We’ve gotten several inquiries from concerned citizens about some construction near Barnes and Powers, right by the High Chaparral Open Space. The Cornella Brothers Excavating company is building a townhouse development on Chaparral. On 6/21/19, scrub oak on the south side of the trail was removed. The Trails and Open Space Coalition  contacted Parks and Rec Department and received the following information:
When this came to our attention we were shocked as many people are about the disturbance on what appears to be open space property.  We immediately contacted Code Enforcement and City Planning to see what could be discovered regarding the work.  The following is basically the back story of the current circumstance:

  • The grading is not on property that was purchased with TOPS funds which absolutely would have precluded this from happening.
  • The grading is on City owned property that is part of the Powers corridor right-of-way which is directly adjacent to the open space. The Parks Department has responsibility for the Powers ROW.
  • The trail on the open space dips down into the City owned ROW parcel in a couple spots one of which is within feet of where the grading was performed.  The work is being performed on the far south end of the open space property.
  • There is no delineation on the ground between the two parcels and it is easy to see why people consider the entire area as open space.
  • The grading plan has gone through the City Planning process and was approved per the work being performed.

The developer has gone through all of the steps and gained the approvals necessary to perform this work.  Park staff will be in contact with the City project inspector to stress the criticality of the disturbed area being effectively re-vegetated.   It is unfortunate that this was approved (from the Parks standpoint a retaining wall would have been preferable to the grading) but the developer is not performing in any way outside of what he has permission to do.

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