When the City of Bishop received the finished report on which DWP lands around the City would be suitable for development, councilmembers were shocked that Fish and Game staff had recommended many areas remain empty lots.
In 2008, the City of Bishop paid a consultant to look at 600 acres in and around the City of Bishop to see which lands would be suitable for development if the City of Los Angeles were ever to divest some of these lands. The idea is to be able to focus efforts on the most developable land if the opportunity ever arises.
At the City Council meeting Monday night, Public Works Director David Grah explained that the consultant had looked at various constraints on the 600 acres, including cultural resources, wetlands, floodplain issues, hazardous waste, and others.
The consultants asked various agencies about possible constraints on the lands in question. When sensitive species were taken into account, the Department of Fish and Game recommended that some prominent parcels of currently empty land inside the city limits stay undeveloped. The study looked at potential issues, and while nothing is set in stone, Fish and Game staff felt there were potential conflicts on many parcels including the empty DWP land at Home and Yaney that many have eyed as a potential infill neighborhood since it is already completely surrounded by homes.
The 15 acre piece of land off Hanby Street is also on the recommended dont develop list. The Hanby parcel, as its known, is currently being worked into the Inyo County Long Term Water Agreement as part of the agreed on 75 acres of land releases from the City of Los Angeles.
Councilmember Bruce Dishion was visibly disturbed by the report saying that it precludes building on open land in the City. Mayor Jeff Griffiths said that he thought the Fish and Game report arbitrarily decided on the lands without sufficient detail.
The study, which includes the Fish and Game report, looked at potential constraints on development. If any actual development were to occur, Grah explained that more detailed study would have to be done. None the less, while the City Council accepted the constraints report, Mayor Griffiths made it clear that the council does not accept all the findings in the report.