Updated at 5:01 p.m. April 22, 2016
The complaint alleges that the Los Angeles-based builder filled in portions of a tributary to Los Coches Creek to build part of the Settler’s Point/Jackson Ridge residential project in San Diego’s East County.
Evidence suggests the developer failed to acquire necessary permits prior to construction, and appears to have bypassed requirements to avoid and minimize unnecessary destruction of creeks, and conduct compensatory mitigation for any unavoidable effects, according to the water board.
“It’s hard to grasp that a homebuilder as established as KB skipped basic environmental checks and permitting requirements when working in a creek,” said Chiara Clemente, the Regional Water Board’s enforcement coordinator. “There are a lot of mechanisms in place to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen, and all of those failed in this case.”
In a statement, KB Home spokesman Craig LeMessurier said, “We have a different view of this matter but are working in a cooperative manner to resolve the issue.”
Regional Water Board staff determined that KB Home’s construction of an off-site road extension resulted in the discharge of 350 cubic yards of sediment, rip rap, asphalt and storm water piping into the tributary.
Small streams, like the one affected, play large roles in local ecosystems and regional water quality, Clemente said.
In addition to creating and maintaining biological diversity and sustaining the biological productivity of downstream rivers, lakes and estuaries, small streams and wetlands also recharge groundwater and help protect downstream waters from urban pollution, she said.
–City News Service
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