Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Effects Of Regulation On Blogging

My only other post so far today was at 7:34 a.m., almost 12 hours ago -- highly unusual. Blame it on the California Coastal Commission.

I have a client that has been trying for 4 1/2 years to get a hearing before the Commission. The staff asked for study after study forcing delay after delay. Twice we've been scheduled, only to be postponed, once because staff wasn't ready and once because ... well, I'd best not say, but it had nothing to do with our team's willingness to proceed.

Now, we're scheduled to appear in May, and my client has asked his core consulting team (three biologists, two engineers, one flood expert, one lawyer, two Coastal Commission lobbyists, one groundwater hydrologist and me) to be available for meetings from 8:30 to 5 every week day until our hearing on May 10.

"We'll see about weekends, based on how well we're getting through everything," he joked (I hope) when setting up the meetings.

Even after 4 1/2 years, there is enough to do that we're challenged to get it done before the hearing.

What are we proposing that takes so long and requires so much? A nuclear power plant? The dredging of virgin reefs? The creation of a massive new harbor?

No, just one residential neighborhood.

If we get approval of the number of homes I expect we'll end up with, the cost of preparing for our Coastal hearing will add perhaps $25,000 to the cost of each home -- on top of the $125,ooo per home in public benefits and infrastructure improvements the developer has already agreed to pay in order to get approved.

And you wonder why homes in coastal California are so expensive!

Anway, expect light blogging on weekdays for the next couple of weeks.