History of the Oil Project
The County Cross-Complainants seek by this action to require CrosDefendants/Respondents the City of Whittier and the Whittier City Council (collectively"Whittier") to comply with the requirements of Los Angeles County Proposition A, Safe Neighborhood Parks, Gang Prevention, Tree-Planting, Senior and Youth Recreation, Beaches and Wildlife Protection( "Proposition A") enacted by County voters in 1992, and to comply with the terms of a Project Agreement between the District and Whittier( "Project Agreement"), pursuant to which Whittier received Proposition ~ funds to acquire and to preserve natural lands and open space in the Whittier Hills.
Whittier used Proposition A taxpayer-funded bonds and
A funds allocated to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, to acquire approximately 1,280
acres of open space in the Whittier Hills (the "Whittier Hills
Property"). Without the District's
prior approval, Whittier has taken a series of
actions in violation of Proposition A and the
Project Agreement in furtherance of a private oil and gas exploration,drilling, and
production project (the "Oil Drilling Project") on the Whittier Hills
The Oil Drilling Project is fundamentally inconsistent with, and in violation of, Proposition A. Whittier's approvals of the Oil Drilling Project should be voided. Alternatively, Whittier should be ordered to comply with Proposition A and the Project Agreement before taking any further action on the Oil Drilling Project. Whittier has also violated the California Environmental Quality Act(~, "CEQA") by amending the Lease for the Oil Drilling Project and seeking to eliminate the'requirement that Whittier obtain the District's prior consent as required by Proposition A and the Project Agreement. Actions taken by Whittier demonstrate that it is seeking to gain a disproportionate financial windfall from the Oil Drilling Project in violation of Proposition A, the Project Agreement, and the Public Trust Doctrine to the detriment of all County taxpayers who are paying the assessment that enabled Whittier to acquire the Whittier Hills Property.