A recent editorial on the Piedmont Civic Association website claimed that Piedmont's local control is threatened by a StopWaste.Org ordinance. This claim is false. First, the only ordinance being discussed is a City of Piedmont ordinance. Second, although the first draft of the ordinance involved future changes in guidelines that were semi-automatic (designed to keep practices current over time), once the issue was raised, the council directed city staff to revise the draft ordinance to require council or Piedmont staff approval of any future updates.
As a public agency serving all of Alameda County, StopWaste.Org supports its member agencies, including Piedmont, with technical assistance on waste reduction programs. The ordinance under consideration involves adopting the Bay-Friendly Basics for private projects. These are well-established landscaping practices that provide significant benefits by saving water, reducing waste and minimizing environmentally harmful rainfall runoff.
In 2009 all 14 Alameda County cities and the county itself adopted the Bay-Friendly Basics for civic projects. If the council chooses to adopt the ordinance currently under consideration, Piedmont will join eight other cities in the county that have also adopted the Basics for private projects.
Piedmont is not threatened with a loss of control. It has a public policy decision before it that some oppose. The Piedmont City Council will ultimately decide, but that decision should be based on understanding, not misinformation.
Gary Wolff, P.E., Ph.D.