Supervisors Lovingood and Ramos
Lead Final Board Approval
Of Defective Solar Ordinance
December 29, 2013
Supervisors failed to allow public concerns to be addressed in the ordinance.
Final approval sneaked under an undebateable Consent Calendar vote.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on December 17, 2013, led
by Supervisors Robert Lovingood and James Ramos presenting the solar agenda item, gave final approval
to an ordinance containing highly defective solar amendments to the county's development
The new code, as it stands, fails to protect residents in Rural
Living zoned areas from industrial solar plants being placed within their communities;
a principle factor sought for in the county's now closed solar moratorium.
The final vote, Tuesday, December 17th, on the solar matter was placed onto
a Consent Calendar and was buried as item number 103 of 103 Consent Calendar items. The county
Board of Supervisors approved the sweeping Consent Calendar unanimously.
Under a Consent Calendar, agenda items are simply lumped together
and voted on at one time. Any board member can request that a specific item listed on a
Consent Calendar be removed and voted on individually. This allows the item to be motioned,
seconded, importantly debated, and then voted upon for its individual merit.
Agenda items that are lumped into a Consent Calendar shuts-off the
opportunity of the public who may have previously prepared to present testimony, to participate
and speak on the agenda item.
With the solar enhancement vote being handled as a Consent Calendar item,
and by the county's earlier total indifference in not allowing public concerns to be addressed as
a part of the ordinance, the ordinance as developed by Director Terri Rahhal of the county's Land
Use Services Department represents a continued power grab by that county department to maintain its
corrupt grip on controlling solar facility placement and design within San Bernardino county.
The new ordinance ignores numerous concerns voiced by the public and is
cloaked in undefined, loose terminology that continues to allow Land Use Services to place
industrial solar developments upon residential zoned parcels.
The next critical stage to watch for will be a mapping component
to the Renewable Energy Element that Land Use Services is developing for the General Plan.
This will be the actual mapping and the identification of all Rural Living zoned parcels that
Land Use Services determines will be eligible for commercial (industrial-sized) solar
Land Use Services claims that "community outreach will be a large
component of the process." However, Land Use Services has clearly demonstrated in the past
how it ignores public input; and that workshops and hearings are only done to meet the
department's necessity to meet the law's minimum requirements.
Nonetheless, the public will once again be invited by the county to
have an opportunity to go pound sand.
Earlier related blog.
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