At their May 24 meeting, in a 4-0 vote, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission supported the original version of Policy 4.10 of the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element of the County General Plan. In August 2017 the County Supervisors had asked for a review of 4.10. After nine months, Land Use Services provided the Commission with a revised version of 4.10 that clearly benefitted developers over desert communities.
ard of Supervisors.
Will the County of San Bernardino truly stand behind their claims of support for residents of rural communities who have been confronted in recent years with one after another ill-suited development projects? The answer will become evident at this Thursday’s 9AM Planning Commission Meeting in San Bernardino. The single agenda item is the Renewable Energy Conservation Element (RECE) section 4.10. Read the original version and the staff-recommended revision and see how unprotected the revision leaves us. The original version prohibits large scale renewable energy development in rural desert communities; the revised version simply benefits energy developers.
MBCA continues to monitor land developments that are potentially harmful to the Mojave Desert, and to make public comments during environmental review processes. MBCA's recent comments on the Daggett Solar Energy Project - once again carefully researched and documented by Board member Pat Flanagan - have been sent as part of the scoping process for the Daggett Solar Energy Project. Among the nine points of concern described concerns are air quality, scenic views, biological resources, and environmental justice.
The San Gabriel Valley Water District, having been approached to be a customer of Cadiz, Inc.'s proposed water project, declined the opportunity at its Board meeting on Tuesday, March 21. MBCA has been informing our supporters for several years about the likely harm that will be done to East Mojave ecosystems should the company's plan be completed. This March 22 Desert Sun article describes the current situation and summarizes the history of the project. This LA Weekly article that we shared last fall provides a comprehensive look at the Project's history.
MBCA Director Pat Flanagan has become recognized as an authority on the issues of dust pollution and sand transport paths in the Morongo Basin and others areas of the Mojave Desert. In a followup to her recent presentation to the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council, she was the key presenter at the February meeting of the Lucerne Valley/Johnson Valley Municipal Advisory Council about the issue, as reported in this article in the Victor Valley Daily Press. Pat's PowerPoint presentation on Sand Transport Paths contains a detailed explanation of the issue and its ramifications related to renewable energy development. Additionally, there is a segment at the end of the presentation explaining why MBCA and others are requesting that the County reinstate language in the Renewable Energy Conservation Element of the General Plan regarding renewable energy developments in rural communities.