Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 07/13/2012 11:17:56 AM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Rep. Gary Miller has withdrawn his Carrari Ranch housing development from the planning process.

Miller, R-Brea, “didn’t want the project to become a lightning rod in a political campaign at this time,” said Jan Dabney, a civil manager for Claremont-based J C Dabney & Associates. “We are rethinking what the project should look like.”

Located on the northern end of Delphin Place and north of Reales Street and Beryl Avenue, the controversial project had included plans to build 107 homes in the hillside of the San Gabriel Mountains. The plan requires 670 acres of unincorporated land to be annexed to the city.

Dabney said there is the potential for the project to return on a smaller scale, of possibly 20 to 45 homes, though discussion is ongoing.

“We’re looking at a modification, and what we can do to reduce the cost of the infrastructure to reduce the intensity,” Dabney said.

Residents have been miffed that the project would cut into the hillside, and have expressed concerns over traffic and public safety.

Miller, who has said he plans to move into Carrari Ranch, is in a competitive race in Congressional District 31 with state Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

“To avoid any possible perception of conflict of interest or perceived appearance of impropriety, I have withdrawn my application to the City of Rancho Cucamonga for the Carrari Ranch project,” Miller said.

Dutton said that while the Carrari Ranch project issue is not part of his campaign strategy, “it’s inappropriate for a sitting member of Congress to have a project like that because, I think, frankly, it is intimidating for most elected officials.”

Dutton said he doesn’t want to tell Miller what to invest in or how to invest, but added, “I think you’ve got to make a decision on whether you want to be a full-time member of Congress or a land developer. I think it’s hard to mix the two.

“I’m not saying you’re breaking the law. When you’re involved in land development, it involves infrastructure dollars and federal dollars coming for roads and flood control. It’s the same with state earmarks. There’s always the opportunity that any of those things can personally benefit you.”

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