Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Is defending mitigation and conservation defensible?

The Village News recently reported on the Fallbrook Community Forum, the latest incarnation of the old Revitalization Committee, both business oriented, especially toward real estate. There are a couple of problems with this sunny appraisal.

Any development, mitigation or conservation action has to be in concert with action to restrain climate change; climate change didn’t make the scoreboard here.

“And the owner of a private property can do anything they wish, but violate the law.” Sounds good, but land use, however, is governed not by law but by county or city plans – which are routinely violated by the influence of profits to be gained.

It certainly doesn’t comport with the experience in North County. Remember the Rosemary Mountain quarry and the Gregory Canyon landfill? The County has a recently updated general plan (without climate action) which has been shot through with exemptions and amendments.

Conservation and mitigation sound good, but be aware that land inventories for these purposes can also be a real estate development tool. Mitigation is expressed here as “outside the property.” It should be inside the property; you can’t use remote land and call it mitigation. That defies logic. The plants and animals are happy where they are, not miles distant, which may not even be a similar environment.

In addition, there are financial incentives to be made from mitigation - through subsidies and fees. All is not sweetness and light in conservation and mitigation. Whatever has become of highest and best use?

John Watson

Reader Comments(0)