HELIX and Inyo County Recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Land Use Planning and Best Practices
Inyo County and HELIX Environmental Planning have been recognized for outstanding achievement in land use planning and best practices by the American Planning Association California Chapter Central Section. A “Planning Award of Merit for Innovation in Green Community Planning” was awarded in May 2015 and presented in July to Inyo County and HELIX for the Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment.
For this project, HELIX assisted Inyo County with the preparation of a General Plan Amendment and Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) to address state-mandated renewable energy demands and utility-scale renewable energy projects within the County’s footprint. In addition to the technical reports (e.g., air quality, biological resources, socioeconomic impacts, etc.) associated with the PEIR, HELIX was responsible for managing a proactive and large-scale public involvement campaign working directly with the County, residents, landowners, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, local Tribal governments, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and applicable federal and state public resource agencies. The REGPA and PEIR were met with intense interest and generated public comments from hundreds of individuals and organizations. Primary issues of concern to County residents included the siting and placement of transmission lines, power delivery facilities, and solar/wind renewable energy infrastructure especially since the County is part of scenic Owens Valley, an area of unprecedented natural beauty and natural resources in central California. The final REGPA and PEIR was adopted by the County in March 2015.
The American Planning Association, California Central Section Awards program encourages quality and innovativeness in land use planning and increases public awareness of the planning profession through the recognition of outstanding achievements and individuals in the planning field. The eleven county Central Section of the American Planning Association California Chapter is comprised of Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne Counties.
Central Section Director, Ben Kimball, expressed his feelings in regards to this year’s recipients when he stated, “Central California is the new frontier of our great State. Congratulations to this year’s award winners who are on the forefront of planning, and are providing an example that should be emulated by local agencies throughout California.”
For more information and to view a complete list of the 2015 winners, visit the American Planning Association, California Central Section website.