Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Temecula wants assurances that the transfer of 1,178 acres of federal land to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians won't lead to development in areas of Riverside and San Diego counties designed to be open space.
Republican Congressman Darrell Issa sponsored the transfer bill that has passed the House and is now before a Senate committee.
The bill calls for preservation of culturally and historically significant land.
Temecula has supported prior land transfers, but City Manager Shawn Nelson said in a May 14th letter to Issa that a previous transfer resulted in open space being used for the Pechanga Resort and Casino's golf course.
The city is now asking for a "reversion clause" in the transfer bill that states the land would be returned to the federal government if land-use conditions are violated.
Tribal spokesman Jacob Mejia says he is puzzled by what he called the city's "flip-flop."