Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Public Hearing on the proposed Clean Water, Clean Beaches Fee. Opposed

January 14, 2013

RE: January 15, 2013 Board of Supervisor’s Agenda Item 40: Public Hearing on the proposed Clean Water, Clean Beaches Fee. Opposed

Dear Supervisors,

While cleaning the watershed for Los Angeles County and related jurisdictions is not only laudable, but mandatory, the “Clean Water, Clean Beaches” proposal is not the means to achieve that goal. As written, this proposal focuses on remedial, temporary fixes for our watershed, such as street sweeping, rather than capital improvements providing a clean watershed with multibenefits to the public it serves.
First, the proposal, as currently written, is too unspecific in the criteria for fundable projects it will fund, has allocated too great a percent of funding for bureaucratic and administrative costs (costs which will never be seen or appreciated by the constituents of the region), has left too much to the discretion of the Bureau of Sanitation for determining projects to be funded, without review by the public, and does not provide funding for green infrastructure projects. Second, the proposal inappropriately imposes a fee on open space and parks. Los Angeles needs more open spaces to assist in storm water management and heat gain reduction; this proposal should specifically promote the construction of such spaces as a means to clean our water shed, rather than taxing the existing parkland.

Third, the proposal should be presented to the public on a ballot as a measure or a proposition, and its fees should be considered a tax. The public should be able to vote on this proposal fair and square.

We are mandated by the State to clean our watershed. This is a momentous opportunity to both clean our watershed and make long term improvements to our public realm. This is the opportunity to develop green infrastructure, and to create a sustainable and competitive region. This proposal does not achieve those ends.
Thank you for this consideration.

Katherine Spitz, AIA, ASLA,LeedAP

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