25December2014

Politics and Community

Politics and Community

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

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:

 

An item appeared on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Agenda for their April 16, 2013 meeting which will begin the process of vacating a portion of county owned property known as the Jim DeMulling Memorial Park in Garberville .

The agenda item and accompanying recommendation appeared as quoted below.

"Vacation of a Portion of Redwood Drive (C6B105) and Thomas Drive (6B150), also known as the Jim DeMulling Veterans Memorial Grove in Garberville."

"RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors direct staff to prepare the necessary documents for the vacation of a portion of the unused right of way of Redwood Drive (C6B105) and Thomas Drive (6B150)."

Click here for a pdf version of a County document giving the details on the background and current situation involving the DeMulling Park area.

According to the document above removing the property, not used for public road purposes, will allow the county to manage the property for non-road related purposes, and could ultimately allow the county to, "lease, license, or sell the property."

The DeMulling Park area, at the Northern entrance to Garberville, has been, and is currently, used as a meeting place, resting area, and refuge for the Houseless, Homeless, Traveler (HHT) population in Southern Humboldt.  At times, however, it has also been the site of incidents of illegal activity and violence, making the continued use of the area by the HHT Community a point of controversy between various factions in the SoHum Community at large.

Use the player below to hear or download the audio of a report on this Board item, submitted by KMUD News Correspondent, Daniel Mintz. This piece was aired by News Director, Terri Klemetson, on the KMUD Local News Tues., April 16, 2013.


Related KMUD News Posts:

http://kmud.org/component/content/article/122-news/advocacy-issues/1249-oct-21-homelessness-mtg-audio-posted.html

http://kmud.org/component/content/article/122-news/advocacy-issues/1220-oct-7-homelessness-mtg-audio-posted.html

http://kmud.org/component/content/article/122-news/advocacy-issues/1107-community-discusses-homelessness-solutions-a-possible-resource-center.html

Other related links:

Law enforcement responds to fight at Veterans Park; two deputies slightly injured-Redwood Times

Even Laundry Nazi's Get Hurt Feelings- Kym Kemp's Red Headed Blackbelt Blog

Recently school construction bond financing has been in the news. Click here for story in the Pasadena Sun. In 2010 Southern Humboldt County voters approved Measure L for local school construction projects. KMUD News Coordinator,Terri Klemetson, interviewed Southern Humboldt Unified School District Board President, Dennis O'Sullivan, about Measure L bond financing. That interview, aired Dec. 11, 2012 and can can be found in the archived local news. Click here for that link (sixth story into the newscast).

In a followup to this story, Terri Klemetson interviewed Humboldt County Treasurer, John Bartholomew. A portion of that interview aired on Dec. 19, 2012.


Use the player below to hear the extended interview with Bartholomew.

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