Solano Nears Draft HCP Release
The Solano County Water Agency is nearing completion of the draft Solano Habitat Conservation Plan, a mechanism under which regulators streamline certain environmental and water permits in exchange for a fee and targeted species protections. Click HERE to download a fact sheet and map. The Solano HCP has 13 participants including six of the county’s cities and seven water, sewer, irrigation and conservation districts. Benicia and the Solano County Board of Supervisors declined to join. The agency expects to release an administrative draft in February. BIA|Bay Area members interested in participating in outreach meetings with water agency staff and commenting on the HCP should contact BIA’s Lisa Vorderbrueggen at firstname.lastname@example.org. BACKGROUND: The HCP has been under development since 1999, when federal agencies required its creation as part of the Solano Water Agency’s Lake Berryessa permit. As proposed, developers will pay an estimated $6,000 per acre administrative fee and receive certain streamlined state and federal environmental and water permits. Unlike the East Contra Costa County HCP, the Solano program will require the developers rather than the HCP staff to obtain and manage the required mitigations. These efforts could include purchases from Solano’s existing land banks or the Solano Land Trust, establishment of conservation easements or other mitigations. The HCP staff will, however, provide a detailed, on-line mapping tool to help developers locate suitable preservation sites. Barring further delays, the Solano HCP will go into effect in 2021. Some projects may be able to take advantage of the pending HCP prior to its final adoption and developers with existing entitlements will have the option to participate. For more information about the HCP, contact Solano Water Agency Principal Water Resources Specialist Chris Lee at email@example.com or 707-455-1105.