GUEST COMMENTARY--The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) protects the environment by giving the public a voice in government projects and ensures that environmental effects of a project are mitigated. The Coastal Act requires oversight of development in California's Coastal Zone.
Now Governor Brown wants to disregard these laws so that development can occur without disclosing environmental impacts about the development to the public.
Don't let the Governor get his way. Help oppose Trailer Bill 707, which creates a broad exemption from CEQA and the Coastal Act for new development.
(Trailer bills are pieces of legislation that change policy as part of the budget process. That means that these bills do not go through various policy committees necessary to vet legislation, and can fly under the public's radar.)
Trailer Bill 707 would allow housing development to be approved "by-right." This means there would be no local government review, no public hearings, and no environmental mitigation. This by-right provision would even make sure the California Coastal Act couldn't be applied to protect the coast from development impacts.
This trailer bill will create a large policy shift, and will not help make housing affordable. In fact, the bill could make housing affordability worse.
Don't let the Governor further his agenda to weaken the state's bedrock laws that ensure full disclosure about large building projects and their environmental impacts.
Don't let the Governor ignore the public's right to be a part of the process of environmental review.
(Kyle Jones is Policy Advocate for the Sierra Club of California.)