Bolsa Chica Land Trust drops lawsuit against city, vows to raise funds to buy Ridge property
The Bolsa Chica Land Trust announced Wednesday that it has dropped its lawsuit against the city of Huntington Beach and will begin fundraising to purchase and preserve 11.1 acres of the Bolsa Chica Mesa, an area reportedly home to 9,000 years worth of Native American artifacts and remains.
The trust sued the city in 2010 after the City Council approved changing the land-use designation earlier that year on a five-acre parcel of the mesa known as the Ridge, near Bolsa Chica Street and Los Patos Avenue. The area had been rezoned from open park space, a designation it first received in 1976, to residential so that developer Signal Landmark could build 22 homes there.
By June 2014, Signal had withdrawn its development plans, and that August, the Land Trust and city officials began discussing how to settle the trust’s ongoing litigation. The negotiations lasted 19 months.
The trust’s initial goal is $1 million.
The total value of the land will be determined by an independent third party, said Kim Kolpin, executive director of the Land Trust.
Though advocates have pointed to the Ridge’s Native American roots, a city-paid study of the land by Scientific Resource Surveys Inc. was less certain. The Orange-based archaeological consultant reported that it was an unlikely scenario to find artifacts or remains in that area.
Hardy said Wednesday that she was pleased to hear about the agreement.
“I’ve never supported changing zoning from open space parkland to residential,” she said. “What was amazing about that particular vote is there were three hours of public comment, and the only one for this was the developer. The council ignored the public.
“It’s great news that the right outcome is likely to happen where we can save this property.”