Poway, CA – During recent hearings to consider a conditional use permit to renovate the field and install lighting at Arbolitos Sports Park, the Poway City Council received public comments indicating the possible presence of the California gnatcatcher on site. California gnatcatchers are a Federal threatened species and a California species of concern. The City is committed with protecting the gnatcatcher consistent with its Habitat Conservation Plan and commissioned a California gnatcatcher field study to determine the presence or absence of California gnatcatchers in the coastal sage scrub on the property as these could affect future use of and planning for the Park.
The field study indicated the presence of California gnatcatchers. Consistent with City policies and practices, construction at the Park, which was originally scheduled to commence in March of this year, will now be delayed until the end of the breeding season, which can extend into August.
The City is continuing to study whether any additional gnatcatcher protections are warranted. City Manager Penny Riley confirmed that “appropriate action will be taken should the City determine there is any potential for harm to the gnatcatcher.”
The City recently met with Dr. Peter DeHoff, who has challenged the project in Superior Court, and his attorney to discuss possible settlement options.
Contact: Penny Riley