May 24, 2022
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Experts fear rules gridlock

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As new stormwater rules take final form in Ventura County, legal experts are wondering whether the aims of the regulations are on a crash course with the goals of landmark smart-growth and carbon emissions laws passed in Sacramento in recent years.

At its heart, the conflict centers on density. AB 32 and SB 375, laws designed to regulate greenhouse gases and cut down on emissions by curbing sprawl, push California toward more walkable developments centered on public transit. But Ventura County stormwater rules that would require developers, redevelopers and even public works departments to catch and deal with almost all storm runoff are more workable on unpaved spaces.

“They are disincentives to redevelopment in any urban setting,” said Chuck Cohen, a land development attorney with the Westlake Village office of Alston & Bird. “They are not compatible. They are conflicting.”

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