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MRF needs support

Posted: March 12, 2008 1:25 a.m.
Updated: May 13, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
To the Editor:

I appreciate Kathy Thompson pointing out my misstatement concerning the zoning of the proposed Materials Recovery Facility site on Sierra Highway. ("MRF Zoning Contradiction," March 1, 2008.) Current zoning on 42.46 acres of the site is indeed zoned Business Park, not Industrial as I had stated.

The important thing to keep in mind is that both the Business Park and Industrial zoning designations allow for limited industrial activities, so in the context of a general discussion about a Materials Recovery Facility, there are only minor functional differences between the two. The point I was trying to make was that a "clean" Materials Recovery Facility might be appropriate for areas designated for light industrial uses.

However, a "dirty MRF" in the proposed location does raise a number of serious concerns that should be discussed with the entire community. Alternative locations should be part of those discussions.

This proposal will not be presented to the Planning Commission until the Environmental Impact Report is complete, at which time the commission will have an opportunity to hear from the public and to
evaluate the General Plan Amendment, zone change and permit requests.

Without that information, I can only say that I would not support a dump close to a residential neighborhood. If you look at my work on the Planning Commission, you'll see I have a track record of
protecting neighborhoods.

It is important, however, that the community support the creation of some type of Materials Recovery Facility in an appropriate location, because the state requires the city to reduce its waste stream and
increase recycling rates. If we don't, we face heavy financial penalties.

As I have stated throughout my campaign for City Council, the city needs to do a better job of engaging the community in open, honest discussions from the start. Then we need to work together to find
solutions.

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