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Los Angeles, San Bernardino County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter

High Desert Corridor, Inland Ports and Land Use

By Linda Kaye Jones

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 36

This information is provided by the candidate
While most of us all agree that both the Inland Port and the High Desert Corridor projects will provide a major economic boost to the high desert region, the question at the forefront of my mind is at what cost?
I believe that we need to make sure that we identify strategies to lessen community and environmental impacts so that the high desert doesn't become burdened with yet another problem of the metropolitan areas. My biggest concern is that we ensure an open planning process with public stakeholder participation throughout the development of the planning process.

Citizens of the high desert should be given the opportunity for meaningful participation in the decisions affecting the health, safety, economics and identity of our region. Both of these projects and the impending land use development will have a major impact on this region. The question, we will have to ask ourselves, is how much are we willing to give up in the way of climate control, land use and our desert/small town aesthetics for economic development?

The bigger question is who will benefit the most as jobs are another concern. Will the quality of jobs in terms of wages be able sustain families? To date, I'm not sure that those conversations are happening as public as they should. Are these the only options to address the transportation and goods movement issues and have we been up front in regards to the potential impacts?

As far as regional land use issues, any development at this point must be sustainable as our current infrastructure and our inability to commit the needed funding to maintain and expand is already at max. Though I believe that we should protect local control, I also believe that any local planning should be part of a regional plan so that resources can be maximized.

Like many of us in the high desert, while we must be open to opportunities to increase economic activity and growth in this region, we must also be protective of a lifestyle that will be very much at risk if the plan for these too projects is too short sighted.

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