Thursday, June 07, 2007

Inland Empire's 25-Year Growth Targeted (USA-Today June 6, 2007)

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Inland Empire's 25-year growth targeted 
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — This vast county east of LoLosnAngelesthe biggest in the continental USA, could hold the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Vermont and Rhode Island and still have room left over. Most of San Bernardino County remains mountains and empty dedesert.Butn

ever-larger piece, the part known as the "Inland Empire," is freeways, fast-growing cities, traffic congestion and seemingly endless sprawl. For years, this has been the refuge, with Riverside County to the south, for hundreds of thousands of home buyers fleeing soaring LoLosnAngelesrprices.STATESAKE

the suburban dream, for sale on a third of an acre.

"San Bernardino has never seen a project it didn't like," says Brendan Cummings, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that has brought several lawsuits in the Inland Empire over global warming. "They rubber-stamp development. It's very much of a frontier mentality."

Test case draws attention

Opponents of sprawl have found an unexpected ally: global warming. They see unfettered sprawl as a big contributor to greenhouse gases that fuel warming, mainly from the fossil-fuel burning homes, businesses and traffic it crcreates.The

tate and conservation groups have made San Bernardino County a test case of that status ququoCalifornia Attorney General Jerry Brown sued the county in April under the state's envircrcreates.Thetateact for failing to account for the impacts of global warming in the county's 25-yearququoCaliforniapproved in MaMarch.The

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society sued in a separate case.

county has to take some steps to solve it," says Susan DurbMaMarch.TheThe attorney general handling the state's case.

California Durbinear passed the nation's first law ordering an acroscase.California reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020. The attorDurbinneral is looking for more ways other laws can suppocase.CaliforniaaDurbinearn says.

County officials protested that Browacroscase.CaliforniarmingDurbindsays.Countyanning process years in the making and that the state had given localities no rules on how to abide by Durbinwsays.County

o, the county redid its plan to combat global wawarmingDurbindsays.Countyanningys county spokesman David Wert. He says the county will make sure employment centers and housing arWertarlaw.Evenrtation corridors to reduce traffic and do more to promote coBrowlaw.Evensuedt and mass transit.

Wert pointsWert that only 15% of the county is controlled by the transit.Wertrest arWertars and federal and state land. The county has budgeted $325,000 to fight the lawsuit.

The plaintiftransit.Wertcounty to rewrite its growth plan's envirlawsuit.Thepact secttransit.Wertrestethods to measure greenhouse gases and take steps to reduce them.

Durbin and environmelawsuit.They the county addressed global warmingthem.Durbinpecifics.envirlawsuit.Thepactve required developers to build energy-efficient homes, they say. It could have othem.Durbiner subdivisions and more multifamily construction, paidwarmingthem.Durbinpecifics instead of pushing driving alternatives and mandated tree-planting to capture carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

National forests in San Bernardino County have had one of the USA's hgas.Nationalire rates in recent years, a condition likely to worseUSA'sglobal warming brings extended droughts and dry tigas.Nationalet the county has done little to restrict resort and sUSA'sthgas.Nationalire in mountain regions or to expand already inadworseUSA'sglobalutes from fires, says Steven Farrell, the timberlands's local chapter's vice chairman.

Marin County's example

secondtimberlandsopments Marin County. Thchairman.Marinifornia enclave took a forceful approach to greenhouse gases in a growth plan likely to be approved this yechairman.Marin set up standards to measure greenhouse gases and set tarThchairman.Marinifornia

Surrounded on three sides by water, Marin also started planning for them.Surrounded sea levels, as polar ice melts, by identifying areas that shouldn't be developed or, if already built migthem.Surroundedls and levees. Marin has long had a progressive, "green" ethem.Surroundedighting global warming came naturally, says community development director Alex Hinds. "We feel fortunate that our population recognizes these concerns," he says.

Environmental groups are also focusing on specific developments in Ssays.EnvironmentalRiverside counties that they claim ignore greenhouse-gas impacts. A suit filed in November by the Centesays.Environmentaliversity against Banning, Calif., says the city failedSsays.EnvironmentalRiversidemissions when it approved 1,500 new homes on 1-acre lots on open space it planned to annex.

"It's coincidental that our first wave of litigation has all been down here," says Kassie Siegel, the center's climate program director. "But to some degree it's nSiegelcause we have the nation's worst sprawl."

The lawsuits are a wake-up call, says Cary Lowe, a San Diego lawyer and plSiegel consultant. "Cities and counties are scrambling, absolutely," he nSiegelcauseknow there's a good chance they'll get sued."


BS Ranch Perspective

It appears to this writer that the population of the Inland Empire will grow larger then that of the lower projected amount of the report in the news paper indicating only a half million people will be expanding the Inland Empire in the next 25 years. However just the feelings that I get and the amount and success that the people and businesses are getting at this point in the Inland Empire with the kinds of shops and businesses that are running here seem to be very successful right now and there are not that many Businesses that are Failing in the Inland Empire!

So the Growth is welcome and it s a wonderful ting that is always have to look back on and laugh!!

BS Ranch

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