To Reform CEQA, Return to its Roots
In a The Planning Report exclusive, former Ventura City Manager Rick Cole defends CEQA against both those who would reform it, and those defending it in its current state, suggesting misinterpretation of the act, and the procedures developed in response, have twisted CEQA in opposition of the very projects that share its goals of sustainability and environmental stewardship.
In recent years even staunch environmentalists have called for CEQA reform, as developments, including rail and solar projects, are stalled under the guise of environmental concerns. Indeed, Governor Jerry Brown, a traditional champion of environmental causes, has gone as far as saying, "I've never seen a CEQA exemption that I didn't like." Cole calls for collaboration in addressing the misuse and cumbersome bureaucratic hurdles that prevent CEQA from fulfilling its true purpose.