Ralph Kanz 
Member since Oct 4, 2012


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Recent Comments

Re: “How the California Environmental Quality Act Fails the Environment

Mr. Patton is correct in most respects, but there is a caveat to his point that the lead agency hires the consultant that prepares the CEQA document. While it is true that the lead agency has control over the preparer of the document, the other consultants who prepare reports that are cited in particular sections of the document are not necessarily under the control of the lead agency. In any CEQA document there are multiple sections that require the input of consultants with expertise in the particular field of expertise. Air quality, biology, and traffic are three examples. In the case of biology, the studies might need to be started a year or more before the preparation of the CEQA document. Any savvy developer will likely have these studies done in advance, and with the pace of CEQA review there is not necessarily an opportunity to do studies that would challenge the conclusions of the developer's consultant. I have seen biological consultants cut corners on mandated studies because the timing was off and they could not meet the requirement of a protocol survey. As fora lead agency not having the resources to monitor mitigation measures, a city such as Oakland can easily increase development fees to pay for the costs. Mitigation measures are part of the cost of development, just like steel and concrete. If a developer cannot afford the mitigation measures then the project should not proceed. Finally, the state legislature passed AB 3180 requiring lead agencies to prepare mitigation monitoring programs for approved projects. In response to the state law, in1994 the City of Oakland passed municipal code section 17.158.340 which requires the preparation of a mitigation monitoring program checklist for projects at the time they are approved. The form is required to be returned to the Environmental Review Officer of the City when the mitigation measures have been implemented. I have requested the checklist from the City on multiple projects, and in every case the response has been that the document does not exist. The only exception was the Army Base where the City said the document did not exist, but to ask again in 60 days after they prepared it. Oakland cannot follow its own laws let alone those of the state.

Posted by Ralph Kanz on 06/14/2019 at 7:40 PM

Re: “The Oakland City Council Should Implement Measure AA and Honor Voters' Voices

Does the EBX now have a policy of allowing editorial content without identifying the author of the material? Who wrote this?

Posted by Ralph Kanz on 04/14/2019 at 6:48 AM

Re: “The Express Loses Overtime Wage Lawsuit

One correction. On January 4, 2019 the court published the opinion after a number of parties made requests. The full opinion can be found at http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/document…

Posted by Ralph Kanz on 01/11/2019 at 6:06 PM

Re: “Thursday’s Briefing: Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Soar; California Becomes First State to Mandate Solar on New Homes

The Sacramento Bee reported on a Kamala Harris aide resigning because it was revealed the state paid out $400k for a harassment and retaliation claim. https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-gover…
Kamala has some explaining to do.

Posted by Ralph Kanz on 12/06/2018 at 10:40 AM

Re: “Opinion: Why We, As Black Oaklanders, Are Voting for Libby Schaaf

And on the same day this was published the Oakland Public Ethics Commission (PEC) was reviewing complaints regarding illegal campaign contributions. According to the staff report
( http://www2.oaklandnet.com/w/OAK071725 ) Tomiquia Moss contributed $500 in excess of the contribution limit to Libby Schaaf's campaign. Why didn't the EBX disclose this fact since their reporter was at the November 5 meeting of the PEC? The EBX needs to explain its bias that favors Libby.

Posted by Ralph Kanz on 11/07/2018 at 7:41 PM

Re: “Oakland Coal Company Dissolves, Reconstitutes

Meanwhile the City has failed to monitor the development at the Army Base as the Municipal Code and State law requires. In response to "requesting a copy of the Mitigation Monitoring Program form for the Oakland Army Base Redevelopment Plan (ER01035) that was returned to the Environmental Review Officer after the mitigation measures were implemented as required by OMC 17.158.340.F" the City responded "Attached you will find the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program for the Oakland Army Base Project (ER01035) updated in 2012 then revised and adopted by the Oakland City Council on July 16, 2013. This is the mitigation program applicable for the reuse of the former Oakland Army Base (OAB). The mitigation measures are being implemented, and monitored by the City, as the horizontal infrastructure (including the new roads, utilities and site preparation) is underway, and as the private development projects at the OAB (such as the new warehouses) are constructed. A mitigation monitoring compliance form is being developed, though it is still a draft. Please follow up with another request in about 60 days. Thank you." The Municipal Code section cited states in part, "For a project for which a mitigated negative declaration or an EIR has been certified, at the time the project is approved, the mitigation measures will be compiled into a checklist form." In other words the City has not prepared the checklist and monitored the development as State and City law require. https://oaklandca.nextrequest.com/requests…, And this is one of many projects where the City has failed to follow this section of the law.

Posted by Ralph Kanz on 10/30/2018 at 8:34 PM

Re: “Broken Pipes, Broken System

Not the first time Mayorga has been mentioned in the EBX: https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/pro…

Posted by Ralph Kanz on 01/09/2018 at 8:11 PM

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