Our correspondent (who has requested anonymity), is upset that the state has now abolished CEQA review rights in any community that is deemed to be a "Sustainable Communities Project." This happy faced phrase actually denotes an imposed state imperative that in practice means densely packed condo settlements located near public transit. The idea being that people will magically give up their automobiles should they live near a bus station. And short of a nuclear power plant, I can't think of much that could use an environmental review more than additional overbuilt neighborhoods.
Sierra Madre, which is certain to be deemed a "Sustainable Communities Project" area in 2012 because of our proximity to the Gold Line, could very well be forced to accommodate the kind of downtown development that was called for in the Downtown Specific Plan a couple of years back. With Measure V facing strong Court challenges as SB 375 could be found to overrule it.
Here is how the e-mail reads:
I want to express my thanks for all of your wonderful articles regarding Steinberg's CEQA exempt SB 375. Your articles are helping people understand what a hugely destructive scam this is, and also the need to put a stop to Schwarzenegger/Steinberg's use of CEQA Exempt SB 375 and RHNA. This is an enablement designed for the use of corrupted city politicians and boards of supervisors, developers, realtors, greedy land owners in their need to get away with building anything, anywhere regardless of what is involved environmentally.
Thought you might be interested in the San Diego City Beat article below which you might want to reference or use some of the information in it for an upcoming article. The author, E. A. Barrera, along with yourself are shining light on this destructive and exploitive scheme. Keep up the good work.
E.A. Barrera's bottom line in the article below needs to get shouted out during Public Comments at every City Council meeting and Board of Supervisors meeting in California. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
Barrera's article gives a pretty good overview of how the process is going down in San Diego County. Its version of SCAG is SANBAG (love these acronyms), and apparently that part of the state has been ordered to serve as the initial rollout for SB 375. With the greater San Diego area being the laboratory for Dr. Schwarzenegger's developmental Frankenstein. And the paragraph cited in the email above makes a very good point. Nobody is really telling the citizens of this state exactly what they are in for.
"It has been said that you don't know what you've got 'til its gone," McConnell said ... "Yet where state environmental law applies, the opposite is true: Citizens and decision makers must, in fact, be informed of what they have before, and not after, it's gone."
Which, of course, is not possible for the likes of Sacramento, SCAG, SANBAG, or its many busy apparatchiks like our Joe Mosca. They really do have a powerful need to keep this thing as quiet as possible. Because if it was explained to the citizens of California that their homes and automobiles have been deemed environmentally hazardous and that there is now a Sacramento stealth law in existence designed to shove folks in in the direction of giving them up, there could very well be an unprecedented political uprising in this state that would leave none of the involved culprits in power.
Here's an interesting thought. The upcoming City Council elections here in Sierra Madre could be the first election in California where SB 375 is an issue. Mostly because Joe Mosca, who is up for reelection in April, is deeply involved in its implementation. An official whose agendas are far more closely aligned with Sacramento than the people he is supposed to serve, this could make Joe vulnerable politically.
A lot of people will be watching.