Friday, August 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Fairfield resolves generation-long wetlands dispute

By
From page B7 | January 12, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Twenty-eight acres at the northwest corner of Highway 12 and Pennsylvania Avenue sit undeveloped – in part because of a generation-long wetlands disagreement between Fairfield and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

That dispute has finally been settled. The Army Corps recently sent a letter to Fairfield outlining the terms.

“It’s a good resolution of it,” city Community Development Director Erin Beavers said.

But while the site has Highway 12 frontage, it doesn’t have access from Highway 12. Beavers said the state Department of Transportation will never grant such access.

That leaves the main access to the land from Cliff Lane near Enterprise Drive, which is a back door rather than a front door when viewed from Highway 12.

Fairfield’s Housing Authority owns the land. With the settlement in place, it can either use the land for a residential project or possibly sell it for industrial or commercial uses and use the proceeds for affordable housing.

The dispute started in the mid-1980s, when Fairfield used its Redevelopment Agency to build a section of Highway 12 west of Pennsylvania Avenue. That took highway traffic off of West Texas Street and also provided better access to Solano Business Park.

Workers during the project put dirt on the 28-acre parcel. Beavers said that Fairfield believed its permits for the project included that area, while the Army Corps of Engineers disagreed.

The dispute focused on how much wetlands had been on the property before the dirt got dumped there. Fairfield in the early 1990s claimed the site had only about a quarter-acre to three acres of seasonal wetlands and that the dirt didn’t bury wetlands. The Army Corps claimed the site had seven to 10 acres of wetlands and that some got destroyed by the dirt.

Fairfield was notified of the possible violation in 1987.

In 1991, Fairfield wanted to give the 28 acres to the county for county government buildings. In return, the county would let Fairfield merge four redevelopment districts into one.

“If anything is going to squelch this deal, it would be the wetlands,” then-Mayor Gary Falati said.

About eight years ago, Triad development firm looked at building houses there at the same time it considered building houses on part of Allan Witt Park. Fairfield in the end didn’t give permission for the Allan Witt Park development.

The dispute over the wetlands kept grinding on. Figuring out how much wetlands might have once been present at the site proved problematic. Since mitigating for wetlands can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, the issue had a direct bearing on the site’s development potential.

The settlement states that the dirt covers 2.39 acres of wetlands. But Fairfield faces no penalties for the fill.

It also stipulates that 1.06 acres of seasonal wetlands remain on the site. That is how much must be compensated for if development occurs. That’s less than the Corps once sought.

Fairfield has land where it can restore and preserve wetlands to satisfy federal laws. A family in 1997 donated 50 acres to the city in rural eastern Solano County along Highway 113 near Jepson Prairie for a tax write-off.

Or a developer of the property could decide to tackle the wetlands compensation issue on its own.

Either way, the 28 acres near Highway 12 and Pennsylvania Avenue no longer has uncertainty because of wetlands issues. A dispute that has stretched on for a quarter-century is settled.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

‘Boyhood’ mature on music, moments

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Mr. Clean: Dennis Regan offers friendly jokes, with a bite

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Gemstones shine at Solano County Fair

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta: ‘The Who’s Tommy’ third play in three months

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Japan Summerfest returns this month

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Details limited after shooting leaves 1 with injuries

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Highway 12 to close overnight in Jameson Canyon

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Air district calls Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Vallejo police arrest suspect in shooting death

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fairfield man settles suit against Raley’s

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots schedule meet

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Stabbing victim dies in Vacaville

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

As US job market strengthens, many don’t feel it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Dow plunges as multiple worries vex investors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
A look at the impact of Wisconsin’s union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Abbas seeks broad support for war crimes charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US, UN announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Californians to see increase in health plan costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Appellate court overturns high-speed rail rulings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Report: Secrecy enveloped Bay Bridge construction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Yosemite wildfire weakened, evacuations to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

California ex-mayor sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

See-through mice reveal details of inner anatomy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CIA spied on Senate, internal review finds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA to test making rocket fuel ingredient on Mars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Congress races to finish VA, highway bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Nice guy becomes House majority leader

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
Should union organizing be a civil right?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

To err is human – but not in print

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Why do so many Americans support Hamas

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History for Aug. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My irregular monthly cycles were a symptom of cancer, not menopause

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for Aug. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 1-7, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘Godfather of Makeup’ Dick Smith dead at 92

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Boseman drips with charisma as James Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Starz’ ‘Outlander’ brings novels to life vibrantly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Dionne Warwick knows her way to San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
‘Sharknado 2′ whipped up storm of viewers, tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Chekwa taking reps with Raiders while Hayden sits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Expos fall short in 10-9 loss to Leghorns

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

 
A’s deal Tommy Milone to Twins for Sam Fuld

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Commonwealth Games athlete convicted for assault on rival

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Lynch ends holdout, arrives at Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nick Watney leads PGA Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rich get richer: Rays’ Price traded to Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Dumdumaya takes third in World Junior/Junior Olympic tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

AP Source: Trump advances in Bills sale process

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Mudcats get 15-7 win in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Phelps to compete in 4 events at US nationals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Ravens’ Rice: His actions ‘totally inexcusable’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Dustin Johnson takes leave of absence from golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Derrick Brooks set standard for NFL linebackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Business

Daimler launches new version of tiny Smart car

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines ending partnership

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Target taps outsider as CEO for needed shakeup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Iliad of France makes surprise bid for T-Mobile US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
In San Francisco real estate, $1M won’t buy much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Facebook’s Internet.org expands in Zambia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Debit overdraft fees often exceed cost of purchase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9