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Livermore: Community groups sue Alameda County for approving Aramis solar project

Lawsuit claims county violated General Plan, Measure D, among other provisions

Save North Livermore Valley followed through on its promise to file a lawsuit against Alameda County after the Board of Supervisors' decision to approve Intersect Power's 410-acre Aramis solar energy project planned for North Livermore.

The group, along with Friends of Open Space and Vineyards and the Ohlone Audubon Society, served the county with a petition for writ of mandate Tuesday, challenging the Board of Supervisors' approval of the project on the grounds that the development violates Measure D, which protects agricultural land and open space in eastern Alameda County.

The lawsuit also argues that by approving the project, the Board of Supervisors violated a number of other provisions, including the California Environmental Quality Act and the Alameda County General Plan.

"Twenty-one years ago, 63,000 Alameda County residents placed Measure D on the ballot to safeguard and preserve the agricultural land and open space of East Alameda County, including North Livermore Valley. The voters overwhelmingly supported Measure D, despite an effort by the supervisors to defeat the measure. It constitutes the greatest environmental achievement in our county's history," said Chris O'Brien, chairperson of the Save North Livermore Valley steering committee, in a statement.

He added, "The Board of Supervisors is now attempting to overturn Measure D by authorizing the industrial development of North Livermore Valley. Instead, the Board of Supervisors should respect the will of the voters and follow county and state law."

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Tamara Reus, board president for Friends of Open Space and Vineyards, shared similar sentiments in the statement, emphasizing North Livermore's heritage of grazing cattle, scenic areas and serving as a habitat for vulnerable species. "While we support the need for renewable energy to combat climate change, we cannot justify allowing solar projects to destroy the environment in the name of protecting it," she said.

The Alameda County Counsel's Office did not reply to request for comment from the Weekly, as of Wednesday afternoon. Intersect Power declined to comment.

The Board of Supervisors initially approved the project on March 4 after nearly 10 hours of presentations, discussion and deliberations. Following the meeting, Save North Livermore Valley launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for litigation costs. Although the campaign has not yet reached its $95,000 goal, the organization moved forward with filing the suit.

The move comes the same week as the Board of Supervisors is set to debate appeals for a second proposed utility scale solar project planned for North Livermore proposed by SunWalker Energy.

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Livermore: Community groups sue Alameda County for approving Aramis solar project

Lawsuit claims county violated General Plan, Measure D, among other provisions

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Apr 21, 2021, 6:44 pm
Updated: Fri, Apr 23, 2021, 2:10 pm

Save North Livermore Valley followed through on its promise to file a lawsuit against Alameda County after the Board of Supervisors' decision to approve Intersect Power's 410-acre Aramis solar energy project planned for North Livermore.

The group, along with Friends of Open Space and Vineyards and the Ohlone Audubon Society, served the county with a petition for writ of mandate Tuesday, challenging the Board of Supervisors' approval of the project on the grounds that the development violates Measure D, which protects agricultural land and open space in eastern Alameda County.

The lawsuit also argues that by approving the project, the Board of Supervisors violated a number of other provisions, including the California Environmental Quality Act and the Alameda County General Plan.

"Twenty-one years ago, 63,000 Alameda County residents placed Measure D on the ballot to safeguard and preserve the agricultural land and open space of East Alameda County, including North Livermore Valley. The voters overwhelmingly supported Measure D, despite an effort by the supervisors to defeat the measure. It constitutes the greatest environmental achievement in our county's history," said Chris O'Brien, chairperson of the Save North Livermore Valley steering committee, in a statement.

He added, "The Board of Supervisors is now attempting to overturn Measure D by authorizing the industrial development of North Livermore Valley. Instead, the Board of Supervisors should respect the will of the voters and follow county and state law."

Tamara Reus, board president for Friends of Open Space and Vineyards, shared similar sentiments in the statement, emphasizing North Livermore's heritage of grazing cattle, scenic areas and serving as a habitat for vulnerable species. "While we support the need for renewable energy to combat climate change, we cannot justify allowing solar projects to destroy the environment in the name of protecting it," she said.

The Alameda County Counsel's Office did not reply to request for comment from the Weekly, as of Wednesday afternoon. Intersect Power declined to comment.

The Board of Supervisors initially approved the project on March 4 after nearly 10 hours of presentations, discussion and deliberations. Following the meeting, Save North Livermore Valley launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for litigation costs. Although the campaign has not yet reached its $95,000 goal, the organization moved forward with filing the suit.

The move comes the same week as the Board of Supervisors is set to debate appeals for a second proposed utility scale solar project planned for North Livermore proposed by SunWalker Energy.

Comments

Rich Buckley
Registered user
Livermore
on Apr 22, 2021 at 9:59 am
Rich Buckley, Livermore
Registered user
on Apr 22, 2021 at 9:59 am

Solar + Battery vaults on this scale should be built away from urbanized areas to protect our community agreed upon open spaces and ag lands. The 410 acres is only Phase One. Who's going to stop Aramas politically? The Tri-Valley has always been violated by Alameda County: BART, AIRPORT, SOLAR+BATTERY VAULTS.

Here's a thought for today, Apr 22, 2021- Green Day: You can develop on 20 acres walkaway safe, small modular Thorium reactors, (SMR's) that recycle and reuse their own waste, what takes 40,000 acres of Solar Panels for equivalent power. Question: which option is more environmentally friendly?


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