September 30, 2014
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UPDATED 2-20-14



By John Pilch, Committee Treasurer



The Lake Murray July 4th Music Fest and Fireworks Committee regretfully will not hold the fireworks display over Lake Murray again this year. This is due to the continuing litigation by the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF) and its lead attorney, Marco Gonzalez, against the City of San Diego.


As previously reported, Judge Dato ruled that the City Council failed to consider the environmental impacts of fireworks displays over bodies of water when passing the amendments to the Municipal Code. These amendments then became moot and the Special Events Permits were invalidated. Judge Dato further ruled that a Programmed Environmental Impact Report (EIR) by the City could have been included in the State Regional Quality Control Board’s review of fireworks permit process and made the scenario much better for all concerned. Since the City did not complete a Programmed EIR, a separate and expensive EIR must be completed on an event-by-event basis to be consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Marco Gonzalez opined that the City had an opportunity to conduct an environmental review of fireworks events over bodies of water and didn’t follow through.


The bottom line is the City of San Diego had a choice to make: appeal the rulings in the four cases it lost or produce a Programmed EIR for fireworks events over water. The City opted to appeal, so we’re stuck in neutral while awaiting the Appellate Court ruling on the four cases before it. If the court finds for the City, then an EIR may not be needed. If the court finds for CERF, then the city may be forced to produce a programmed EIR, which we may then be able to use to hold the Lake Murray event.


We apologize for the confusion this scenario has caused. Please know that we will consider the possibility of holding the event in the future, if the appellate court ruling makes it feasible to do so.


For more updates about the Music Fest and Fireworks and other events in our area, please visit www.navajoevents.com. While you’re on the site, consider signing up for automatic e-mail updates about all the listed events in the Navajo Communities. The Music Fest Committee again thanks all who supported the event.




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