TriCounty Watchdogs: ‘Fallingstar is dead’

By Patric Hedlund

Back in early 2012 the TriCounty Watchdogs prevailed in a hard-fought court battle against Kern County and Paso Robles developer Frank Arciero, Jr.’s Fallingstar Homes. The county had given a green light to Arciero’s proposed Frazier Park Estates in Lebec, surrounding Frazier Mountain High School.

Arciero announced he planned to appeal the verdict. Then he received a series of extensions from the court, trying to sell the land.
Finally—20 months later— on Tuesday, Oct. 1 this week, Watchdogs President Jan de Leeuw announced the Fallingstar project is dead: “The land [is being] sold, the county considers the application to be dead. It is still not clear who the buyer is,” de Leeuw said, “but in the unlikely case that they want to build, the [California Environmental Quality Act] CEQA process must be started all over again.”

The Mountain Enterprise has confirmed through court documents that a sale is underway, along with negotiations for the defendant/s to pay attorneys’ fees and expenses for the Watchdogs.

“It is rare that a CEQA case is won so conclusively that the whole project is scrapped. That is what we have done,” de Leeuw said.

Fallingstar gained a green light in 2010 from the Kern County Board of Supervisors, led by former District Four Supervisor Ray Watson, despite strong opposition from mountain residents. He upheld Arciero’s plan to build up to 557 homes, ignoring the lack of proven water for 2,100 new people and ignoring rejection of the plan by Kern County’s own Planning Commission.

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This is part of the October 4, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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