The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has delayed its vote on the Lilac Hills Ranch development plan, originally scheduled this week, until December as lawsuits challenge the county’s approvals of new housing developments.

The Endangered Habitats League, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Golden Door Spa all filed suit against the board after the approval of another community, Newland Sierra, in September. Issues at stake include increased fire risk, wildlife corridor destruction, and inadequate traffic mitigation. Over 100,000 resident signatures were collected in the 30 days following the Newland Sierra vote, and are currently being counted for a future referendum to overturn its approval.

Attorney Sara Clark, representing Lilac Hills area residents, said a key legal question is whether the county is allowing developers to buy their way out of increased greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing offsets in other parts of the world. “We assume that the county is taking the additional time to consider the Lilac Hills Ranch project because it’s determining how it can move forward, given the current questions surrounding their efforts to mitigate climate change,” Clark said.

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