NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

CEQA has become a no growth tool

Howie Muir thinks that CEQA addresses rural, urban issues, April 23, 2005
Too often the 'rules' simply aren't: a charter city, such as Grass Valley, has few legal obligations to actually follow its General Plan. Too frequently the 'rules' are opaque or vulnerable to reinterpretation convenient to the monied, profit-motivated developer. Planners and contribution-hungry politicians are generally interested in planning as development.
It is too bad that Mr. Muir does not give use some evidence that his opinion has any kernel of truth. Perhaps he will respond with some details.
Long-term rural and urban environmental issues (e.g., future density, traffic, adequacy of infrastructure, habitat) have few advocates other than the concerned citizen. CEQA protects us all.
CEQA has been used as a tool by no-growther’s to impede needed development. The RQC makes demands, threatening law suites unless they get their way. In a study of 300 cities, MIT researchers found that citizen groups, like the RQC, have turn cities into home owner cooperatives.

“Our preliminary evidence suggests that there was a significant increase in the ability of local residents to block new projects and a change of cities from urban growth machines to homeowners' cooperatives.”

More details here.

Tell me what you think


Blogger hcmuir said...

Apologies for not providing evidence of kernels of truth in my letter to The Union's editor -- such letters have to be very short. That said, California courts have upheld the right of charter cities to interpret implementation of their General Plans with far more discretion than that allowed to general law cities. One result is that a charter city's general plan is far less binding upon it as a statement of community policy than is the case for most jurisdictions in California.

I would also like to comment that the thrust of my remarks was very much taken out of context and made to represent a postition I do not hold. I am not a no-growther, do not believe that CEQA is a no-growth tool. My remarks were directed to the importance of careful planning for growth, so that the result's impacts and consequences could be appropriately prepared for with regard to infrastructure, the environment (urban and rural), and associated costs. Planning can all too often be treated as a paper-chase; CEQA reminds citizens and stewards that there is a lot to plan for and that it is best to look ahead.

Respectfully - Howie Muir

Thu Mar 20, 12:47:00 PM PDT  

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