As expected, Butte County officials cut some red tape yesterday, making it easier to break ground near a stream.
Arguing that duplicative paperwork and added costs are hindering progress, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday moved ahead with plans that would scrub some regulations aimed at protecting waterways from commercial development.
Supervisor Bill Connelley said the current rules are onerous.
“They shouldn’t be held up, in many cases, just cause of a little rivulet, a little tiny thing, not something that causes flooding or has fish in it or, you know holds wildlife or something like that.” Connelley said.
County officials instead propose allowing development to proceed without a hearing. The board was told adequate protections would remain. Developers would still need a biological assessment, a type of report. Projects would still have to comply with other rules and the county zoning administrator, rather than the Planning Commission, would have the final say.
“That’s where we want our growth to go, that’s where it’s going to develop. These things are eventually going to be in culverts in the future.” he said.
Staffers will finalize replacement rules, which will return for another vote.
In other action, the board approved a 2.89 percent salary increase for itself—in line with a wage increase given to county judges. The board also heard from Pacific Gas & Electric Company about the utility’s fire safety plans. The company said it would become more aggressive in trimming trees back from powerlines, especially in the foothills, and will also remove damaged, diseased or leaning trees that may pose a safety hazard. PG&E executives told the board they delay work where property owners object, at least for now.