I am writing to express my extreme disappointment in the Temecula City Council’s approval of the proposed Altair development above Old Town.
Not only will this eyesore mar the beautiful views of the Santa Ana Mountains south of town, the project will effectively cut off the only remaining migration corridor for mountain lions moving between the Santa Ana Mountains and ranges further inland, imperiling their genetic diversity and long-term survival.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and independent mountain lion experts say that development of Altair will doom this already vulnerable population. The city ignored these warnings and approved Altair with no meaningful accommodation for mountain lions or other wildlife.
City officials can and should require the developer to mitigate harm to wildlife and set aside necessary lands for that purpose. Instead they promised more “studies.”
As a commercial real estate consultant, I have introduced several national retailers totaling over 100,000 square feet to the City of Temecula in the past 15 years. Together, they have generated millions of dollars of sales tax revenue. In short, I am no tree hugger, but when a municipality ignores its own master plan to approve a project that harms wildlife, ruins scenic views and adds traffic and air pollution to an already crowded city, its citizens should wonder why.
I urge anyone who cares about wildlife and Temecula’s natural beauty to reach out to the City Council and demand this project be scaled down and to address these grave concerns.