The Board of Supervisors took initial yet important steps to keep people out of harm's way.
Even as wind-driven fires have swept over communities with tragic losses of life and property, local governments have stubbornly kept up their old ways, approving more and more development in locations at high risk of burning in the future. Local fire agencies are scandalously complicit in this travestry. San Diego County presents a particularly egregious cases of irresponsible land use.
But Los Angeles County, cognizant of the determinative role that land use decisions play in putting communities at risk, directed its Department of Regional Planning to consider rules that would prohibit increases in density in mapped fire hazard zones and that would deny projects that are unsafe, for example, if speedy evacuation could not be achieved. This common sense approach accounts for the fact that warning systems repeatedly fail, evacuations halt on overburdened roads, and homes burn even if built to new building codes.
EHL supported this action, and sent an alert to our activist network. It is anticipated that recommendations will be forthcoming in a year. EHL commends Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion, the entire Board, and the Department of Regional Planning for leadership in initiating actions that should become a precedent.