Tonight at 6:30pm, the Richmond Planning Commission will meet to discuss and hear public comments regarding the Richmond General Plan.  The East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society has reviewed this document and sent in a comment letter at the end of last week.  The document does a good job of mentioning shoreline protection strategies as well as development limitations for hillsides and ridgeline areas.  Unfortunately, there are also several critical deficiencies with the document which are listed below.

1.)  Lack of inclusion of recent resource plans and documents.  Included in these documents are sensitive species and habitat listed in the “Point Molate Mixed Use Tribal Destination Resort and Casino FEIR” certified by the city on March 8 2011 and EBCNPS’s September 30th, 2009 letter on the City’s general plan update.

2.)  Failure to include important biological resources on both the General Plan and the accompanying Draft Environmental Impact Report.  These resources include:  Coastal Prairie Grassland, Eelgrass Beds, Oak Woodland, and locally rare native plants.

3.)  Conflict between planning vision and planning action.  The planning vision of Richmond is laid out in a series of policies in the General Plan, most notably to protect the city’s natural resources and to work with the CDFG, and regional agencies (like the CNPS) to identify and protect sensitive biological resources.  As of yet, the city has not adopted any of the EBCNPS comments (including those from 2009) into the general plan.  Nor have they noted Dianne Lake’s list of locally rare native plants and our two Botanical Priority Protection Areas which fall under the scope of the General Plan.

I will attend this meeting to voice these concerns to the Planning Commission and I welcome anyone else who is concerned to show up as well.  I have also attached a copy of the EBCNPS’s letter to the Planning Commission that was delivered last week regarding the general plan.  In it, you will find our concerns explained in much further detail.

The Meeting will Start at 6:30 and will be located at:

Council Chambers, City Hall
440 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804

Final Richmond General Plan letter 2011