Dear Friends and Aligned Members of AEL:
Happy Summer Solstice. Our early human family found an energetic lift and auspicious energy during the Solstice. May we as well!
No Pandemic Panic Here
All well wishes for all of you! As the walls of the COVID pandemic seem to be closing-in on us once again, we are forced to put our hopes of reentering society at-bay. A Deja Vous -we’re back working diligently at meeting our obligations to family, society and our communities in the safest and best way we can. While staying connected is a challenge; this is a reminder that our Enviro Events calendar is a way reach people and be informed. We invite our member organizations to register on our AEL website: enviroalliance.org. Once that’s done, you have access to an array of outreach tools to help you stay connected and GROW! Once you register, you can “log in” on our homepage and post articles and updates. Partner orgs., please register on our weh site – then you’ll be good to GO!
Call for Events – July Enviro Events Calendar Blasts-off soon
In two weeks, we’ll be doing another BLAST of the July Enviro Events calendar. Please use this window of opportunity to post your events, meetings and points of information on our Eco Events calendar (go to www.enviroalliance.org — enviro events). There is a short video on the right side of our Envio Events web page that will walk you through how to post an event. Non-aligned but like-minded organizations are also welcome to post on our Enviro Events Calendar. We will grow bigger and stronger together using this tool!
Being Flexible in a COVID environment
One of our partner organizations, CNPS Redbud, asked that we notify the AEL community that Chris Paulus’ lecture on Ecological Forestry, Fuels Modifications, Fire Safety and Conservation has been rescheduled from June 24 to July 28 due to COVID precations. More info. to follow! Watch our Enviro Events calendar.
Pushing ahead and over citizens’ concerns
The Placer County Board of Supervisors “agenda” for moving non-time sensitive projects forward is unabated. Despite COVID and despite Supervisor Uhler being a lame-duck and despite citizens’ pleas to hold-off until in-person public hearings are possible, the Placer County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors undeterred. Our AEL campaign to seek postponement for these non-essential project reviews until the public is afforded safe and immediate access have been ignored. This behavior is discouraging to citizens and public groups everywhere.
Zoning Text Amendment – Wineries and Breweries as Neighbors
An example: ]The Zoning text Amendment (ZTA) for the Winery and Brewery Ordinance which will be heard by the Board of Supervisors on June 23rd. Call 530-889-4010 and 886-1800 to learn how to provide comments, The environmental review and project analyses for these Amendments has been in process for YEARS. Hundreds of citizens are concerned for their lives and livelihoods. There is no reason to jam it through now but it is happening on June 23.
What it portends: On rural roads and across the agrarian countryside of West and South Placer County, the Text Amendment and Winery and Brewery Ordinance will bring a swarm of tourists to sample wine and beer and enjoy “commercial kitchens” (aka restaurants) – that will be open in residential areas until 10 PM every day. The amplified music from these venues will reverberate in the hills and valleys and in living rooms across the region. We’re opposed to commercial kitchens as an “accessory uses” in rural residential agriculture or farm zones. We are not opposed to wineries or breweries that are ag operations. However, holding events, let alone “unlimited events,” serving food as a restaurant, and hosting weddings in a rural residential zone, is not agriculture. It will harm agriculture. Noise, traffic, and other disruptive impacts to rural residential neighbors are unacceptable. It will harm citizens’ right to peace and quiet. We are also concerned that the cumulative impacts of the Winery and Brewery Ordinance and the Hidden Falls Expansion (they impact the same area with traffic and noise) were not evaluated in the EIR. Finally, as wedding venues increase in popularity, we are concerned that our rental housing stock will be converted to Air B. and B’s to house weekend visitors. Can you speak out on June 23? Call 530-886-1800 for a speaking time-slot.
Know your PCCP’s and Q’s
The Placer County Conservation Plan (PCCP) is 20 years in the making and will cost $1.2 billion to implement over its 50 year life. A description of the intent/impact of the PCCP was included in my last memo to you all. I am writing to let you know that the date of the Placer County Planning Commission’s EIS/EIR Public Hearing has been moved to July 9, 2020 and public comments will receive written responses if received by that date. Send comments to Shirlee Herrington, Placer Co. Environmental Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because we cannot review hard copies of the EIS/EIR at our beloved libraries, Shirlee Herrington will send you a CD of the PCCP EIR/EIS if you contact her.
Onward we go! And going onward in partnership is better for us all. There is a tipping point where the active minority can bring about change in the views of the passive majority once we reach 25-30%. Can you imagine a world where elected officials are enlightened, where environment, education, quality of life and fair housing come first and foremost? Will you help to bring us to the tipping point where we all achieve our individual and collective goals and objectives? All it takes is working together!
I’ll be keeping an eye open for your Enviro Events calendar posting.
Together, we’re a stronger voice.
Leslie Warren, Chair
Alliance for Environmental Leadership