Trump: The Ultimate Unintended Consequence

In Sacramento, a protracted fight involving the California Environmental Quality Act downsized a proposed development. It also added fuel to the pro-Trump, anti-development fire that swept the nation on November 8.

Read Time: 2 minutes

January 5, 2017, 6:00 AM PST

By Josh Stephens @jrstephens310


LBJ Library / Flickr

"(Developer Paul) Petrovich shared with Trump a story that California’s developers, Democrat and Republican alike, know all too well: it has taken him the better part of 15 years to pour concrete at Curtis Park Village (notwithstanding the lawsuit). In that time, he said he held over 200 neighborhood meetings and adapted his project in countless ways to satisfy neighbors. He did so in part to insulate himself against CEQA lawsuits that they surely would have filed had he failed to cross a 't' or dot an 'i.'"

"Not surprisingly, Trump, himself a developer, sympathized with Petrovich’s plight. In fact, Trump was “blown away,” according to Petrovich. Petrovich said that Trump has cited, with full Trumpian incredulity, a situation like his in interviews, referring to developers who have to wait 10-plus years to win approvals and land clear of the courts."

"Many of these groups and many other fans of CEQA are genuine environmentalists. Often their efforts do lead to greener projects — but, with adversarial attitudes towards (and from) developers — they lead to delayed projects. Collectively, these obstructionist tendencies add a supertanker's worth of fuel to the anti-regulation fire."

"This year, while NIMBY's were tittering about LULU’s, the 'drill baby drill' crowd was marshaling its forces. The result: President Trump. Secretary of State Tillerson. EPA Director Perry."

[Editor's note: President-elect Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general, to lead the U.S. EPA. The original article has been corrected.]

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 in California Planning & Development Report

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