Tag Archive | "government"

Water Guardians efforts lead to new bill

Tags: , , , , , ,

Water Guardians efforts lead to new bill

Posted on 25 July 2017 by La Habra Journal

By Taylor Engle
La Habra Journal

Laws are normally initiated as bills by government officials. So, it is truly unique when a law is passed because of the hard work of four teenage girls from La Habra. But that’s exactly what happened.

The Water Guardians with Assemblyman Phillip Chen at Washington Middle School.

Assembly Bill AB 1343 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on July 21, and it encourages a water conservation collaboration between local K-12 schools and water suppliers.

Assemblyman Phillip Chen introduced the bill. It aims to reduce water usage in schools, storm water and dry weather runoff, school pollution, and educate students about water conservation.

However, Chen wasn’t the originator of the bill. The bill was first proposed to Chen by the “La Habra Water Guardians,” Four girls, Angelique Dequit, Jessica Gallegos, Fiona Paredes, and Skye Lim.

The group of ambitious young teens raised enough money through a school dance and by the help of sponsors to travel to the state Capitol and propose the bill.

The group created a conservation plan as a school project at Washington Middle School in 2015, which won statewide praise and national recognition.

The girls are currently attending Sonora High School, but are still committed to their environmental efforts and are excited to see the water saving measures being implemented statewide.

“AB 1343 helps make water conservation an important part of our education,” Dequit said.

The project allowed for drought-tolerant gardens at the school location. The group also replaced old toilets with more conservative, newer models.

“Water is vital to California. From the water we use to drink, shower, grow our crops, to water used to generate electricity at our dams, our future success is dependent on it. Many cities and utilities are providing rebates for residents that install drought-tolerant plants or water efficient fixtures like toilets and washing machines,” Chen said.

Chen’s office had to work a lot with the Assembly’s Education Committee to ensure the language of the bill was approved of. The bill had to go through Assembly Education, Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxics Material Committee the Senate Education and Senate Environmental Quality Committees before it could be passed.

Through meeting with water districts to help foster their relationships with school districts, Chen learned about a lot of incentive programs that aren’t being utilized enough by the schools.

“We need to make sure that the community and the school districts are educated on water conservation and the programs that are available,” Chen said.

Although there is still much more to be done to help with the state’s drought, this bill is a good beginning to a more conscious future when it comes to water conservation.

“I think that this bill is a great start in helping get the conversation going with school districts and water districts,” Chen said. “I do believe that this bill is just a start and there is more that can be done on water conservation efforts and I look forward to working on this issue in the future.”

When asked whether or not a water conservation bill would have been considered without the help of the Guardians, Chen responded, “Water conservation is an important topic that definitely needs to be addressed, I am glad that the Water Guardians brought their idea to my attention so I could help them achieve their goal.”

“We want to create a future for our community and state where we have a plentiful water supply and all citizens are better prepared with water conservation skills for life,” Lim said.

Comments Off on Water Guardians efforts lead to new bill

Tags: , , , , ,

LH Council approves city plan

Posted on 23 January 2014 by La Habra Journal

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

A large turnout filled the city council chambers Tuesday night as the council was presented with the General Plan and corresponding reports.
The three-plus-year project analyzed the city and provided a long-range policy document that sets forth the broad goals and objectives for the growth and development of the city.
After hearing the report and hearing some concerns from a few residents the city approved and adopted the master plan in its entirety, which will give guidance to the city planning through 2021.
According to Michael Haack,
director of community and economic development, since the council approved the plan it now becomes the law of the city of La Habra. However, he added that land use is flexible and that residents or business owners can still address concerns and changes through the regular process by the planning commission, the city council.
“It’s a general plan,” Haack said. Not a specific plan. It is still broad.”
The plan encompasses a wide range of areas and provides objectives and goals for the city to work to achieve.

The rezoning is in an effort to meet the land use goals set out in the plan.
“It’s been more than 24 years since we last updated the general plan,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Blazey. “It’s a document that needed frequent review and the state requires that we rewrite it with some frequency.”
Some of the major aspects of the plan include the city’s land use and rezoning of areas in the city.  One land use goal is developing an active and vigorous downtown where people work, shop, govern, live, engage socially, and celebrate the history and life of La Habra. An  example cited was Brea’s Birch Street.
The encouragement of developing a pedestrian-active downtown will cause a change for the city’s central area that many in the community have been looking for.
An effort was made in the plan to ensure there will be enough affordable housing and parking available in the city.
However, there were some zones that are currently industrial areas that are set to be redesigned as residential and that made some business owners concerned.
One parcel of industrial land that brought out a number of business owners was the property north of Imperial Highway near Euclid. This zone is designated to become rezoned as residential.  However, the council and city staff clarified that the current industries that occupy those areas will remain in compliance despite the rezoning.
After much discussion, the council changed designation in the plan to keep the area designated as light industrial. They also adjusted the plan’s designation changes for two other areas (La Habra Boulevard near Harbor and 1700 W. La Habra Boulevard) to accommodate the businesses that currently occupy the buildings.
The plan includes more than just rezoning.  It also includes traffic and mobility in the city along with public utilities and infrastructure, community services and safety as the city continues to grow.
Members of the city explained the development of the plan included four public meetings where they got a great deal of input from the residents in the city.  They addressed and included as many as they could and keeps with the overall goals of the plan.
“I thank the city for keeping the school district informed and in the loop and a part of this process,” said Sandi Baltes, La Habra City School District trustee.
According to Haack, , the next step of the plan will be its phased-in implementation in an incremental steps though the planning commission and the city council’s approval.

Comments Off on LH Council approves city plan

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here

Current Issue: