California Supreme Court rejects coastal property plans on environmental grounds

California’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that an upscale coastal city failed to adequately consider the environmental effects of a plan to build homes on a large swath of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The court said the city of Newport Beach should have considered environmentally sensitive habitat when drafting a review of a hotly contested proposal to develop a 401-acre (162-hectare) piece of land known as Banning Ranch.

The ruling comes amid years of court battles between environmental groups who want the tract of oil land left as open space and developers who want to build hundreds of million-dollar homes, a hotel and shopping area.

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