c. 1903-09, courtesy Coons collection

Save Our Heritage Organization filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus in San Diego Superior Court to challenge the unlawful actions of the Port of San Diego and its Commissioners in approving the Coronado Rail Line Lease project without first preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The Port approved the Lease as potential lessee of a portion of the Coronado Rail Line, a cultural, recreational, and regional transportation resource.

The proposed lease project allows paving up to and between the rails of the Rail Line, and has potentially significant adverse impacts on the use of the Rail Line for current and future recreational, cultural, and transportation uses. The Port improperly segmented its approval of the lease from the pending related Bayfront Redevelopment Project and other projects that are inconsistent with continuing use of the important Rail Line. 

The case asks for a peremptory writ to issue in the first instance to require the Port to set aside its approval of the lease, and to reconsider approval only after completion and certification of an EIR that studies and mitigates pending related plans and considers feasible project alternatives that may preserve the Coronado Rail Line for beneficial uses. 

Bruce Coons explained why the lawsuit is important: “This lease will deny the use of the entire Rail Line, both for the current historic tourism and potential future rail uses, and deserves full environmental review.”

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