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Old 03-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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CA - The Coming Confiscation of Private Property

Your State may be next and with the recent FEMA mapping of "flood areas" you don't need to live in a Valley to be affected by "flood" related legislation.

The Central Valley Flood Protection Plan: The Coming Confiscation of Private Property

After years of development with little or no public input, the State Department of Water Resources (DWR) has quietly submitted a very wide ranging proposal for the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP). This is yet another example of the Legislature granting carte blanche to a state department that is now on the verge of approving a plan that will impact the lives and livelihoods of real people who have no idea what is coming.

Not only does this benign-sounding project boast a multi-billion-dollar price tag, but it assumes the confiscation and control of tens of thousands of acres of privately owned, often prime agricultural land with buildings and infrastructure, extending from Butte County to Fresno County. Many, perhaps most, of the landowners who may be impacted are unaware that this far-reaching plan is nearly a done deal.

In 2007, the Legislature approved SB 5, a bill to require DWR to develop the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. The stated purpose was to develop a system-wide improvement program for protecting residents and property from floods near the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. SB 5 required that the draft plan be submitted to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board by January of 2012 and fully adopted by July of this year.

The recently released 162-page plan identifies 40,000 acres of land within the proximity of the project that DWR intends to claim for “setback levees” or “bypass expansions.” Much of this is privately owned and/or prime agricultural land and would extend up to a mile outward from existing levees.

Californians, especially those whose private property could be affected or seized, have a right to be informed, and I have listed below 10 of the more disturbing elements of the plan.

Disturbing element #1: The plan requires an extraordinary level of flood protection.
The bill mandates that all potentially affected flood zones meet a 200-year flood standard, a flood that might occur once every 200 years, or a risk of one-half of one percent in any given year.

Disturbing element #2: Affected landowners have not been informed.
To my knowledge none of the landowners who may be affected by the state’s confiscation of their property have been directly notified of the plan’s potential impact, though from appearances, environmental organizations have been right up front at the table. Landowners and local governments across the valley have been caught by surprise.

Disturbing element #3: Minimal input from those affected.
Notwithstanding the magnitude of the plan, SB 5 requires the Board to hold only two public hearings.

Disturbing element #4: Loss of private property rights.
After the required public hearings, the Board may adopt DWR’s plan. DWR has power of eminent domain, and may use it to claim private property or development interests on private property, such as prohibiting agricultural use or development.

Disturbing element #5: No local approval required.
The plan will override any local authority and prohibit the approval of any development or land use. After 2025, local governments will have no authority to permit development in non-urbanized areas until 200-year flood protection levels are achieved.

Disturbing element #6: Cost.
The plan is estimated to cost between $14 and $17 billion over a 20-25 year period. The Board anticipates some funding from a 2006 flood control bond, but at least another $5-$8 billion in taxpayer-approved bond funding would be required, as well as local and federal funds to complete the project. With both the state and federal governments in dire financial straits, these are significant financial assumptions to make.

Disturbing element #7: No reservoirs or channel maintenance.
Reservoirs can be an effective means of allowing the measured release and retention of flood flows. New or improved water retention and channel maintenance from overgrowth are strikingly absent from the plan. While DWR has been content to ignore this habitat encroachment within flood channels, which reduces flood capacity, DWR is nevertheless eager to grant the state ownership of additional lands.

Disturbing element #8: The expansion of wildlife habitat.
Ironically, the mandatory establishment of new wildlife habitat must accommodate rodents burrowing through levees, the accumulation of sediments and debris in waterways as well as the incremental advancement of marshy tidelands that are known to obstruct the flow of flood waters.

Disturbing element #9: Loss of property tax revenue.
The property tax base will shrink when private lands confiscated by the state are removed from the property tax rolls.

Disturbing element #10: A very short timeline.
The deadline for submission of written comments on the plan must be received by April 20. The Flood Board will discuss responses to public comments in May, and the Board is scheduled to adopt the final plan on June 22.

The magnitude of this project cannot be understated, and you have a right to know how this unelected Board’s action may affect your property, your community, and your livelihood, so tell your friends and neighbors.

Read the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan for yourself here:

Note: there are two meetings that will be held by the CVFPB in Marysville on April 6 at 9:00 a.m. and in Woodland on April 11 at 3:00 p.m. Please attend and be heard.

Last edited by LYIN' KING; 03-30-2012 at 12:52 PM. Reason: correction USGS to FEMA
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is this your analysis or a copy-and-paste? Either way, do you have links to more info?

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Old 03-30-2012, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by randii View Post
Is this your analysis or a copy-and-paste? Either way, do you have links to more info?

The comments at the top are mine based upon research I conducted and that of neighbors who have been placed in "flood plains" newly created by FEMA (not the USGS as initially typed) from topo maps and over flights, not on the ground inspections.

These neighbors of mine live well above canyons containing year around and seasonal creeks.

There are property owners all over the Country affected in many ways aside from being required to purchase unnecessary flood insurance.

The article itself was included as part of a March 2012 newsletter I received via email from 4th District State Senator Doug LaMalfa and is a cut-n-paste of the entire article.

I searched Senator LaMalfa’s web site for reference to and a link for the newsletter but was not successful.

Here is a link to information from the CFBF:

Ah, found the newsletter link:

Last edited by LYIN' KING; 03-30-2012 at 01:40 PM. Reason: add newsletter link
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cool -- thanks for the details and the links. I haven't seen this simple bullet list on the issue yet, and it really helps boil it down. Whether yours or LaMalfa's, it is good stuff. Thanks for transposing LaMalfa's newsletter -- he's been a pretty steady ally. The flood insurance scam is bad enough, but this new plan had the potential to be so much worse.

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