land Trust's list of solutions to be explored.

The church owns 37 acres in Rimforest, along Highway 18 between Bear Springs Road and Daley Canyon Road. It hopes to win county permission to build a new and much larger campus there, compared with its existing home in Lake Arrowhead.

The sheer size of the project, more than 20 times the footprint of the current church site, combines with issues about water quality, storm runoff, wildlife habitat destruction, traffic and noise to make the project's future uncertain, and opposition continues to mount.

The dissent is taking specific forms, including petitioning and letter writing to county decision makers. Opponents are also collecting money to file a lawsuit in case the project is approved.

The way the prospect of a prolonged legal battle persuaded the Royal Rangers to drop their plans for an adventure camp in Twin Peaks recently may be sending a signal to the folks at Church of the Woods that some other approach might be more likely to succeed.

If, for example, the church and the Land Trust could come to terms on trading 40 Eagle Ridge acres-including the already graded portion-for the church's 37 acres in Rimforest, it could go a long way toward relieving the tension that continues to build over this project.

Further, because some of the work needed to develop the church project has already been done on the Eagle Ridge property, the idea of a swap could be even more attractive to church leaders by reducing costs.

With so many of the project's controversial aspects still unresolved, we believe it's premature for us to take a position on the project itself. However, since a land exchange might be a way the controversy could be defused, we commend Isaiah 1:18 to the church and the Land Trust.

That Bible verse says, in part, "Come now, let us reason together." It's a sentiment we hope will touch the hearts and minds of church leaders, and one whose outcome could remove an issue that threatens to create lasting ill will in our community.