Editorial: General plan challenges amount to a nuisance
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#1 Dec 1, 2010
I've got to agree with this commentary. These lawsuits, if successful, will simply require additional studies about speculative stuff in order to find out things we already actually know. And turning issues over to judges rather than resolving things ourselves really is not in anyone's best interests!
For example, the whole idea in Carmel Valley is to try to respond to the community's stated request not to improve the road to carry more cars but rather to use the road there is more efficiently. In the Salinas Valley, the water project was not intended to allow anyone in the zone of benefit to develop in any way they might want for the foreseeable future, just to try to keep them all supplied with safe and usable water for the things they're doing now. In the Open Monterey project, of course we would all like more time to review anything, but in fact if hearings are going to work as a way to influence policy, responsive solutions will always be a moving target.
Nothing decided in court will actually address any of this in real life. The most that can happen is for the judge to require another step in the process by which decisions are reached. And does anyone really think we lack information upon which to plan our future land use at this point?
(However, as a stimulus package in these tough times, these sorts of activities will certainly keep a lot of lawyers and land use consultants employed.... Talk about 'shovel ready'....)
#2 Dec 1, 2010
The Salinas Valley Water Project was explicitly sold to the residents of the Valley as a project that would _guarantee_ a stable source of water for all current _and foreseeable_ development in the Valley _through 2030_. Taxpayers are paying real money to hold up their end of that bargain, but the Supes don't want to live up to their side of the deal.
#3 Dec 1, 2010
.... AND, wells are still failing in and around the Zone now regardless of who votes how on what. In other words, however the Salinas River Water Project was sold it has not in fact solved the problem. And I'm pretty sure that lawsuits won't make more water either....
Unfortunately it turns out that promises of water do not necessarily equate to actual water, no matter how earnestly everyone involved wishes they would. And nothing anyone writes in any plan will change that. The best the BoS - or for that matter a judge - can do is to try to avoid sucking in more people to depend on what we now know to be unrealistic expectations.
I just cannot believe that it's worth stalling the GPU any more because of some theoretical fear about what the eventual ordinances implementing the requirement that we think seriously about long term water supply might eventually say. I really think that could be dealt with as the ordinances are written - and that the people here, who know the area, could do better with that than some judge someplace....
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