Tuesday, June 21, 2005

2 to 1 decision by county on bad air day

In a compromise, Pima Supervisors today voted 5-0 in favor of reducing conservation set-asides from 75 to 66.6% in 'multiple use' areas. Deals were made on the spot to have open space be whole, not a portion of each lot, back yards, etc.

The Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection was generally pleased with the action.

I have mixed feelings. It is good to see at least a 2-1 land mitigation ratio, but today's 8.4% cut will mean a good amount more land will be developed in the future. Securing real open space design is critical, as will be careful management to prevent off-road vehicles and other problems.

As long as the Pima Supervisors are relatively OK on the environment, it won't be as bad. But if politics change in a bad way Pima County's environment could be even more quickly and fully degraded.

As I rode downtown, I noticed the white sky of haze, dust and exhaust over Tucson. Bad air, unhealthy, but likely officially called 'moderate'. I could barely see the Rincons through the pollution.

Very hot today, with wind and some thunderclouds building. Maybe dry lightning will start fires? Report of light rain near University and 5th Av.

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