When Sued Over Illegal Wetlands Filling, Developer Sues Coastal Commission

What should a developer do when confronted with evidence that it is illegally filling in wetlands in order to develop by the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Preserve without having its land become part of that preserve? Should the developer come clean and revise its master plan in order to comply with state law? Or sue the Coastal Commission and accuse the state of violating state law?

Believe it or not, that’s what The Register is reporting this morning. Believe it or not, even though the commission
delayed a decision on the proposed Parkside development last month and has given Shea Homes every possible chance to argue its case, Shea Homes is suing the Coastal Commission. So why exactly is Shea Homes suing? Apparently, they want a “placeholder” in the court docket just in case the commission decides to reject Shea Homes’ plan for Parkside.

So let me get this straight. Shea is illegally filling in what should be protected wetlands, an environmental group is suing Shea over this, the Coastal Commission staffers caught Shea red-handed in the act. And what is Shea doing about this? They’re filing a lawsuit against the Coastal Commission, just in case they rule against Shea.

Is it just me, or does it seem like Shea Homes is really trying to game the system? I wonder if our beloved “law and order conservatives” will say anything about Shea filing this “frivilous lawsuit”. Or is it OK for big developers to game the system, just as long as human beings don’t get due process? After all, isn’t padding their profits worth more than protecting our natural resources?