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Posted by: thepinetree on 08/06/2019 04:40 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 08/06/2019 04:40 PM
Expires: 01/01/2024 12:00 AM
:

Board of Supervisors Completes General Plan Update Hearing & Prepares to Rescind Community Plans

San Andreas, CA...On July 31, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors unanimously directed staff to prepare the paperwork needed for the Board to adopt the updated General Plan. The Board’s direction concluded a two-day review of the General Plan’s ten elements. The updated General Plan will rescind the existing community plans for Arnold, Avery/Hathaway Pines, Murphys/Douglas Flat, and Valley Springs. Fourteen of the county’s 24 Community Areas do not have community plans in the updated General Plan.




Unfortunately, the General Plan adoption hearing was characterized by a lack of responsiveness to both public and Supervisor concerns. Public comment was limited to three minutes on each element, which forced speakers to condense and, consequently, minimize multiple complex land use and public policy issues. Tom Infusino, Facilitator of the Calaveras Planning Coalition (CPC), expressed his exasperation with the two days of special meetings. “They were paced and conducted more like a calf-roping than a public hearing,” he said.

The three minute time limit even jeopardized individual property rights, as Dianne Kindermann, an attorney representing a local landowner, was cut off in mid-speech. There were also many items of concern to District Four Supervisor Dennis Mills, but they were only discussed in detail if two other supervisors agreed. In this fashion, the genuine concerns of people regarding a plan that will affect the county for decades were rapidly roped, tied, and left in the dust.

The gallop through the plan was led by District Two Supervisor Jack Garamendi, Chairman of the Board, who indicated during his July 30 introductory remarks that he wanted to move forward with the General Plan Update as quickly as possible, favoring progress over perfection. Throughout the hearing when other supervisors identified complex problems with the plan that would take time for discussion, Garamendi encouraged them to move on, reminding them that the Board would have the opportunity to amend the plan four times a year.

On the occasions when actual policy debate was allowed, a couple of positive changes were made to the plan. The Land Use Element was modified to ensure that all new Specific Plan developments will include public access to recreational assets, open space, a diverse range of housing types, and measures to protect biological and cultural resources. The Circulation Element was changed to maintain free flowing traffic along Highways 4 and 49.

During discussion of the Resource Production Element, Infusino implored the supervisors to correct the damage done by the Planning Commission to the measures to mitigate impacts to agricultural land, streamside zones, oak woodlands, and sensitive species habitat. He warned that letting some development projects destroy habitat without mitigation, when combined with the effects of climate change, would result in rapidly pushing local sensitive species populations to the brink of extirpation. This could result in a federal injunction on development. This would prevent other development project proponents from exercising their property rights. He exclaimed, “If you don’t restore the mitigation proposed by your experts, you won’t be protecting the environment or property rights.”

The CPC, which believes public participation is critical to a successful planning process, was well represented at the hearing. United behind eleven land use and development principles, CPC members seek to balance the preservation of local agricultural, natural, and historic resources with the need to provide jobs, housing, safety, and services.

The hearing concluded Wednesday with a discussion of the Community Plans that were being eliminated by the Board. Members of the CPC read long lists of names of people from multiple communities who signed petitions asking for the retention of the community plans. CPC members held up pictures of some of those people that were captioned with requests like “Plan for Arnold,” “Plan for Murphys,” and “Plan for Copper.”

Muriel Zeller of the CPC reminded supervisors that in 2007, the public was told “to go forth and plan, and we did.” She said Valley Springs has an updated “$250,000 Community Plan that included unprecedented public outreach and participation.” She spoke of her deep disappointment in the County’s failure to keep its promise and adopt that plan. “Forgive me if I have lost faith in you,” she said.

Colleen Platt of MyValleySprings.com said communities had trusted that their community plans would be included in the General Plan Update. She said the Board had betrayed that trust. She encouraged the Board, “To find the backbone and will… to include all Community Plans in the General Plan.” CPC member Marti Crane asked the Board to fix the updated General Plan in order to deliver the “accountability, commitment, and transparency” asked for by the people.

Also left out of the updated General Plan is a Community Plan for Copperopolis. Ralph Copeland, another CPC member, proclaimed, “The people of Copperopolis have worked hard enough. The people of Copperopolis have waited long enough. Now is the time to include the 2013 Copperopolis Community Plan in the General Plan Update.” He concluded, “The community plan is our voice. Please don’t try to silence our voice.”

Clearly touched by the public comments, District Three Supervisor Merita Callaway nevertheless agreed to the elimination of the community plans in her district, but also designated the communities of Copperopolis and Valley Springs as the priorities for later inclusion in the General Plan.

Mills acknowledged that a new Community Plan was desperately needed for Copperopolis, because the community was deficient in parks, lake access, and services. He recognized that the plans prepared for Copperopolis in 2005 and 2013 had useful components, but he concluded that yet another plan would have to be drafted before he would consider adopting a Community Plan for Copperopolis.

District One Supervisor Gary Tofanelli struggled for words as he inquired of Planning Director Peter Maurer about the process for yet again updating the Valley Springs Community Plan and securing its environmental review. This would mark the fourth attempt, as two community plan updates were drafted in 2010, and a compromise blending of those plans was completed in 2017.

In fact, Maurer had recommended adoption of a Valley Springs Community Plan in January of 2017. However, Tofanelli had the item removed from the Planning Commission agenda. The Commission did nothing in the ensuing 30 months to advance the plan toward adoption even though during that time the Commission cancelled ten regular meetings for lack of agenda items.

While Board members and staff claimed that adopting plans for Valley Springs and Copperopolis would be a “priority,” they again refused to provide a timeline for adoption. This is in contrast to their other “priority,” completion of the state-mandated greenhouse gas reduction plan. For that priority the Board set 2022 as the deadline for completion.



Comments - Make a comment
The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content. We value free speech but remember this is a public forum and we hope that people would use common sense and decency. If you see an offensive comment please email us at news@thepinetree.net
No Subject
Posted on: 2019-08-06 16:45:44   By: Anonymous
 
This group and the MyValleySprings.com mafia have done more to damage our county, driven young families from the county and killed more jobs than almost any other groups. Please ignore everything they say and do exactly the opposite

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2019-08-06 17:19:17   By: Anonymous
     
    President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign.

    [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2019-08-06 17:20:54   By: Anonymous
     
    Not sure who "This group" is? But I wholeheartedly agree that MyValleySprings.com agenda is one that is not what the majority want, nor would it be best for the county as a whole.

    [Reply ]

All hat no cattle
Posted on: 2019-08-07 05:59:38   By: Anonymous
  Edited By: thepinetree
On: 2019-08-09 14:58:27
Profanity

[Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2019-08-07 06:19:56   By: Anonymous
 
Well after 2 months of no doggy bags in the doggy bag dispensers in Murphys I have to actually bend over and pick up a Republican I mean a TRUMP my 🐕 squirts out.
Just wondering why it took months to see that these dispensers that the town was so kind to have put these up in the first place, were always empty? And the one in the park, closest to the library's parking lot was torn off the oak tree for months and was on the ground so I finally put it near the parks building door ( one needs a key to unlock the dispenser to hang it up) never to be seen since.
Nice to see the egotistical plaque at the Bocce Court congratulating one's self for others hard labor. A better plaque thanking the Murphy's Hotel owners would of been more appropriate. (nice job again to Kevin 😉 😉)
Sadly times have changed and many need to say look at me, LOOK AT ME EVERYONE!!! Give me a thumbs up, I'M SPECIAL


[Reply ]

    Re: DUI
    Posted on: 2019-08-07 09:28:50   By: Anonymous
     
    Brandy Terry DUI?
    I doubt it was cannabis related.
    Alcohol. Meth. Opiates.
    Most definitely.

    [Reply ]

      Re: DUI
      Posted on: 2019-08-07 10:36:30   By: Anonymous
       
      All of these stimulants most of the time go hand in hand with each other. Pot smokers especially have no problem using all other drugs too.

      [Reply ]

        Re: DUI
        Posted on: 2019-08-07 11:40:07   By: Anonymous
         
        How many pot smokers do you know?

        [Reply ]

          Re: DUI
          Posted on: 2019-08-07 13:19:30   By: Anonymous
           
          Way too many and most of them are worthless citizen's!

          [Reply ]

            Re: DUI
            Posted on: 2019-08-07 16:55:33   By: Anonymous
             
            STFU SRS

            [Reply ]

              Re: /\/\ STFU SRS
              Posted on: 2019-08-07 17:41:16   By: Anonymous
               


              [Reply ]

                Re: /\/\ STFU SRS
                Posted on: 2019-08-07 20:16:31   By: Anonymous
                 
                Why drive to Oakland to Buy Weed?
                They're giving it away right here at home.

                [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2019-08-07 10:34:51   By: Anonymous
     
    No dogs in any of the county parks. Dog owners can make their own stinky, nasty park.

    [Reply ]

14 of 24 designated community areas DO NOT have community plans under our new Calaveras County general plan
Posted on: 2019-08-07 11:53:30   By: Anonymous
 
This general plan that the BOS and the planning Dept is trying to ram through is not community based planning.

it is one size fits all, rushed, and not beneficial to our local communities.

CPC is a group that seems to be trying to hold our local departments and supervisors accountable. Citizen led groups that advocate on their own time and dime are valuable assets in any community. I'm not part of the CPC but do applauded their efforts to engage as citizens in a public forum.

Our local government works for the tax paying citizens of Calaveras Co.
By not giving a voice to the citizens of the 14 community areas excluded from the General plan, they are disregarding your voice and seeking to exclude you from making choices about the character, development, and preservation of your community.




[Reply ]

    Re: 14 of 24 designated community areas DO NOT have community plans under our new Calaveras County general plan
    Posted on: 2019-08-08 07:01:50   By: Anonymous
     
    Lets face it, we're fukced.

    [Reply ]

    Re: 14 of 24 designated community areas DO NOT have community plans under our new Calaveras County general plan
    Posted on: 2019-08-09 14:59:49   By: Anonymous
     
    Maybe the CPC shouldn't have set up roadblocks to getting anything done the last 13 years..

    [Reply ]


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