Here is another letter to the editor that you may not have seen in response to the September 4 OC Register article. It was submitted by Brea resident Eric Johnson.
The boogeyman in this battle over Esperanza Hills is not the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Very few lawsuits are actually filed under CEQA: less than 1% of projects subject to CEQA review are actually challenged in court. To say that CEQA stops projects is flat out wrong. The law requires the impacts to be analyzed, decision makers to understand the impacts, and impacts to be reduced—while at the same time allowing for citizen input into the process.
If the County and developer followed the laws, why would residents have won multiple lawsuits already? If CEQA stopped projects, why hasn’t the application been withdrawn? Right now, CEQA practitioners, planners, and policy wonks are revamping CEQA to provide a comprehensive update of the law. The goal was to identify issues, find solutions, and work collaboratively to pass legislation for CEQA 2.0. Maybe Mr. Wymore should focus on solutions—like the rest of us.