By Kristina Hernandez, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 09/16/16 – 7:34 PM PDT |

HIGHLAND >> Three public interest groups on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the city of Highland over its approval of the controversial Harmony housing project.

In the lawsuit filed in San Bernardino Superior Court, the Center for Biological Diversity, the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and the Greenspot Residents Association say the project violates the California Environmental Quality Act and will have a significant impact on wildlife habitat, traffic and air pollution.

“There’s nothing harmonious about the Harmony development,” said Illeen Anderson, a senior scientist with the Center For Biological Diversity, in a news release. “Not only does this project threaten endangered species and some of their most important habitat, but the city’s analysis did a lousy job of looking at how Harmony will affect air quality, traffic and the climate crisis.”

The Highland City Council unanimously approved the housing project on Aug. 11. According to developers, the project would bring more than 3,600 homes and additional amenities, like a police and fire station, to 1,658 acres of land north of Mill Creek, south and west of the San Bernardino National Forest and east of Greenspot Road. The Orange County Flood Control District currently owns the property. Upland-based Lewis Group of Companies would oversee its development.

Residents and special-interest groups have criticized the community since project talks began.

When contacted Friday afternoon, Highland Mayor Larry McCallon declined to comment. Councilwoman Jody Scott said she was aware of the filing but would not speak on the matter further.

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