24April2014

Politics and Community

Politics and Community

Here you will find a broad range of news articles with a focus on community and political content.

Commenting on the Humboldt County General Plan Update (GPU) is now easier than ever, according to a press release from the Humboldt County Administrative Office. Michael Richardson, currently the lead staff person involved in the GPU process, clarified the change by saying, “We are trying to make participation in the General Plan Update as simple and easy as possible to encourage public involvement.”

Here's how it works:

  • Click here to go to the GPU Home Page.
  • On that page, click on the "Submit a Public Comment" Button which then opens your e-mail program preaddressed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line "Public Comment on the GPU", or you can just bypass this and address your own e-mail using the same e-mail address and subject.

According to the press release, "Once comments are submitted, they will go to the Board of Supervisors, be placed in the web-based meeting record, and be displayed on the GPU website under the ‘Public Comments’ web page. The process has been streamlined to remove layers of information that were between the website and users trying to submit comments."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Discuss 2014 Housing Element Update

Written by

humboldtcountysealPublic Invited
The County of Humboldt is inviting citizens to participate in a series of meetings this summer on the 2014 Housing Element Update. The purpose of the meetings will be to get input on the draft Housing Element, which analyzes existing and projected housing needs, prior to taking it to the Planning Commission. The County intends each of these meetings to be brainstorming sessions, which will begin to lay the foundation of the draft Housing Element.

The following are some questions to be discussed at the meetings:
- What are your ideas for housing policy changes?
- How can we encourage housing development into the future?
- What could we do to make second units more feasible?
- Are there incentives the County should put into place to help create housing in commercial areas?

Meeting Sites and Times 

Prosperity Center, 520 E Street, Eureka Southern Humboldt (Location TBD)
July 24 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Aug. 14 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sept. 4 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Aug. 28 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (tentative)
*The County will give two week's notice once a site and time is determined

  The meeting agendas and discussion materials will be sent out one week ahead of time. Background information that will be covered in the meetings includes the following:

- Overview of Housing Element Update timeline and process
- Updated 2010 data and information
- Updated State Laws – four new in 2012
- Proposed updated Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) numbers
- Proposed updated land inventory, adding rural residential
- Martin Slough Interceptor Schedule
- Phase II Affordable Housing – add in all proposed Multi-Family sites

If you have questions you may contact Michael Richardson at 707-268-3723, mrichardson -at- co.humboldt.ca.us, or Paula Mushrush:pmushrush -at- co.humboldt.ca.us.




Update Tues., June 18, 2013- Sups. revision of Guiding Principles draw strong negative reaction

Two weeks after the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted to revise the Principles which guide the County General Plan Update (GPU), a large negative reaction built and opposition to the decision was evident once again at the GPU meeting this Mon., June 18. 2013. Opposition to the revisions were related both to their content and to the process used to adopt them, which limited public input to the same meeting in which they were adopted. As a result of the public outcry the Sups. decided to revisit the Guiding Principles and to give the public advanced notice when that would be done. More can be heard on this development using the player below.

This report was submitted by KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz and was aired on the KMUD Local News Tues., June 18, 2013

The original post of this story can be viewed below.


 

Chapter 1 of the Humboldt County General Plan Update (GPU) includes a section called Guiding Principles which are meant to: "provide a statement of community values and the overall objectives of the General Plan." On Monday, June 3, 2013, using a "straw vote", the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors tentatively approved a revision of those principles. The revision was drafted by Supervisors Fennell and Bohn. The vote to adopt, with two minor changes, carried by a 4 to 1 vote, with Supervisor Lovelace as the dissenting vote. The biggest changes occur in Principles #4 and #6 as shown below.

In the Fennell/Bohn revision of #4, the concept of focused development in areas already having preexisting infrastructure was omitted as was the statement, "...discourage low-density residential conversion of resource lands and open space."

Planning Commission Version
4. Ensure efficient use of water and sewer services and focus development in those areas and discourage low-density residential conversion of resource lands and open space.

Fennell/Bohn Revision
4. Cooperate with service providers in delivering efficient water and sewer services and infrastructure and support scientifically proven alternative waste management systems in areas not served by public sewer.

In the Fennell/Bohn revision of #6, the statement, "...protect agriculture and timberland over the long term" was omitted as was, "...using measures such as increased restrictions on resource land subdivisions and patent parcel development."

Planning Commission Version
6. Protect agriculture and timberland over the long term, using measures such as increased restrictions on resource land subdivisions and patent parcel development.

Fennell/Bohn Revision
6. Encourage, incentivize and support agriculture, timber and compatible uses on resource lands.

A complete comparison between the old and revised Principles can be seen below.

Use the player below to hear a report on this story submitted by KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz. This report aired on the KMUD Local News Wed., June 12, 2013.

 

Guiding Principles as they appear in the Planning Commission Approved Draft GPU:

1. Ensure that public policy is reflective of the needs of the citizenry as expressed by the citizens themselves.
2. Preserve and enhance the character of Humboldt County and the quality of life it offers.
3. Provide sufficient developable land, encourage development of affordable housing for all income levels, and prevent housing scarcity under a range of population growth scenarios.
4. Ensure efficient use of water and sewer services and focus development in those areas and discourage low-density residential conversion of resource lands and open space.
5. Support the County’s economic development strategy and work to retain and create living-wage job opportunities.
6. Protect agriculture and timberland over the long term, using measures such as increased restrictions on resource land subdivisions and patent parcel development.
7. Protect natural resources, especially open space, water resources, water quality, scenic beauty, and salmonid habitat.
8. Include actionable plans for infrastructure financing and construction.
9. Adhere to a practical strategy that can be implemented.
10. Provide a clear statement of land use values and policies to provide clarity in the County’s permit processing system and simplify review of projects that are consistent with the General Plan.
11. Maximize the opportunities to educate the public about the planning process, in order to have meaningful participation in the development and maintenance of the Plan.
12. Support a broad public participation program at all levels of the decision making process; including study, workshops, hearings, and plan revisions.

 Revisions proposed by Supervisors Fennell and Bohn:
Note: the approved minor changes to these revised Principles were: replacing the word " Honor" in Principle 2 (below) with "preserve" and adding "fisheries habitat" in principle 7.

Additional Resources:

 

Update: Mon., July 1, 2013-Both sides file objections to Judge's ruling in Humboldt County vs. Bob McKee court decision

Both sides have filed objections to Judge Dale Reinholtsen's June 7, 2013 decision on how the Williamson Act violations in the "Tooby Ranch Case" should be remedied.

According to KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz, Humboldt County is asking that its court costs be reimbursed because the county prevailed in the Reinholtsen ruling.  The county's attorney fees, which are more than 3 million dollars, are not subject to being reimbursed by the defendants. The county has also made a claim for additional property tax revenue from the defendants, and for additional penalty fines.

The defendants, Buck Mountain Ranch Limited Partnership, Robert McKee and Valery McKee, filings included an objection to the Reinholtsen ruling that the state's unfair competition law was violated, arguing instead that defendants operated in good faith and that there was a lack of notice by the county in stating their concerns. Other defendant objections refer to the processes that have affected the Tooby Ranch Williamson Act contract. Several other defendants' objections were raised and a proposal was made for consideration of additional remedies. More details can be heard using the player below.

The audio below is from a report submitted by Daniel Mintz and aired by Terri Klemetson on the KMUD Local News, Mon., July 1, 2013.

The original post for this story can be viewed below.


 In a long-awaited court ruling, filed Friday, June 7, 2013 by Humboldt County, Judge Dale Reinholtsen, Southern Humboldt developer Bob McKee has been ordered to pay $200,000 in fines to Humboldt County. In the costly 11- year lawsuit the county maintained that the defendants, Buck Mountain Ranch Limited Partnership, Robert McKee and Valery McKee, violated the Williamson Act in their development of the Tooby Ranch near Garberville, purchased by McKee, et. al. The ruling is not final. Both parties have 20 days to file objections with the court. Hear more details about this ruling using the player below. For copies of the ruling and its accompanying court order documents see the links below.

The photo above, from the Redwood Times, shows Bob McKee addressing the Rotary club in Garberville.

The audio in the player below was submitted by KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz and aired on the KMUD Local News Wed., June 12, 2013.


Documents:

 

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