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Plumas County General Plan Update Challenged

posted Jan 20, 2014, 1:51 PM by Stevee Duber
         HSRA claims TPZ policy on residences conflicts with state law and County failed to evaluate the potential for development on resource production lands

            High Sierra Rural Alliance petitioned Superior Court on Thursday, January 16, 2014 requesting the Court order Plumas County to set aside and revise portions of the recently adopted General Plan Update ( GPU ) which are contrary to the Timber Production Act; and, revise the Environmental Impact Report ( EIR ) to consider the environmental impacts of allowing development to occur on resource production lands without any discretionary review process.
 

            
HSRA CEO, Stevee Duber stated, "We made the decision to challenge the Plumas County General Plan Update after very careful consideration. Many people worked hard on the Plan for a long time; and, the County invested a lot of money on it. But ultimately, we feel allowing over 87,000 square feet of construction per parcel on timber, agricultural and mining lands without environmental and discretionary review threatens the rural values of the County. The potential for unregulated development on resource production lands without any setbacks from streams or other water resources is too important to ignore."
 

            
The petition alleges the County removed the requirement for discretionary review on residences in the Timber Production Zone. In state law parcels of land in TPZ's are restricted to the growing and harvesting of timber and compatible uses. A residence or other structure may be allowed on TPZ lands, but under state law the County would have to find that the residence or other structure was both necessary for and compatible with the management of lands zoned TPZ. In exchange for these enforceable restrictions, owners of TPZ land benefit by receiving substantially lower property tax valuations.
 

            
The GPU is inconsistent with the state law requirement because it allows a residence and structure, on a TPZ parcel of 160 acres without any assessment of whether such development is necessary for, or compatible with the management of TPZ land. Providing services for residential development far from established communities is expensive for the County. Because the taxes paid on TPZ land do not cover the cost, taxpayers living within established communities would have to foot the bill to provide police and fire protection, among other services, to residences on TPZ land.
 

            
Additionally, building intensity standards identifying the size of buildings allowable on resource production lands were not disclosed to the public until after the opportunity for review had passed. The GPU allows residences and accompanying structures up to 43,560 square feet each on Agricultural, Timber and Mining lands without any discretionary review. Nor, does the GPU make any provisions to protect streams and other water resources from encroaching development. The GPU does not provide any regulations to buffer streams from the construction of structures which require a building permit, but not a discretionary permit such as a conditional use permit or variance.

            Throughout the General Plan update process, the HSRA has made extensive comments detailing these issues. Our comments can be read by clicking on the links below.

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HSRA
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Sierra City, CA 96125

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Stevee Duber,
Jan 20, 2014, 1:51 PM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 20, 2014, 1:51 PM
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Stevee Duber,
Jan 20, 2014, 1:51 PM
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