The lone dissenter

Councilman Paul Canepa flexed his civic muscle at last night’s council meeting, casting the lone vote against a $1,110 boost in the San Joaquin County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation and Open Space Plan Mitigation Fee. Nobody on the council was thrilled with a raise in the fee that developers pay anytime they disturb the earth.

Councilman Dale Fritchen voted for it, saying he would “hold his nose and say yes – I don’t like it.”

The problem the elected leaders said is that each year this fee erratically goes up and down. This year it went up. San Joaquin County COG sets it and cities like Stockton adopt it.

Canepa didn’t say from the dais why he voted against it. But he asked what would happen if the city voted it down. The alternative is that developers would have to deal with state agencies themselves, creating unwanted headache.

To study up on the ins and outs of the fee, here’s the staff report. And scroll down to page 12 on this COG report if you are hungry for more.


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