Readers React: No, you can’t fill a ravine to build a ranch without asking for permission first

CHATSWORTH, CA – APRIL 24, 2018: Trucks depart after disposing a load of fill at Wayne Fishback’
Trucks depart after disposing of a load of fill at Wayne Fishback’s ranch in Browns Canyon above Chatsworth last April.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It’s gratifying to read that a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge agreed with officials regarding the illegal dumping and grading occurring for years at the Fishback property in the hills above Chatsworth.

Being raised in that area, I was outraged to read about it. But I’m baffled by the lack of any discussion of how badly California’s environmental quality laws appear to have been violated.

If the landowner wanted to build “Liberty Ranch” on his 250 acres, he needed to prepare an environmental impact report that analyzed all impacts and proposed alternatives, including a “no project” alternative. This is the law, and it’s not up to the landowner how to proceed.

Now that a judge has ruled against the landowner, will he be ordered to remove the debris and return the land to its original contours and restore the native habitat? The environment needs to be made whole.


Gloria Sefton, Trabuco Canyon

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