The Thin Green Line Between our Rivers and Our Unincorporated County Areas Lives to See Another Day

The Thin Green Line’s scientific name is the riparian zone.  It’s definition was solidified in the GPU with measurements for set backs taken from the “top of bank” – an improvement over the previous language that the Department of Fish and Wildlife representative seemed to be OK with even with the lessening of the set back to 150ft and defining a protection limit of 200 ft.  According to the DF&W employee in attendance, the latter is relatively rare and the top of bank is such an improvement that BR-S5 comes out of this process in decent shape.

Over my head, but what Supervisor said helped sell him on this was that the ministerial process that is part of this language is much less ownerous on property owners than the other process that would entail getting CEQA permits and would start at about $6,000 simply to get the permit process started.

Supervisors Ryan and Virginia joined Supervisors Lovelace and Fennell from two weeks ago in accepting staff’s recommendation on the language of BR-S5.  The compromise came with a maximum setback of 200 ft which probably allayed much of the legitimate fears of the property rights advocates.

On the other hand, the takings rhetoric was shown to be so much falderal as a line could be acceptable to all, property rights advocates simply wanted that line to be as close to the middle of the river as possible without losing the next election.

Here is a link to the Times-Standard article.  Thanks to our local paper for allotting the staff time to be there for the entire proceedings yesterday and to reporter Will Houston for being there.

To see how far we’ve come on this from the dark days of the Planning Commission’s attempt at BR-S5  here is a My Word from local biologist Ross Taylor.

If the set-backs were the one success story – all the rest remains the same.  This Board’s job is to take the previous GPU and insert some common sense language based solely on the input of the largest stakeholders in this process.


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