The Fight Continues

Well, as you all know, we are embroiled now in a legal battle over the Harmony Development, filed with the San Bernardino Audubon Society and the Center for Biological Diversity. If you're interested in following the case developments/notes, the case number is CIVDS1615280, and can be searched on the county website here .

We're very proud of our community as we proceed through this case, which is currently in the not-super-exciting-administrative-record-review phase. If you'd like to read the petition filed, you can find a copy of it here

If you'd like to continue to support our fight, please contact us! 

Unanimous Against the People

Well, with only one council member (Liburn) not in attendance, Highland's City Council just voted through the EIR unanimously. Apparently the list of more than 20 organizations and hundreds of citizens expressing their discontent only steeled their resolve, as we suspected. More than one long-term community advocate has told us they have never seen a city so completely determined despite such opposition - that they seemed impervious to the people and fixated on their goal at any cost. 

However, as a few of you have already guessed? They've underestimated the people, and the so-called "hayseeds and lowlifes" that surround this land. They continue to do so. We will not go away, and we will not stop fighting this egregious blight of a development that so clearly violates the will of the people and the very annexation agreement by which they took this land in the first place. 

SO. Lawyer up, so they say. However, we need your help to do so. This is a good case, a well-built one, and we are in this fight for the long haul. If the threat of displeasing their people didn't sway a lame-duck city council facing every seat in re-election in 90 days, then I know a few hayseeds who are just stubborn enough to hold them accountable. We need your continued support in this process, please consider giving today. 

www.gofundme.com/protectgreenspot

 

Pretty sure it's OUR meeting, actually.

As an update to all concerned, the Council recently held their meeting, the agenda for which is is posted here. It seemed clear from the agenda that the city would allow comments on the Harmony project, but when we arrived we were told that no comments would be allowed, that the public record was "closed."

As citizens we feel that violates the Brown Act, enacted to hold the city government accountable with open sessions. One of the more shocking statements of that meeting however, was when Mayor McCallon said the following:

 "This meeting is for our benefit, the Council, it's not for the public's benefit."  

Wow. That seemed a pretty shocking position to take for a city whose council code of ethics seem to lie in direct opposition to that. Meaningful public dialogue and acting in the interest of the people? It is our opinion that the meetings have not created an atmosphere of meaningful engagement, particularly when you directly TELL the public that the meetings are not for them. You can watch Mayor McCallon inform the citizens of their status on this youtube video:

 https://youtu.be/jVLbMiNr_cs

So, we were grumpy, and called our friends in San Francisco. They echoed our concerns and we invite you to read their powerful letter to the city here

This, friends, is why we believe it is SO important to show up in this process, and believe raising funds for counsel to represent the citizens is doubly important. We invite you to come and speak your mind (as much as we'll be allowed) at the next public meeting August 11th at 6PM. Mind you Mayor McCallon seems to think it's not for our benefit, but we beg to differ. 

 

Are we men, or are we sheeple?

Well, we weren't exactly welcomed with open arms, warm fuzzies, and handshakes from the council and Mayor. After our right to applaud speakers was challenged (a controversial issue that has played out in Riverside and many other cities), we were lined up school-play style and ushered in and out for three minutes. Speakers were timed in a manner that varied widely, with starting points from the moment their names were called, sometimes when they reached the podium, or sometimes when they began speaking. The order of speakers was at the discretion of the Mayor according to staff, so we were not surprised our toxics findings were shuffled to the "oh lord, is there anyone ELSE we can let speak before we let that girl get started?" slot at the end of the evening. Regardless, we got several new substantial issues on the record, mostly around initial entitlements, hydrology, and toxic concerns. The meeting was continued until July 21st. 

So what's next? While we like to think they're deeply considering our comments over their morning coffee, some of us think it more likely a predictable flow chart is being followed. We'll show back up on the 21st and see, and continue to research and wait. The "public comments" period has closed, but there is some dispute under the law as to whether the administrative record is actually complete or not until the vote is taken (Public Resources Code § 21177(a). So, we'll continue to do our homework, and we ask you continue to do the following: contact your representatives and the press, and most importantly?


Donate to our Defense Fund!

www.gofundme.com/protectgreenspot

We're not nearly done. In the interim, here's a pillow.

We're not pleased the city chose to have their next meeting at the chambers again, let's hope this time they opt to bring more chairs. Are they planning on a low public turnout? Or did they not notice all of us standing and sitting?

Please plan to attend, and we ask two things of our friends and neighbors:

1) WEAR GREEN. A green shirt, head to toe green, paint your face green, whatever suits your fancy. We're going to opt for a green shirt, but we want the planning commission to look into an audience filled with grumpy greenspot supporters. 

2) BRING SEATING SUPPORT. Even if you find a seat, there may be someone behind you that doesn't have one. A pillow, a lawn chair, whatever it takes. If you'd like, we created some lovely pillows for use on our little web store here

Holy Smokes... A Continuation Until April 19th

Wow. What a turnout. From the days when there was less than 5 public members at meetings, to when we packed out city hall and had 53 people standing or sitting on the floor?!? 

We did a good job. We spoke out. But? We're not done yet. April 19th will be the next meeting, put that on your calendars now! We can't thank you all enough for your participation, it's just the beginning of our fight. 

 

The Meeting -- 3/31

The Planning Commission Meeting has been announced, and is set for 3/31 at 6PM. 

We cannot stress enough the importance of attendance for this community. It's absolutely critical that the Commission hears the objections of the community. It's ideal if we coordinate together on comments, for those able we will be meeting a few hours before the meeting to discuss how best to approach comments to ensure we're covering all the topics. If you'd like to contribute but aren't comfortable with public speaking, you can provide us with a written copy of your comments and we will request that they be read to the commission. It's important that your voice is heard! 

Please email us for any questions or concerns at protectgreenspot@gmail.com or through the Contact Us section of the website. 

Thank you for attending!

So many fabulous comments and friendly community faces last night at the meeting, we were encouraged by the great turnout. Thanks to all of you for trudging out the day after our community had such a horrible tragedy - to come to a public meeting no less. 

Passion and commitment make a difference. For those of us who live in and love this little valley, and for those who may settle here in the future, it matters that we try to share our concerns and our knowledge of this land with the people who engage with this project. 

Please consider hitting us on Facebook as well, sharing there to friends and neighbors. For all those who asked, we're happy to share information on what we discussed tonight. I think the top request was the video, so here's our link to the Facebook page where we shared it tonight. 

The good life, Mentone beach: https://www.facebook.com/protectgreenspot/