NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- In a victory for environmental activists, the California Coastal Commission on Wednesday voted to reject a proposal for an 895-home development in the Banning Ranch area of Newport Beach.
The 9-1 decision came after a marathon session that lasted more than 13 hours.
Developers wanted to build nearly 900 residential units, a shopping complex and a hotel on 75 of Banning Ranch's 400 acres. The stretch of coastline is situated between Costa Mesa, the Santa Ana River and the Pacific Ocean, and has long been a site for oil drilling.
The proposal was voted down over concerns about protecting wildlife in the area, including the burrowing owl.
Environmentalists at the meeting, some holding signs that read "SAVE BANNING RANCH," erupted in cheers after the tally was announced.
In the aftermath of the decision, the owners of the land said they may resume drilling for oil on the property.