Supervisors Lovingood and Ramos
Lead Final Board Approval
Of Defective Solar Ordinance




Supervisors failed to allow public concerns to be addressed in the ordinance.
Final approval sneaked under an undebateable Consent Calendar vote.

December 29, 2013

      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 code.

      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 installations.

      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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