|The Watchdog Newsletter
28 May 2002
TUNE IN TO KPBS RADIO PROGRAM
SOFAR would like to encourage all of our supporters to tune into KPBS (89.5 FM) for a very important debate regarding San Diego County's land use policies, especially in light of SOFAR's settlement of the Agricultural Preserve lawsuit. The program will air at 9:00 AM tomorrow, May 29th. SOFAR's President, Duncan McFetridge will be participating in this discussion along with San Diego County Supervisor Pam Slater. Henry Richmond will begin the program by relating Oregon's urban growth boundary law with San Diego's current growth management problems.
A REMINDER OF SOFAR'S POSITION
It is SOFAR's position that in one of the most important public interest lawsuits in our County's history, the Supervisors action on 200,000 acres of Ag Preserve land was a policy failure and a land use disaster that weakens any future planning efforts, such as the 2020 plan. SOFAR settled this case because CEQA is primarily an informational procedure and cannot force the county to make the fundamental policy changes needed to protect our backcountry. In essence, this case raised the issue of whether land is a community resource that should be used sustainably for the public good, or whether it is a commodity to be bought and sold by special interests.
THE GOOD GUYS
Throughout this six-year court battle, SOFAR argued for the integrity and importance of the General Plan as the key for sustainable growth and protection of public resources. We relied upon the State Planning Law (Code 65030) which states, "The General Plan laws were enacted with the recognition that "'California's land is an exhaustible resource, not just a commodity, and is essential to the economy, environment, and general well-being of the people '". In the conclusions that we drew from this position and upon which we filed each successful lawsuit, we were joined by other independent parties who drew the same conclusions; the Environmental Protection Agency, the California State Attorney General, scientists, economists, planning professionals, and numerous environmental groups. The San Diego Union-Tribune voiced similar outrage about the "Derelict Board's" land use planning failures. And, of course, the Superior Court agreed with SOFAR's position on the law.
THE BAD GUYS
The County, on the other hand, has continually argued this case from the position that land is a marketable commodity. In a demonstration of this position, the County teamed up in court with the Building Industry, the Farm Bureau, and the Pacific Legal Foundation (a private property advocacy group) to argue one and only one cause; to preserve development potential of the last of San Diego's resource rich lands.
DON'T FORGET TO LISTEN TO KPBS AT 9:00 AM ON
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29TH!
FEEL FREE TO CALL IN ON THE AIR WITH QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS (888.895.5727)
Thank you for your continued support!
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