BOLSA CHICA CHRONOLOGY

1970: Signal Bolsa Corp. acquires 1,200 acres of Bolsa Chica from former owners.

March 15, 1973: Signal Landmark and the state sign a settlement agreement in which the state acquires title to a 300-acre parcel in the Bolsa Chica wetlands.

1978: The state builds a levee, enclosing 150 acres of its 300-acre parcel. Seawater once again pours into Bolsa Chica, restoring a portion of the damaged wetlands.

1979: Amigos de Bolsa Chica, a conservationist group, sues the state, alleging that the 1973 land-exchange agreement is a gift of public trust lands that violates the state Constitution and that certain actions by Signal and others violated the state Coastal Act.

Jan. 20, 1982: The Board of Supervisors approves a land-use plan that includes 600 acres of salt marsh, a navigable ocean entrance, a marina with 1,800 boat slips, coastal-oriented commercial support facilities, open-space recreation and 5,700 residential units. Signal maintains that only 453 acres of the property are environmentally sensitive wetlands.

January, 1983: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes a progress report indicating that a navigable entrance at Bolsa Chica is technically feasible, pending further economic and other studies.

Oct. 23, 1985: The Coastal Commission unanimously approves a plan preserving 915 acres of wetlands and allowing for development of a 1,300-slip marina, open-space recreation, 5,700 residential units, and restaurants and hotels. Still to be settled is whether to carve a navigable ocean channel leading into the development.

Dec.18, 1985: Board of Supervisors approves the plan ratified by the Coastal Commission.

Oct. 16, 1986: Congress enacts the omnibus Water Resources Development Act, which includes a provision to establish a project at Bolsa Chica that would allow federal loans for a navigable ocean channel, if determined to be technically and economically feasible.

March 6, 1987: At the request of Signal, state Sen. Marian Bergeson (R-Newport Beach) introduces legislation to create a special, privately controlled district to govern the early stages of development at Bolsa Chica.

Aug. 17, 1987: Bergeson withdraws the Bolsa Chica bill from consideration in 1987, saying that she will resume the push for passage in 1988.

Jan. 29, 1988: Amigos representatives claim a significant victory after an Orange County Superior Court commissioner rejects Signal's bid to dismiss the group's nine-year-old lawsuit and permits the Amigos to add new claims.

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