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San Diego Environmental Groups Going To Bat Against Santee Housing Project

— Three environmental groups intend to sue to stop the construction of a proposed 430-home development near Santee. The Castlerock Project is under fire because of concerns over the housing tract's impact on the region.

Aired 11/5/13 on KPBS News.

A Pardee Homes project near Santee is under fire. Conservation groups says the development is not a good fit, but it can be changed.

Pardee Homes got approval for the project from San Diego officials back in September, but that approval didn't sit well with the Center for Biological Diversity, The California Chaparral Institute and the group Preserve Wild Santee. The organizations are taking the city to court hoping to have the project changed.

John Buse of the Center for Biological Diversity said the current project doesn't do enough to protect natural habitat and endangered species. Buse said he is concerned that the homes will be built in a high-fire hazard zone. he said he would like to see the project changed into something that is more in line with the habitat already in place.

"A project that both considers the environmental and public safety risks more comprehensively; one that just does a better job of incorporating all those concerns, and we think that's possible," he said.

An official with Pardee Homes had no comment on the suit.

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