Judge rejects Fresno lawsuit over Friant Ranch development

The Fresno BeeMarch 5, 2014 

Standing at the entrance to Fresno County's Lost Lake Park, Dennis Bacopulos, a developer proposing the 2,500-home Friant Ranch development in the foothills just south of the town of Friant, holds an artist's rendering and points out how the development will appear in the hills across Friant Road.


A Fresno County Superior Court judge rejected a city of Fresno environmental lawsuit over the Friant Ranch housing subdivision filed against the Local Agency Formation Commission.

The Local Agency Formation Commission was charged with creating borders for a utility district that would serve the 2,270-home Friant Ranch development.

The city claimed that LAFCO overstepped its powers by intending to activate waste water services outside the Friant Community Plan Update Area. But the judge found that "the city is challenging a purported project change that simply does not exist."

The city also claimed LAFCO violated its own laws and made errors in its service review, annexation process and amendment to the sphere of influence, but Judge Mark Snauffer also rejected that contention.

The Fresno City Council last week voted to dismiss its lawsuit against Fresno County related to Friant Ranch and the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust announced reaching a settlement on its Friant Ranch lawsuit last week.

An appeal by the Sierra Club is the only case remaining against the Friant Ranch developers.

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