New Climate Change Guidelines Will Impact Bay Area Development

Recognizing the inevitability of sea level rise and vulnerability of much of the Bay Area, the region has adopted the first climate adaptation rules in the nation. Building along the shores of S.F. Bay remains possible.
October 8, 2011, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"New developments on the shores of San Francisco Bay won't be approved unless they offer economic or environmental benefits that outweigh the cost of protecting against rising seas, under rules adopted (Oct. 6) by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission."

The new rules carry significant implications for a controversial 12,000-home, mixed-use development proposed on 1,435 acres of Cargill salt flats (where salt was harvested) along the Redwood City bay front known as the Redwood City Saltworks.

"We believe that the version adopted today removed the impediments to proactive collaboration on sea-level rise," DMB Associates (and Saltworks developer) Vice President David Smith said. "Our concerns with the earlier versions of the amendments were that they established prohibitions and presumptions that would have thwarted solutions."

At the same time, the new regulations appeared to please the main opponent to the Saltworks project, the environmental group Save the Bay.

From Save the Bay Blog: A Vote For Smart Policies: "With yesterday's vote, BCDC's Bay Plan now discourages new development in undeveloped areas vulnerable to rising seas, and encourages tidal wetland restoration instead. BCDC is now the first state agency implementing California's Climate Adaptation Strategy on sea level rise", blogged Executive Director David Lewis.

Thanks to Gita Dev

Full Story:
Published on Friday, October 7, 2011 in The Bay Citizen
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