Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
All evidence to the contrary, Dennis Wyatt continues to raise fears that the Delta Plan will somehow usurp Manteca’s powers to make local land use decisions in his July 3 article, “State: Manteca is part of Delta – Non-elected stewardship council may secure oversight of city planning”. This is simply not true.
The Delta Stewardship Council was created by the Legislature to write and carry out a Delta Plan to achieve two coequal goals – protecting and restoring the Delta’s ecosystem and providing a reliable water supply for California. Projects that do not affect those two goals – and do not conflict with flood control programs – do not fall under the purview of the Council. Also specifically excluded are residential, commercial, or industrial development in cities and their spheres of influence.
We have met many, many times with local elected officials, and even more frequently with staff from the five Delta counties. Under the Delta Reform Act, it is these local officials who will assess whether a project is within the Council’s authority and, if it is, whether the project is consistent with the Delta Plan. The Delta Council would become involved only if that local determination is appealed to the Council by a third party. In Manteca’s case, this would apply only to that small southwest portion of the city located within the Secondary Zone of the Delta.
As we continue to work to meet the state’s coequal goals for the Delta, building trust among all stakeholders is always important. Needless fear mongering makes it that much more difficult.
Phil Isenberg, chair
Delta Stewardship Council
July 5, 2012