Categorized | Local, Opinion

Rewriting the General Plan Update

 

Backpedaling County Supervisors Changing Direction of GPU

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors held a continued public hearing yesterday to finish deliberations
on draft sections of the County’s General Plan Update.

It is blatantly obvious the new junior Board additions– Supervisors Fennell and Bohn, along with more senior members Bass and Sundberg – have a combined agenda unraveling the direction and focus of the GPU to benefit private interests.  They’re already lining up with realtors to allow development in the flood plain of the Arcata Bottoms.

The following is an open letter by Don Ehresman of the Northcoast Environmental Center of what transpired.

 

Supervisors Make Substantial Changes to GPU Guiding Principles– Despite Pleas for Robust Public Review Process

By Don Ehresman
Northcoast Environmental Center

nothing's gonna stop us nowOn Monday, June 3, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors did an about face on the Guiding Principles of the County’s General Plan Update.

Despite requests from many speakers, including Hezekiah Allen of the Mattole Restoration Council and local resident Lisa Zystro for more time to review a new set of principles that were released just three days before the hearing, the Board voted 4-1 to substantially alter the original Guiding Principles.

The original principles were developed with significant public input over several years and unanimously approved by both the Board of Supervisors in 2004 and then by the Planning Commission, with a few minor changes, in 2012.

buy bed free 1 night standSupervisor Fennell, after emphasizing the importance of public participation, decided against giving another two weeks for the public to review and comment on the major changes to the Guiding Principles.

Supervisor Bohn made a claim that he felt the new Principles, which were developed behind closed doors, were representative of the community as a whole despite significant concerns brought up by many members of the public in attendance.

Supervisors Bass and Sundberg were quick to support the new language, leaving Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace to be the lone dissenting voice.

In response to the outcome of Monday’s hearing, Northcoast Environmental Center director Dan Ehresman stated,

“The Board’s decision to approve a brand new set of Guiding Principles absent even a week for public review greatly undermines the very idea of robust public participation that this Board supposedly supports.”

Speaking specifically about the newly adopted principles Ehresman continued:

Do not readWhat concerns me most is not necessarily what these new principles say, it is what they leave out.  

Specifically, the Board decided to take out all reference to protecting forests and farmland from further subdivision – which was an underlying concept that has community support. 

Moreover, the Board voted to remove a key principle that spoke to the importance of including actionable plans for funding critical infrastructure needs.

Given vastly outdated water and sewer lines and a $200 million backlog in costs needed to repair failing roads, one would hope that our government representatives might want to take this issue at least a little seriously.”

The new version also eliminates support of the County’s economic development strategy and prioritizes landowners’ rights over the rights of those who do not own property and over environmental protections in general.

Ehresman concluded, “Overall, we fear that the Board’s decision marks a very clear turning point away from a meaningful public process that seeks to balance the interests of our broad community in favor of one that serves the self-interest of some developers, realtors, and large property owners.

About the Northcoast Environmental Center

The mission of the Northcoast Environmental Center is to promote understanding of the relations between people and the biosphere and to conserve, protect, and celebrate terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems of northern California and southern Oregon.

For more information, please contact:

Dan Ehresman
Northcoast Environmental Center
PO Box 4259

* * * * * * * *

stupid signFor more background on the issue we would suggest reading Daniel Mintz’s article in the Arcata Eye, “Supervisors Line Up With Realtors, OK Flood Plain Developmentalong with Ryan Burns’ piece in the NCJ: Fennell and Bohn Seek to Rewrite Guiding Principles of General Plan Update

The Times-Standard carried a very brief article, Humboldt County Supervisors to Tackle General Plan Issues at Public Hearing on Monday

And we’ve given it our previous Pith and Punch treatment, too. 

We predicted that with the new incoming majority Supervisors the GPU would change, becoming aDead Plan Walking.”

Images by the Humboldt Sentinel

Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Word
    GOD'S PHOTOS […]
  • What war with Iran might cost
    Juan Cole -  Sen. John McCain and others on the American right are in favor of dropping those pesky negotiations with Iran and just bombing their nuclear enrichment sites. Doing so, however, would only set them back a year or so, and would certainly put Iran on a war footing with the USA. Those who think such bombing runs would be the end of the story, howev […]
  • Indiana shut down its Rural Planned Parenthood clinics and got an HIV outbreak
    Huffington Post - Scott County, Indiana, the center of an exploding HIV outbreak, has been without an HIV testing center since early 2013, when the sole provider -- a Planned Parenthood clinic -- was forced to close its doors. The clinic did not offer abortion services.The Scott County clinic and four other Planned Parenthood facilities in the state, all of […]
  • Furthermore
    "Blackwater: Still the Top Pentagon Contractor for Afghanistan TrainingBattle against corporate control of public education grows Obama supports reduction in military retirement pay  […]
  • Things you can't do in Indiana even if you're not gay
    Have you ever had contact with a woman during her period of menstrual uncleanliness,? It is outlawed by the Bible? […]
  • Jazz break
     Ben Webster plays "Perdido"  […]
  • Word
    POLITICIANS' SYLLOGISM Step One: We must do something Step Two: This is something Step Three: Therefore we must do it -- Jonathan Lynn & Antony Jay in "Yes, Minister" […]
  • US troops to train neo-Nazis in Ukraine
    Firedog Lake - Though sending US troops into Ukraine was already controversial, a report by the Associated Press shows a bad situation is getting worse. According to the AP the US forces being sent into Ukraine will be training Neo-Nazi militants who have already been accused of war crimes.Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has publicly stated that amo […]
  • Supreme Court: GPS tracker is government search covered by 4tgh Amendment
    Atlantic - If the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or any of your personal effects, it counts as a search—and is therefore protected by the Fourth Amendment.The Supreme Court clarified and affirmed that law on Monday, when it ruled on Torrey Dale Grady v. North Carolina, before sending the case back to that state’s high court. The Court’s shor […]
  • MSNBC takes another hit
    Variety - Fox News remained the dominant news network, especially in primetime, while CNN solidified its standing as the No. 2 newsie and closed the demo gap some with FNC on a total-day basis. According to Nielsen “most current” estimates for the Dec. 29, 2014-March 29, 2015 quarter, Fox News cruised to a primetime victory in the key news demo of adults 25- […]
  • Things you can appaently still do in Indiana
    Exodus tells us to kill those who work on Sunday. […]
  • IRS not answering 60% of taxpayers' calls
    Washington Times - IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said  that service at his agency has gotten so bad that they are ignoring more than 60 percent of taxpayers’ phone calls during this tax season.Speaking at the National Press Club, Mr. Koskinen pleaded with more money, saying a budget boost would help them staff their overwhelmed customer service lines. He al […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    Harpers  Percentage of Americans who believe that vaccines are safe and effective: 53... Who believe that houses can be haunted by ghosts: 54Where GOP candidates stand on Indiana Four journalists arrested during last summer’s protests over the Ferguson shooting death of Michael Brown are suing St Louis County’s police department for civil rights violations a […]
  • Department of oops
    Reuters - U.S. cable T.V. operator Cablevision Systems Corp  is planning to make an offer for the New York Daily News as early as this week, valuing the troubled tabloid at just $1, according to a person familiar with the matter.The offer would come one month after New York media and real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman said he was considering selling the […]
  • The People's Party on Iran
    Washington Post - Overall, [our] poll finds 59 percent support an agreement in which the United States and its negotiating partners lift major economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program. Thirty-one percent oppose a deal. […]