Lawsuits accuse Fresno of failing to protect environment

Interest groups and government agencies are successfully suing the city of Fresno, winning cases that raise questions about how the city protects the public from the effects of development.

The lawsuits, filed under the California Environmental Quality Act, have accused the city of failing to fully consider air pollution, traffic, historic buildings and other factors when approving development.

Since the start of 2005, 10 CEQA actions against Fresno have been decided, and the city won just once. Fresno settled six cases and lost three -- the losses coming in appellate court decisions made during a 14-month period ending in May.