Judge denies tribe's motion to stop road construction

A motion to stop construction of a road that is believed to be on an ancient Native American village and burial ground was denied late Wednesday by San Diego County Superior Court Judge Harry M. Elias.

The San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño Indians sought a a temporary restraining order against construction of a road in Fallbrook, saying the land should not be unearthed because it is a sacred area. The tribe wants the road to be moved to preserve the land.

According to the North County clerk’s office for the San Diego County Superior Court, an injunction hearing has been set for March 19 at 8:30 a.m.

The road is being built as part of the purchase agreement for Palomar College’s future site of its North Education Center, which will eventually reside along the northwest side of the completed road, near the Interstate 15 and state Route 76 connection in Fallbrook.

Horse Ranch Creek Road will connect state Route 76 to the southern portion of the North Education Center at Pankey Road.

The college has been working on grading the 2-mile road since July 2011. Palomar College said it could not comment on this issue since it is in litigation.

The college hopes to have Horse Ranch Creek Road completed by August 2012. There are currently no plans to start construction of the North Education Center.

There is also a master-planned housing community -- Meadowood by Pardee Homes -- being built by the road in question. It calls for 844 single and multifamily homes, trails and parks on a 389.5-acre site.

Pardee Homes says it has worked with Native American tribes throughout the entire process to ensure the project would not interfere with sacred lands.

An environmental report determined the project could move forward, but Native American tribes say it only took into account archeological value but not cultural value of the site.

Calls were not immediately returned from the San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño Indians.

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