Tehama County General Plan Approves Massive Development that will Exacerbate Global Warming
April 29, 2009
On April 27, 2009, Sierra Club and Citizens Alliance for Rural Environmental Sustainability (CARES) took legal action to prevent irresponsible sprawl growth in Tehama County. Tehama County is one of California’s last remaining areas unmarred by extensive sprawl and urbanization. The county is surrounded by the Cascade Mountains, Lassen National Forest, Ishi Wilderness and the Coastal range. Extensive oak-covered foothills span across the county’s 3,000 square miles, providing rich habitat for birds and other wildlife species.
In March of 2009, the county planning commission approved an updated general plan for Tehama County that permits large-scale development that would accommodate almost 1,000% population growth, resulting in significant environmental impacts. For the past seven years, the Sierra Club’s Mother Lode Chapter provided extensive input in the Tehama County planning process, calling for implementation of green building standards, infill development, and public transportation alternatives, as well as mechanisms to offset greenhouse gas and conventional air pollutant emissions caused by the development. Despite these efforts, the planning commission forged ahead with its pro-growth agenda and approved a plan devoid of environmental mitigation.
Sierra Club and CARES, represented by attorneys Don Mooney and Marsha Burch, are challenging the county’s updated general plan under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The two groups contend that the updated general plan must include measures to mitigate the environmental impacts of rapid development, especially on global warming and the county’s water supply.
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