Call to Action: Endorse Local Government Official Letter in Support of CEQA Modernization
An open letter to the California Legislature.
Dear Governor Jerry Brown, Members, California State Senate and Assembly:
We, the undersigned local elected officials, urge you to adopt legislation that would modernize the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to preserve the law’s original intent – environmental protection and public disclosure and participation – while allowing environmentally responsible local decision-making, local economic development and jobs, and 21st century growth.
CEQA is an important law to ensure local governments have the information and tools to protect our local communities, and to allow for citizen involvement in local land-use decisions.
However, many important local projects are being held-up by CEQA challenges or even the threat of challenges- often times for reasons that have nothing to do with environmental protection or mitigation.
It’s much easier to challenge a CEQA decision than any other type of local land-use decision. This means that local governments must spend a lot of time and a lot of money – which could be spent on actual environmental mitigation or for some other local purpose – taking excessive steps to protect against litigation and the threat of litigation.
CEQA challenges, and the threat of CEQA challenges, also undermine the ability of local governments to approve projects that carry out other important State policies such as infill development and affordable housing.
We appreciate the efforts of legislative leaders and the Governor to adopt meaningful CEQA reform. Local agencies play a critical role in CEQA and the protection of the environment. As such, we encourage you to take the interests of local decision-makers into account as you work to reform CEQA in a meaningful way.
We look forward to working with you to promote meaningful and responsible CEQA reform this year.
I agree to be publicly listed on this letter as a supporter of CEQA modernization.