In a May 8, 2013 memo to the County Board of Supervisors, the Community Development
Director (CDD) is lobbying the Board in hopes that they will consider sending a letter in
opposition to Assembly Bill 52 (AB-52).  
Click here to see the memo, proposed letter, and a copy
of AB-52.

On May 14th, the supervisors decided not to send a letter of opposition, but instead to send a
letter suggesting amendments to the bill.

Concerning the Lobbying

This lobbying by a public servant who's job involves making sure that land use planning laws are
followed is curious.  A Planning Director or Community Development Dept. Director should have
no public preference about the nature of the land use planning laws that are to be enforced.  
Their job is only to make sure the laws are enforced.  Though everyone is welcome to their
"personal" opinion and political actions, such public lobbying should be prohibited by public
servants.   

In his memo to the Supervisors, the CDD says that this bill would “mandate an onerous set of
time consuming and potentially costly processes...” and “the County would loose a significant
amount of control over how it processes and approves new public and private sector projects.”

This is simply not true.

AB-52 Considerations

If passed, AB-52 would ask the State Office of Planning and Research to make minor changes to
the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) adding "Tribal cultural resources" as a resource
to be evaluated during the development permit review process.  The bill will also insure that the
Native American community is included in the standard CEQA review process (something that is
allowed any member of the general public).

Most (if not all) “Tribal cultural resources” are historic or prehistoric archaeological sites,
already covered by CEQA requirements. AB 52 does not require anything new.

The only way that AB 52 would require Lake County to change its current CEQA review process is
if that process is not following current CEQA law.  If the County currently does not require the
identification of historic and prehistoric cultural sites on ALL discretionary projects (as
required by CEQA Sec. 21084.1 and 21083.2), then AB 52 will require some changes in the current
project review process.   If the county is somehow not allowing all members of the public full
access to planning documents and the ability (through public hearings) to comment during the
CEQA review process, then AB 52 will require some changes in the current project review process.

However, those changes will bring the county into compliance with CEQA law, thus protecting
the county from potential litigation.  It seems to me that this would be something the
Community Development Director should be in support of, rather than in opposition to.
ASSEMBLY BILL 52
History and Prehistory of Lake County
and Beyond
1878 Painting
Site maintained as a public service by Archaeological Research, PO Box 1353, Lucerne, CA 95458.
Contact: dr.john@wolfcreekarcheology.com  Copyright 2013, Archaeological Research
If you are interested in supporting the passage of AB-52, please send an email to the bill's
authors and your Assembly person.

AB-52 Author Assemblyman Mike Gatto  assemblymember.gatto@assembly.ca.gov
AB-52 Co-Author Assemblyman Luis Alejo  assemblymember.alejo@assembly.ca.gov

Lake County Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada assemblymemberyamada@assembly.ca.gov