Arroyo protection: the word from Riverside
September 23, 2008 § Leave a comment
Thanks to creekfreaks (arroyofreaks, really) and watershed planners Rick Thomas and Eileen Takata, for filling in me in on the Riverside Arroyo Policy Committee’s existence and very thoughtful and thorough policy recommendations document (59MB! download here). Included are ways to better enforce existing regulations, including grading codes, map streams, establish development setbacks around streams, provide appropriate stream crossings that minimize damage to creeks, create conservation easements, implement stormwater best management practices to reduce erosive runoff to creeks, and restrict land uses adjacent to creeks to protect water quality. The committee engaged in a very comprehensive assessment of the issues: considering zoning codes, the General Plan, stormwater regulations, and other aspects of governance that impact streams. They also considered the real world balancing of exemptions and exceptions that would need to go into actual regulations.
The County/City Arroyo-Watershed Committee included nonprofits and government, looking at issues related to arroyo protection as the city and county develop. This stakeholder based product is an excellent consideration of the issues and could be a model for other jurisdictions in Southern California seeking to protect streams. Now if we could just get ordinances protecting the streams…!