Revised bill could block toll road proposal in California

| 5/24/2007

A proposed toll road through a California state park will not get preferential treatment from environmental restrictions and other laws like the developers were hoping, a state assemblyman vowed this week.

Assemblyman Jared Huffman revised and reintroduced a bill designed to strip the developers from legal protections and exemptions from applicable state laws. The goal is to stall or halt the proposed Foothill South Toll Road through the San Onofre State Beach.

The military owns some of the land at San Onofre State Beach and leases it to the state. The military is often exempt from certain state powers when it comes to infrastructure – something the developers with the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agencies were hoping to explore with a toll road proposal.

“We think that roads through our state parks should be a path of last resort,” Huffman told the Orange County Register. “Unfortunately, they’ve become a path of least resistance.”

The bill could be put up for vote in 2008, said Huffman, who had withdrawn a previous version of the bill last week during a committee hearing.