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Delta Stewardship Council could control local land-use decisions, San Joaquin County supervisors say

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Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:11 am, Thu Dec 22, 2011.

Did you know that the state might want to oversee plans to improve Thornton's central business area? Or a recycling plant in Stockton? Or a couple of subdivisions in the Mountain House development west of Tracy?

Two San Joaquin County supervisors warned the Lodi City Council that the state-appointed Delta Stewardship Council may want to seize land-use authority from cities, counties, water districts and other agencies in and near the Delta.

Starting next year, the Delta Stewardship Council could end up operating like the California Coastal Commission, but even worse, county Supervisor Ken Vogel told the City Council on Wednesday night.

The Delta Stewardship Plan has yet to be adopted by the Stewardship Council, but its staff has already sent letters to local agencies in San Joaquin County about potential land-use projects, Stockton City Attorney John Luebberke told the Lodi City Council.

"It may be very inconsistent with the desires of the community," Luebberke said.

The City Council voted 4-0 to endorse a resolution requesting that communities in and near the Delta be equal partners with the Stewardship Commission when it comes to Delta issues. Councilman Bob Johnson was absent.

"We are at ground zero, and the bullseye is on our back," County Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller said about Delta counties. "We need to bring as much pressure as possible."

The Delta Stewardship Council was formed to develop the Delta plan in conjunction with the proposed peripheral canal or tunnel that would convey more Delta water to the southern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

"It's really about water in Northern California and Southern California," City Councilman Larry Hansen said.

"It's all about water," Vogel replied.

The Stewardship Council's position was not immediately available.

The Delta Stewardship Council was formed by the state Legislature in 2009 to develop the Delta plan by 2012. The council's plan won't have to be approved by the state, Vogel said.

Even though the plan has yet to be adopted, Engineer Kevan Samsam, representing the Delta Stewardship Council, sent a letter to San Joaquin County about a study concerning potential public works improvements in Thornton, which includes a roundabout.

In his letter, Samsam refers to "covered actions," which constitutes any project that will occur in the Delta or Suisun Marsh, funded or approved by the state or a local public agency or have a significant effect on achieving flood-control goals.

The Thornton improvement study would probably not meet the definition of a "covered action," according to Samsam's letter, but it could become a "covered action" in the future if the project changes.

"As such, we would encourage you to consult with us to ensure the project's consistency with the Delta plan ..." the letter read.

Ruhstaller reminded the Lodi City Council that decisions regarding the White Slough Wastewater Treatment Plant near Flag City could be subject to state approval.

"Any time you want to change a light bulb (at the plant), that will be a 'covered action,'" Ruhstaller said.

Vogel and Ruhstaller have already addressed the Stockton, Escalon and Ripon city councils to seek a unified voice in opposing the Delta Stewardship Plan. They plan to make the same pitch before the Lathrop, Manteca and Tracy city councils as well.

The Stewardship Council is chaired by former Sacramento Mayor and Assemblyman Phil Isenberg. Other members include former San Joaquin County Assemblyman and Sen. Patrick Johnston, and Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli of Galt.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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  • Wendell Davis posted at 11:36 pm on Thu, Dec 22, 2011.

    SgtWD Posts: 1

    Isn't it nice to see government in action? The people can't make the proper choices in life so the government has to take care of them. Only the government knows what is best for the people. Sounds like something found in communism. Isn't that interesting considering this is still the United States of America or is it?

    If a property owner wants to make a choice to allow or disallow that is, was, and should remain their right. This is not a government concern unless you actually believe that government knows best. Have no fear the government is here. You will do as you are told and you will like.

    No you can't ride a bicycle without a helmet. No you can't ride in the back of a pick-up truck. No you can't have a toy in a Happy Meal. No you can't ride a horse on a ranch. No you can't learn how to drive... a tractor. No you can't burn wood in a fireplace. No you can't etc, etc, etc. No you can't object to the rules being made for you. You do not know what is good for you. Only the government knows.

    How many of you really believe this? Oh yeah, one more thing. Just open your wallet and give the government your money because as you can tell by how well they control spending they have your best interest in mind. I mean it's not like there is a 15 Trillion Dollar National debt or that California is up to it's ears in debt. How about your local government, are they fiscally responsible?

    Remember only the government knows what is good for you. Why yes comrade they are sheep. We have trained them well. You can tell by who they vote for.

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 4:52 pm on Thu, Dec 22, 2011.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 469

    The 5 acres was just used as an example, The financial restrictions will be on ANY improvements that are not deemed "Sustainable" whether they are in town or in the country. What are just some of the things that are NOT sustainable? Ski runs, Golf Courses (there are plans right now over in San Francisco County to shut down Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica) Dams (there are plans up north to tear down 4 dams) The list is actually quite long. There are landowners over in the Bay Area that own commercial property that has been rezoned as "open space" this is not speculation-- these are things happening right now. Out of 1200 miles of government owned land up in Plumas County, over 800 miles of it is off limits to American citizens. Another good website is www.freedomadvocates.org
    The goal is to regionalize and take power out of the local governments so the people have less control. The mantra is "Think globally, act locally"

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:11 pm on Thu, Dec 22, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Kim... it may or may not be what you describe. However, either way, this is scary stuff.

  • Joe Commentor posted at 11:39 am on Thu, Dec 22, 2011.

    JoeCommentor Posts: 1

    This would be great to limit the sprawl that politicians refuse to reign in in order to protect both water supplies and environmental needs. Both the state and the feds have promised and contracted out more water than is in the system.

    I would rather have fresh salmon than alfalfa or cotton

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 8:59 am on Thu, Dec 22, 2011.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 469

    You can put your hands over your ears and hum to yourself until the cows come home, ignore this issue and accuse people like me of wearing tin foil hats, but this is Agenda 21, through and through. Visit www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com and/or get Rosa Koire's book, Behind the Green Mask."Regionalization" has been warned about for years and here is living proof. The Council of Gevernments is planning on expanding its jurisdiction and they, and NGO's like Smart Valley Places are going to dictate to us how we live our lives. San Joaquin Council of Governments Blueprint 2050 addresses reduction in rural residences and on page 35 even discusses lending practices that lending institutions will have to implement to promote "Smart Growth" Have 5 acres and want to build a house on it but need a loan? Oh, no you don't, not unless it promotes Smart Growth, and a house on 5 acres will probably not meet the criteria. The goal is to push high density housing along Transit corridors and that is what Daryll Steinberg's SB375 is all about that kicks in next year. SB375 doesn't HAVE to be complied with- you just won't get any transit dollars if you don't "comply" Sounds like extortion to me..



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