Our Homes and Cities are Under Attack

Hosted by Susan Kirsch, Director, Catalysts for Local Control

Town Hall #3



Mother Earth: Sacrificing the Environment for Developer Profits

Linda Koelling, former Mayor, Foster City & Kristi Corley, community advocate

Legislators, under the influence of developers’ demands that their projects “pencil out,” are pushing housing bills that unravel 40 years  of environmental protections. They put their constituents in danger at a time when drought, fires, and flooding have never been more prevalent.

Action Plan:

1. Send a letter to your legislators about the need to follow the landmark CEQA law and follow the process to protect our environment. (see sample letter). You can choose questions from the list of questions below.

2. Send an email to your city council members requesting the need to follow CEQA in order to mitigate the impacts of additional housing projects on our infrastructure and protect local environment. (see sample letter)


Important Questions regarding CEQA:

  1. How do lawmakers justify streamlining a process that has been state law for 50 years to specifically protect our environment?
  2. Are legislators considering environmental protection when pushing additional housing requirements in California cities
  3. Are we prepared to minimize any building application process that protects our environment.
  4. CEQA provides an important service of ensuring that project costs are internalized meaning that the applicant can be made to pay their fair share of infrastructure funding. Who will pay for the infrastructure costs when neither SB 9 or 10 have any provisions for additional infrastructure costs. Is that fair to the current residents of a community?
  5. Is streamlining approval for projects, to fast track them, marking the end of CEQA? Then what do we do to protect the environment?
  6. Well unchecked growth and high-density building exacerbate global warming through increased traffic and higher GHG emissions?
  7. Legislators continue to add language in bills to streamline or eliminate CEQA. Should we allow this to continue?
  8. Legislators don’t seem to be taking into consideration the environmental affects that these bills could/ will have on our communities. Why are they protecting developers rather than our communities?
  9. What are we unleashing if we don’t follow CEQA as it was intended? Do we want to eliminate our trees which we know absorb environmental gasses such as carbon dioxide in turn give off oxygen and sustain life?
  10. Why are development projects in these housing bills going through ministerial approval process and eliminating CEQA?
  11.  current effort is underway, led largely by business and development interests to weaken some of the key provisions of CEQA. If that happens, a likely outcome would be less public review, fewer environmental protections and more unchecked growth. Are we willing to accept this from our legislators?
  12. It’s been said that the CEQA process is expensive and time consuming to developers. Is this why legislators are proposing streamlining or eliminating the CEQA process? Follow the money.