“Tesoro Viejo rubber stamped by Madera Superior Court”, should have been the headline for Mark Smith’s Aug. 6 report in The Madera Tribune. Once again Madera officials have caved in to the greed of Fresno developers. Now it will be up to California state and federal officials to kill the project.
The fact that the project is an illegal water grab hasn’t detoured the Madera County Planning Department one bit. They might take heed of what is happening with the Westlands Water District now that we are in drought conditions; they are trying to steal water from the Trinity River in the face of “a growing water catastrophe,” they have been cut to 20 of allocation by the federal Central Valley Project, and could be reduced to zero percent next year if the drought persists.
That the plans for these real estate projects are 18 years old should be a red flag. Conditions and regional planning concepts have changed. The Madera County Planning Department has too much invested in these projects to see the truth. Tesoro Viejo and the Gunner Ranch projects are the epitome of urban sprawl. Madera County needs new employees in the Planning Department who haven’t invested time and reputation into environmentally unsustainable projects that have been on the books for 20 years.
James Lex Bufford,