Thursday, June 26, 2008

Time for Action on the Solano General Plan

By Nicole Byrd, Solano - Napa Field Representative, Greenbelt Alliance

The Board of Supervisors will hold their first public hearing on the General Plan next week. Our community needs to show up in full force to let the Supervisors know that we want a plan that makes our quality of life better, not worse. Unfortunately, the proposed plan will drastically change Solano County for the worse! The plan could result in paving over as much as 30,000 acres of farmland – that’s more than the size of Fairfield. Implementing this plan will further deteriorate our air quality, and we already have the worst asthma in the state. Traffic will get much worse than it is and we could face water shortages. Please come to the public hearing and tell the Board that we want a plan that makes our community stronger, healthier and safer.

The first hearings are set for Tuesday, July 1, 2008 from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Come to either time that works for you.

Additionally, the board will be holding a public hearing on the Environmental Impact Report on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 – 2:00 p.m. Please also put this date on your calendar.

[See list below of additional hearings, agendas, and supporting documents.]

There are many aspects of this General Plan to be concerned about. I’ve included some points of concern below. Please feel free to address these in your comments, or bring up other issues.


--Developing more of our county land will increase traffic and make our air quality even worse.

--The Draft Plan does very little to acknowledge Solano County’s water supply problems. More work needs to be done to ensure that development in the unincorporated areas will have a sufficient water supply.

Growth Concerns
--The land use diagram shows a significant increase in development in the unincorporated County over existing conditions. Why is the county growing right up against the cities’ limits?
--The extension of the Orderly Growth Initiative should be a part of any ballot measure put forth to the voters.
--Package sewage treatment plants are a bad idea (perhaps they may be ok for certain agricultural operations but not for residential subdivisions). These sewage plants will have growth-inducing impacts on agricultural lands.
--The Cities of Vacaville and Dixon have expressed concern about the plan. How can this be a good plan for the County if the Cities don’t like it? I hope that the County will work with the Cities to resolve their issues.

Community Separators
--The 2008 Draft Solano County General Plan discusses five existing Community Separators but only maps the Tri-City and County Area. More work needs to be done in regard to protecting and expanding the community separators, including mapping all of them on the land use plan. For example, the Vallejo-Benicia Separator is discussed but there are no policies to strengthen this separator nor is it mapped on the Land Use diagram.

Special Study Areas
--The GP sets up four Special Study Areas - Collinsvillle, Middle Green Valley, Old Town Cordelia, and Suisun Valley. It looks like these areas will be studied further later, but the issues should be resolved now.
--The Middle Green Valley Special Study Area sets up this area for growth.
The plan does not deal with the water issues related to growth in this area.
The plan promotes 400 new houses in Middle Green Valley which is inconsistent with the city-centered growth model that the plan says it should follow.
The plan does not deal with the traffic issues that will be created by growth in this area.

Climate change/ greenhouse gas emissions
--The plan addresses this as a mere afterthought. They did such a poor job on this that the Attorney General has asked the County to put some real protections in place.
--We know that transportation is a major source of greenhouse gases. The car – dependent rural residential growth recommended by the General Plan update will make the problem worse!

Biological Resources
--The General Plan should be consistent with the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan.

--Why is this process being rushed to get the land use changes on the November ballot? We should be focusing on creating a plan that represents our community.

If you have additional questions, please contact:
Nicole Byrd, Solano - Napa Field Representative, Greenbelt Alliance, 1652 West Texas St. Suite 163, Fairfield, CA 94533, phone: (707) 427-2308

Public Hearings on the 2008 Draft General Plan
Click on the links below for agendas and supporting documents

July 1, 2008
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Staff Presentation
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. City Comments
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Public Hearing
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Public Hearing

Board of Supervisors Chambers
675 Texas Street, 1st Floor
Fairfield CA, 94533

For more information, see here.

Additional Public Hearings:
July 8, 2008
July 18, 2008
July 21, 2008
July 22, 2008
July 29, 2008

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