The Independent supports the decision of Save North Livermore Valley, Friends of Livermore, and Friends of Open Space and Vineyards to file an appeal to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors regarding the Aramis solar project.

Last week, the East County Board of Zoning Adjustments’ (BZA) decided to push the utility-scale solar development forward without a comprehensive county solar policy in place. The BZA’s members approved a conditional-use permit and certified the environmental impact report.

During its Tuesday afternoon meeting, the BZA listened to hours of detailed input from the public raising critical questions about the project’s significant and unavoidable impacts on the scenic North Livermore Valley. Individuals, environmentalist groups and the City of Livermore have all previously weighed in, echoing the desire for a comprehensive solar policy, similar to those adopted in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties that specifically identify least-conflict areas most appropriate for siting utility-scale solar facilities.

Furthermore, any solar policy approved by the county should mandate that the applicant provide compensatory mitigation.

Instead, we have a rushed decision that could open Alameda County to protracted litigation.

We were disappointed with this move. The city, along with various environmental groups, saw the merit of establishing a policy that takes into account the lasting effects of depleting open space, while mitigating developmental impacts.

We encourage the council to join Save North Livermore Valley. Friends of Livermore and Friends of Open Space and Vineyards in their effort by filing an appeal as well. As we strive to procure green energy, we shouldn’t have to destroy our environment in order to save it.