Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

County honors Meadows Trigueiro as Woman of the Year

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Police shut down Fairfield street after shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Report: Affordable Care Act stretches Solano services

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
Celebrity chef motivates Armijo students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Highway 12 Association to meet this month

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Caltrans reschedules work on J-Mack Ferry

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

State schedules work on Highway 12

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Bridge work to shut down Highway 12 east of Rio Vista

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Supervisors move ahead with flood planning effort

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
 
Robots, raucous businessmen set to arrive on big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Suisun water rate increase public meetings to begin

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9

 
Teen hit by SUV remains in hospital

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

College looks at Measure Q project changes

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A9

 
 
 
Fairfield police log: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun police log: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Enrollment of non-residents to be capped at some UC campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

US / World

California survey finds Sierra snowpack far below normal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California shuts down oil wells to protect ground water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ex-CIA chief admits sharing military secrets with mistress

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Mines, bombs slow Iraqi advance on Islamic State-held Tikrit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

India orders TV stations not to give rapist a platform

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Lawmakers taking another crack at expanding gun checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
California lawmakers show wide discrepancy in missed votes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Agents target industry helping Chinese women have US babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
Family of girl declared brain-dead sues Oakland hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

US marshals say man killed by Los Angeles police was wanted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
72 passengers reach settlements in Asiana crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Netanyahu warns US ‘bad deal’ would put Iran on nuclear path

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Congress sends Homeland bill to Obama without conditions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Minority outreach that works

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Israelis worry about inequality, not Iran

By Daniel Gordis | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial cartoon: March 3-4, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 4, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Mushrooms are nutrient-packed, with a deep, savory flavor

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

 
Get ready to add white to the rainbow of produce you eat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: March 4, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

My husband and I want different things in our retirement

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Apollo to celebrate Holiday birthday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Oprah’s Chicago studios to close down

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fashion week moves Milan to Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

.

Sports

Bumgarner hit hard in spring debut, A’s beat Giants 9-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
 
Vanden girls roll, advance to SJS championship game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

Kings bring back former player Divac in front-office role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
No ‘floating rubbish’ collection for Olympic sailing venue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal senior Reshanda Gray named Pac-12 Player of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rudy Gay, Kings hand Knicks worst loss of season, 124-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs’ scramble on Wrigley Field hits bump when mayor balks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders officially release S Tyvon Branch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Trooper: Fingerprints show victim in Hernandez’s rented car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Play ball! Quickly! Baseball tries to speed game this spring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Australian rugby star Hayne signs 3-year deal with 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Maid: Hernandez messed with security camera after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Oil glut could soon lead to plummeting prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

Robert C. Thierry

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Garland (Curly) Henry Tackett

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Otto Vasak

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John Henry Fechter, Jr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Jacqueline Mendes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7