Ad Hoc Committees Help Resolve Differences for MSHCP Development
We introduced you to the world of Western Riverside County MSHCP Joint Project Reviews (JPRs) this summer. As a reminder, JPRs allow the RCA and the MSCHP to review projects that developers propose within MSHCP Criteria Cells. To protect sensitive areas, the JPR process ensures that projects are consistent with the goals of the MSHCP. If the RCA finds a project inconsistent with the MSHCP, a resolution process begins, known as “Meet and Confer.” As the name suggests, the Meet and Confer process allows the Permittee and the RCA to discuss and reach consensus on project details.
If the parties cannot reach consensus, the MSHCP has a system in place to help resolve conflicts. The RCA or the Permittee may request the issue to be brought to the RCA Board of Directors for review through an Ad Hoc Committee appointed by the RCA Chair. The Permittee also has the opportunity to appoint an elected official from their agency (a City Council Member or County Supervisor) to the Ad Hoc Committee.
The committee is responsible for reviewing the project within 30 days and attempting to present feasible solutions. If the committee is able to resolve the issues, no further action is required. However, if the committee cannot help the parties reach a resolution, the RCA must notify the Wildlife Agencies within 14 days to revoke or suspend all or a portion of the permits.
Since the MSHCP’s inception, an Ad Hoc Committee has been triggered only once, as most disagreements do not escalate to this level of the JPR process.