Sierra Club to also sue over county general plan
No city other than Porterville filed suit to block Tulare County’s general plan update, but an attorney for the Sierra Club indicated in a letter to the county the intent by the environmental group to sue as well.
Porterville filed suit late Thursday, one day before the deadline in which a legal challenge could be filed. While others were expected to put the matter before the courts, only Porterville and the Sierra Club have done so.
Jed Chernabaeff, administrative analyst/media relations with the County Administrative Office, said Sierra Club attorney Babak Naficy wrote that the “Sierra Club intends to commence legal action to set aside the County’s adoption of the 2030 General Plan Update (“GPU”) and the certification of the related Final Environmental Impact Report.”
That is basically the same action the city of Porterville took.
In his letter, Naficy said the Sierra Club contends that the County’s adoption of the GPU and certification oft he FEIR were in violation of California Environmental Quality Act and the California Planning Laws. The Sierra Club raised those issues in letters and comments at hearings.
“These include but are not limited to a failure to adequately analyze project impacts, a failure to require adequate mitigation, a failure to adequately analyze alternatives, and a failure to adopt findings that are supported by substantial evidence.”
Chernabaeff said the Sierra Club’s Notice of Intent is a document which provides the Sierra Club 10 business days to serve Tulare County. “While the Notice of Intent was sent, Tulare County has not received the lawsuit and is not aware if it was filed or not,” said Chernabaeff.
The notice was dated Sept. 28.
The city of Porterville has several concerns with the GPU, including provisions to have the city collect developer fees for the county and construction standards that are not the same as those in the city.
The GPU has been nearly a decade in the making and has not been widely supported by the county’s eight incorporated cities. Only one city so far — Dinuba — has signed a memorandum of understanding with the county on the general plan. The Porterville city council has not approved that MOU, but last week the county approved the MOU and sought the approval from the seven remaining cities.