Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Land into Trust Problems- Temecula CA

TEMECULA: City questions transfer of federal land to Pechanga
Bill handing over the property is making its way through Congress
By NICOLE SACK - Staff Writer Tuesday, May 20, 2008 10:24 PM PDT

Dale Neugebauer, chief of staff for Issa, said Temecula had not previously expressed concerns about the legislation, and the extent of the issues raised in the letter were jarring.

"This legislation has been around for four years. It has been written about extensively by the media. And its goal is to transfer undevelopable, steep and surplus land from the (Bureau of Land Management) to the Pechanga," Neugebauer said. "Given that, it is surprising to hear concerns that are this extensive at this late of an hour."

He added, "With that being said we take the city's concerns seriously and I will be meeting with city officials next week and address the concerns that they have raised."

Neugebauer said the two main concerns raised by the city, the restrictions on the use of the transferred land and the prohibition on building roads on it, are addressed by provisions in the bill that will have the "force of law" behind them to ensure compliance.

Pechanga's recent construction of an 18-hole golf course expected to open this summer, in an area eyed by city officials as the possible pathway for a bypass road to Interstate 15, was done without notification to the city or county, Nelson said in his letter.

The letter cites the golf course development as a reason why further assurances need to be written into the bill to discourage further developments.

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