Thursday, April 05, 2007

Blackwater West Scoping Meeting in San Diego

I just got back from what's probably the first of several public meetings associated with the Blackwater West project. About 125 people showed up to protest the private military training camp and many of them attended the meeting. There were a few there that are for the project, but they didn't say anything positive about it...they just made snide, insulting comments towards the people who are opposed.

I guess we scared the county employees because they had the sheriff out in force, and one of the gentlemen running the meeting thanked us profusely for being "civil". I have NEVER seen such a police presence at a public meeting. It was crazy. We had to go through a metal detector and they completely examined the contents of bags and purses. He even opened my sunglass case, eyeballed my ipod, and tried to turn on my dead call phone. What a silly waste of money that was. There was a lot of media coverage though.

So...about the meeting. There were lots of Potrero residents there in bright green Save Potrero shirts. I also saw people from the Peace Resource Center, Activist San Diego, CodePink, The Sierra Club, The Audubon Society, and a variety of other groups and individuals. They didn't allow any official "public comment" because that really was not the nature of this meeting, however they did let people talk, and they answered many questions.

The purpose of the meeting was to announce the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report, and inform about the process associated with the development of the environmental impact report (EIR). They passed out copies of the Notice of Preparation, and did a little explaining about the process.

Since this is a large project that has the potential to have a significant environmental impact, it's been designated as a "project of state-wide importance" and has to go through a complete environmental review process, and they are estimating that it will be 22-24 months before this even gets before the Board of Supervisors.

There will be several times during this process where the County will accept public comment. One of those important comment times is right now. Between now and April 27 they are accepting public comment on the Notice of Preparation Document. This is a preliminary report on the potential impacts of the project on the environment, and if you think there's anything missing that needs to be considered, now is the time to address it. You can send comments to:

County of San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use, 5201 Ruffin Rd Suite B, San Diego, CA 92123-1666. They also accept comments by email at

When you send comments, include your name and address and you will be added to the list of interested parties, and you will recieve notices of public meetings, etc that are associated with the project. There is also quite a bit of new information on the DPLU's website about the Blackwater West project.

The way I see it, this is going to hinge on the land use and environmental issues. No one who has the authority to makes these decisions cares one way or the other about what kind of business Blackwater runs, or what they do. What really matters from a bureaucratic perspective is the process and the rules and regulations, and that's where we are right now.

This is gonna be a loooooooong process, but I think it's excellent that so many people showed up to this early meeting.

More later, I'm sure. I'm beat.

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Blogger Paul said...


It is time for all good people to stand up and shout! WE PAID FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE AGRICULTURAL OVERLAY THROUGH OUR PROPERTY TAXES! Now it is nothing, according to the County Planning Department. The property owner had his/her property taxes reduced because of his/her land being held in agricultural reserve. Blackwater is not paying any taxes. No matter what DPLU says, the public pays for development.

4/07/2007 08:28:00 AM  

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