Sonoma County Supervisors on weakening CEQA: Risky exceptions

Risky exceptions

EDITOR: The California Environmental Quality Act protects fragile natural resources, as you acknowledged in Sunday’s editorial (“Cutting red tape to build needed housing”).

Far from being “red tape,” CEQA helps keep Sonoma County an attractive place to live.

Regarding housing near the airport, it would pinpoint areas with unhealthy levels of noise.

The bill discussed in your editorial is opposed not only by the Sierra Club but by the state Judicial Council, which objects to giving this type of case preferential treatment and says the expedited judicial review provision is impracticable.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s analysis of the bill says: “The weight of the evidence undermines the perception that CEQA is a major impediment to housing and other important projects in California.”

While we may approve of local planning efforts, it is important to recognize that one exemption from a law often leads to another. Would we want the exceptions in this bill to be applied all over California? I think not.

STEVE BIRDLEBOUGH

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