CHAIRMAN HORN'S COMMENTS ON THE GENERAL PLAN UPDATE
(Please note this is not an exact transcription of his comments)
I have listened to my colleagues and I have listened to DPLU
staff, I have listened to the Planning Groups, the
environmentalists, the farmers and the property owners. And through
it all I have never wavered from my position.
today, just as I did when this process started over a decade ago,
that this is STEALING. That is not meant to be rhetoric and I
do not use that term lightly. It is a tremendous decline in
Our County Counsel has assured this Board that this
massive downzoning is legal. I simply do not agree, but I’ll leave
that to the courts.
Just because something is legal, does
not make it right. I’ll say it again. For a government agency to
take the value of your land by redefining its use violates the
spirit of the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. This is stealing
and I believe it is unethical.
The spirit of the
Constitution upholds property rights - one of the fundamental
principles upon which this nation was founded.
There is no
doubt about it; this plan harms my district and the County’s
economic future. I was re-elected in November in large part because
of my position on property rights.
Why are we, as
Supervisors, here if not to protect property rights?
Supervisor Jacob mentioned community interests in our last
meeting – I’m wondering if the community is “interested” in paying
property taxes for everyone in their community.
appropriate that yesterday this Board voted to support the creation
of an “Advanced Post-Disaster Recovery Initiative”. If this County
chooses to downzone our many neighbors who have come before us over
the past 13 years…Post-Disaster Recovery is exactly what they will
Many have said that any project of this size is going
to make some people happy and others upset. But, this isn’t that
simple. It boils down to whether this Board will come down on the
side of property owners or extreme environmentalists.
Downzoning without compensation is stealing and I cannot support
that. If government wants open space – it should pay for it.
I’m disappointed that we do not have a viable equity mechanism
in this plan. By the way the PACE program is an admission that
wealth is being transferred by government caveat, which is in
contrast to the economic analysis provided by Keyser Marston.
Interestingly, this Board heard Keyser Marston’s rebuttal to the
Rea & Parker analysis, but Rea & Parker has not been allowed
to rebut Keyser Marston.
I believe there is a lot of new
information that the public has not had the opportunity to speak
I have been hearing from property owners who have said
that there are errors in the analysis of their property, but they
have no way of correcting the record because the public hearing
closed on December 8.
I would like to see public testimony
re-opened, so that we can continue to have a dialogue with those
most affected by this proposed plan.
I believed that this
Board would have a choice today and I guess technically we do – choose
what I consider to be a flawed and incomplete plan or nothing.
That’s a shame.
In 2004, this Board voted to endorse
the staff recommended map and the Board Referral Map.
made the Referral Map the project map for the EIR review.
Consistently throughout this process, this Board has been told
that the Referral Map is the project and that anything within the
Referral Map would be ‘allowed’ as it would be studied specifically
in the EIR.
However, this is not the case. There are
Board-directed referrals that are classified as “red” meaning they
would require a recirculation of the EIR.
How can a
referral, directed by the Board and studied in the EIR of the
project map, possibly be considered a “major change” from the
project map? This makes no sense!
There is a fundamental
difference of opinion here. I believe that discussions of realistic
density should be had at the project level. We already have
ordinances like the RPO in place to deal with ‘realistic’ density.
We don’t need more regulation at the General Plan level.
believe I have been led down the primrose path, being reassured all
along that the Board would have options when it came to adoption of this plan. That the
Board could approve the Referral Map or any other map studied in the
This, however, is not the case and I feel like I have
been painted into a corner with the choice of a plan I disagree with
As I look at the Guiding Principles, I note a
few that are in my estimation inconsistent with the staff
Guiding Principle #10 says and I quote
“Recognize community and stakeholder interests while striving for
We heard 3 days’ worth of testimony that will tell
you that many in the community and numerous true stakeholders, or
landowners’ interests are not being ‘recognized’ and that we are
most certainly not anywhere near a ‘consensus’.
this whole process started because the County was sued over the Ag
element. And, yet, the farmers oppose this plan.
believe that this Board would support a plan that the 5.1
BILLIONdollar (annually) agricultural industry in this
I have heard derogatory language
calling the property owners who have protested this plan “land
speculators”. I don’t believe that generations’ old family farms
such as the Hillebrechts’ are the result of speculation and it’s
outrageous that some have resorted to that rhetoric.
minimizes and discredits hard working taxpayers.
the carrying capacity of land drives down land values, which reduces
wealth. Farmers and families will walk away from their land. I know
one person who already has.
I believe this Board has an
obligation to protect the economic future of this region.
This plan is simply not ready. I recognize that we have come a
long way and I know there are many competing interests, but I
believe that the opinion of the landowners matters more than that of
I believe that there are
numerous factors involved now that didn’t exist 12 years ago, but
that today constrain development.
The water shortage will
impact our growers’ ability to farm and many may choose to use their
land for something else. The reality is houses use far less water
The economy is bad. Land is less plentiful.
These conditions are growthreducing, not growth
This process was to plan for growth, instead we’re
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