“Why is the Board of Forestry removing all of the protections to public safety in a time of increased wildfires resulting in loss of human lives and billions of dollars in property loss, why must the Board subject the public to more suffering simply to appease special interest developers?”
The proposed Emergency Regulations the Board of Forestry is set to approve May 5th will completely gut the SRA regulations and open SRA high fire danger areas throughout California to unfettered commercial development resulting in the destruction of the very forests and critical habitat the Board of Forestry should be protecting while elevating critical fire and safe access dangers which will only result in more property damage, loss, and most importantly, loss of life:
Article 2. Emergency Access and Egress
- 1273.00. Intent.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), existing roads, driveways, and road and driveway structures, whether public or private, providing access to the activities described in § 1270.02(a) and (e) need not comply with the standards set forth in this article unless the activities include approval of a subdivision requiring a tentative and final map as set forth in Government Code § 66426. Before approving an activity that is not required to comply with the standards set forth in this article, the local authority having jurisdiction shall require the activity be reasonably accessed and served in the case of a wildfire, with adequate ingress, egress, and capacity for evacuation and emergency response.
This exemption now severely narrows the compliance threshold of the SRA regulations to just the creation of major subdivisions of 5 parcels or more, ALL other new construction in SRA areas is now exempt from minimum safety standards. All any developer has to do is limit the development size to 4 or less parcels and they will be exempt from providing the minimal safety standards the SRA was created to enforce, apply, and protect. Regardless of the developments size, detriment, or traffic impacts, there will be no enforceable oversight or protections.
According to the Office of Administrative Law, OAL, Emergency Regulations may be adopted “in response to a situation that calls for immediate action to avoid serious harm to the public peace, safety, or general welfare”. https://oal.ca.gov/emergency_regulations/ What situation of pending serious harm now exists that it is necessary to put the public in further danger and harm by gutting the SRA regulations and reverting to pre-1991 nonstandards of fire safety? How can PRC 4290 that directed the creation of the SRA regulations and the 1993 Attorney General Opinion defining the allowed exemption be summarily dismissed without legislative action and public input?
Why is the Board of Forestry removing all of the protections to public safety in a time of increased wildfires resulting in loss of human lives and billions of dollars in property loss, why must the Board subject the public to more suffering simply to appease special interest developers?