I am appalled that the Carpinteria Planning Commission voted to skip the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Rincon Trail project.

This project includes non-reversible changes to a sensitive landscape. Well-meaning coastal projects everywhere have a long and widespread history of “oops” and “gotcha” outcomes. Thus, I expected the Commission to make the maximum effort (not a “hey-this-is-all-the-law-requires” one) to study this project’s full range of impacts. An EIR doesn’t foolproof a project, but skipping an EIR increases risk of unforeseen problems.

I don’t know the actual reasons for this decision but I can’t imagine any that justify it. Is somebody really claiming we need to fast-track this project to keep bikers and hikers off dangerous routes? (That’s about as convincing as shutting off regional power for public safety.)

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