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HSRA Challenges Newly Approved TPZ Ordinance

posted Jan 28, 2011, 9:35 AM by Stevee Duber

Ordinance is Contrary to CEQA and Sierra County General Plan

 
On January 25, 2011 the High Sierra Rural Alliance submitted a petition to Sierra County Superior Court challenging the recently approved new ordinance for the Timberland Production Zone District. The petition challenges the County’s action as contrary to the Sierra County Genera Plan and the California Environmental Quality Act. The Ordinance has the potential for significant environmental impacts by expressly authorizing large acre residential estates on all TPZ parcels in the County greater than 80 acres and thus the County’s approval of the project using the “common sense exemption” was inappropriate under CEQA.

 

The petition also states the Ordinance is inconsistent with the General Plan because it allows residential development of TPZ parcels, which is contrary to the policies and standards of the General Plan. The General Plan limits large acreage residential estates to the General Forest district. TPZ parcels are described as “unavailable for residential development” in the General Plan Environmental Impact Report.

 

In adopting the General Plan the County found that the proposed land use pattern of rural clusters effectively mitigates the significant environmental impacts of development in the County. Clustering minimizes fire hazard; discourages inefficient vehicle use; prevents growth inducement along transportation corridors inconsistent with existing land use patterns; allows orderly and cost effective extension of public facilities and services; prevents conversion of timber producing lands to other uses; protects habitat and species diversity; reduces the potential for conflicts resulting from residential development on timber management.

 

Lands zoned TPZ are afforded generous tax benefits in exchange for the being limited to timber production enhancing uses. If residences are allowed on remote TPZ parcels, the property taxes paid by the parcel owners will not cover the cost of extending police and fire protection to them for example. Permit fees will not cover the cost of sending building inspectors to remote locations. In the end the residents of existing communities will end up subsidizing the cost of providing services to new residences on TPZ parcels and/or see a reduction in services to existing communities.

 

HSRA requests the Court order the County withdraw approval of the Ordinance and to follow CEQA and County General Plan policies in taking any further action with respect to these matters.
 
For more information please read the testimony submitted to the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission and the petition submitted to the Court in the attachments below:
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Exhibit2.pdf
(3401k)
Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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petition.pdf
(1427k)
Stevee Duber,
Jan 28, 2011, 9:50 AM
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