Thursday, March 01, 2007

Forbes 400 member gets smacked down

From the Bakersfield Californian comes a story on the massive development proposed by Forbes 400 member David Murdock

Big southwest development put on hold

The city of Shafter’s assault on Castle & Cooke’s West Ming project has drawn blood.

Company officials have decided to pull their project — temporarily — out of the city of Bakersfield’s development pipeline, according to Bakersfield City Clerk Pam McCarthy.

Castle & Cooke chief executive officer “Bruce Freeman personally told me that they were going to withdraw,” McCarthy said.

Company spokeswoman Darlene Mohlke said the company had no comment Thursday.
Jennie Eng, the Bakersfield planner reviewing the project, said the huge southwest project will likely come back for review again in the summer.

The project was pulled, “for us to re-group and possibly re-circulate the EIR,” she said.
Shafter has challenged the environmental fitness of the 3.4-square-mile development project.
Eng said the city needs to make sure the documentation addressing Shafter’s concerns is clear and complete.

Shafter and Bakersfield have been locked in a dispute over sources of water for development projects in Shafter since the smaller city wrestled land north of 7th Standard Road out of Bakersfield’s control in 2004.

Bakersfield and Castle & Cooke officials have said Shafter’s attack on West Ming is simply another skirmish in that war. Shafter has denied the accusation.

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