Monday, October 11, 2010

282 / Abstention And Smart Growth

I have worked on land use policy issues for most of my life. I was first introduced to land use policy as an elected official in Santa Cruz County, and land use policy continued to be a preoccupation for me as I served as a lobbyist for the Planning and Conservation League, working on environmental issues in the California State Capitol. Land use policy was the central focus of my work for LandWatch Monterey County, and it continues to be my focus as an environmental attorney, in my "Of Counsel" capacity with Wittwer & Parkin, LLP.

"Good" land use policy is now denoted as "smart growth." Setting aside the important question whether "growth" itself is all that "smart," given the current situation of human beings on the planet, I absolutely concur that it is "smart" to focus any new growth within the boundaries of areas already committed to urban development, and to preserve natural areas and agricultural lands which are not, so far, "developed."

Pretty much, that's the "definition" of "smart growth." It might also be thought of as a type of "abstention," leaving remaining natural areas alone, instead of continuing our conquest and conversion of such lands to all those "practical" human purposes.


  1. Gary chk my email to about 2 worlds!! The Feds tell Watsonville to get the salt out...but the State Dept of Public Health and some dentists get to force the Region "to add more salt on a daily basis" flouride that is.
    This is a classic conflict of law, and the Clean Water Act will beat this... Do i have to file a lawsuit on my own or will you rep me and all the 'friends of this case..'if possible, or recommend me an att who will
    thanks keep up the radio show...wish it was a little longer.
    billy queALY

  2. Billy:

    The address should forward to me, but I didn't see any email. I have followed the fluoridation issue in Watsonville from afar, and I am afraid that I can't represent you and/or others in a lawsuit. I am "of counsel" to this law firm, and the partners make representation decisions, and their practice is all land use oriented.

    I'm not sure who would be a good attorney to get involved. The Environmental Working Group has a great record of litigating on key issues related to toxic contamination, and I think they have been skeptical of fluoridation. Therefore, I'd contact them to see what they might be able to recommend:


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