Mark your calendars! On Tuesday, October 10th, the City Council will consider a final adoption of two drilling-related ordinances. Instructions for attending, zooming and emailing are here.
The City Council previously enacted an extended moratorium on oil and gas drilling and voted unanimously to approve two ordinances, one enacting a permanent ban on new oil and gas development, and the other providing for setbacks in case the first ordinance is contested. The city planning commission followed suit. The process was to be completed with a final vote by the city council on August 8th. Then, on August 3rd, the California State Supreme Court announced it was upholding a previous ruling overturning Monterey County’s Measure Z.
Since then, Brentwood city staff and legal counsel have asked for two continuances of the public hearing so they can analyze whether they still have the right to regulate oil and gas activity.
Here, we do not decide, or express any opinion on, whether local entities may restrict or ban oil production within their boundaries based on proper zoning restrictions. As the Court of Appeal stated, “Our narrow holding does not in any respect call into question the well-recognized authority of local entities to regulate the location of oil drilling operations, a matter not addressed by section 3106 or Measure Z.” (Chevron, supra, 70 Cal.App.5th at p. 159, italics added.) “Nothing in this opinion should be construed to cast any doubt on the validity of local regulations requiring permits for oil drilling operations or restricting oil drilling operations to particular zoning districts” because “[t]his case involves no such regulations.” (Id. at p. 172, fn. 16.)
We hope the city attorney finds this language as clear as we do.
Brentwood residents, please show up to support the adoption of the ordinances. Everyone else can send in comments to the city council in advance. Instructions for participating in person, zooming, or emailing in advance of the meeting are here.
The city of Antioch banned oil and gas drilling within its municipal limits in January 2022. Like Brentwood, it has had a long history of drilling. Both cities will still be impacted by oil and gas drilling on adjacent county land, however, until the county decides to follow their lead and designates oil and gas drilling a non-conforming land use. Let’s make sure the County bans drilling when the new Contra Costa General Plan land use policy comes up for adoption by the Board of Supervisors sometime before the end of the year.
Keep circulating the petition to end oil and gas drilling in Contra Costa!