The Latest: Crowds pack meeting on California coastal land

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on a hearing over a development proposed for a vast tract of oil land on Southern California's coast (all times local):

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9:35 am

Several hundred people have packed a hearing in Newport Beach on a plan to build homes and a hotel on a vast stretch of Southern California coastline.

Opponents to the 895 home-development carried signs urging the California Coastal Commission to protect the 401-acre property in upscale Newport Beach and burrowing owls that nest there.

Supporters of the development attended the meeting wearing T-shirts backing the plan to build

The site known as Banning Ranch is considered to be the largest remaining privately-held coastal property that could be developed south of Los Angeles.

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For decades, the property has been drilled for oil. While the development proposal would restore and preserve about 80 percent of the land as open space, environmental advocates want a larger chunk of land protected.

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12:02 am

A hotly-contested proposal to build homes on a stretch of Southern California coastline that provides wildlife habitat is up for public discussion Wednesday.

The California Coastal Commission will hold a hearing in Newport Beach on Wednesday on the plan to build 895 homes, a 75-room hotel and retail complex on the 401-acre site long used for oil drilling.

A Commission spokeswoman says Banning Ranch is considered to be the largest remaining, privately-held coastal property that could be developed south of Los Angeles.

While the plan would preserve roughly 80 percent of the property as open space, environmentalists want a much larger chunk protected.

Commission staff members want developers to confine building to 20 acres to protect habitat for the burrowing owl.