Some •Bullet Point Area of Concern Issues to Incorporate Into Your Written Letters to Nevada County Planning Concerning The Penn Valley REZONE Issue

Listed below are a number of talking points one can use in letters to the County Planning Dept regarding the EIR for the Housing Rezone. Feel free to add your own concerns. Try to individualize your letters so they don’t look like form letters.

-The project sites proposed for rezoning to R-3 (16 units per acre) in Penn Valley are in conflict with what was proposed in the Penn Valley Focused Economic Development Study adopted by the County Board of Supervisors in 2000.

-This Plan (termed the Village Plan) called for commercial, business, retail and industrial uses in the Penn Valley Village. The Board of Supervisors adopted this plan in order to provide guidance for future development of the Penn Valley Area.

-The EIR completely ignored the Village Plan which results in a Significant Unavoidable Impact With No Effort to Mitigate. The result is a legally flawed EIR.

- Penn Valley needs more jobs. The proposed rezoning eliminates the opportunities to increase employment and bring in good paying jobs to the community.

-Developing low cost housing at 16 units per acre will further stress public services such as schools, sheriff, fire and other critical services which were negatively affected during the past few years of the Great Recession.

-The proposal for dense housing does not belong in a rural and pastoral area such as Penn Valley.

-The proposed sites are not close to public services and other amenities required for this type of housing. Further, these sites do not minimize the need to commute. This is a serious environmental impact.

-The Board of Supervisors’ site selection criteria was also flawed, which resulted in 42% of the County’s State mandated housing being located in Penn Valley.

- The proposal does not foster economic growth as recommended in the EIR.

-The Penn Valley area should be allowed to develop as recommended by the Village Plan, which states that “opportunities exist for business park, light manufacturing for firms providing components for high tech manufacturing, as well as office based businesses in software development and internet applications”.

Recommendations

1. Return the EIR to staff and consultants for revision to correct the major legal and policy flaws contained in the document.

2. Extend the pubic comment period (which ends November 12) for one month to fully allow for more public input.

NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF COUNTY OFFICIALS TO SEND YOUR REZONING LETTERS TO

When writing your letters, please address them to:

Tyler Barrington, Principal Planner
Nevada County Community Development Agency
950 Maidu Ave, Suite 170
Nevada City, CA 95959

Phone: (530) 470 2723
Email: tyler.barrington@co.nevada.ca.us

It would also be a good idea to send copies of your letters to both our district Planning Commissioner; Doug Donesky and our district 4 Supervisor; Hank Weston.

Doug Donesky,  County Planning Commissioner for District 4

950 Maidu Ave, Nevada City, CA 95959

Email c/o:  planning@co.nevada.ca.us

Hank Weston, Nevada County District 4 Supervisor 

950 Maidu Avenue, Suite 200, Nevada City, CA 95959

Email: hank.weston@co.nevada.ca.us

 

All letters must be received by November 12th. Writing these letters is a MUST if we are to prevail in this matter!

PLEASE WRITE!

A GREAT LETTER TO THE COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT ON THE REZONE ISSUE By A Penn Valley Neighbor

The following letter was written by Nancy Petty, a Penn Valley resident, to the County Planning Department’s Tyler Barrington regarding the rezoning issue discussed at Tuesday’s (10/29) public meeting.

THIS LETTER IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF HOW YOUR INDIVIDUAL LETTERS CAN BE STYLED AFTER. IT INCLUDES SOME GREAT POINTS AS WELL. NANCY HAS BEEN KIND ENOUGH TO ALLOW US TO SHARE IT WITH THE COMMUNITY. PLEASE USE IT AS A GUIDELINE AND DO NOT PLAGIARIZE IT OR ANY PARTS OF IT. THANK YOU!

Tyler Barrington
County of Nevada Planning Department
950 Maidu Ave.
Nevada City, CA 95959
Tyler.barrington@co.nevada.ca.us

Thank you for your presentation at the community meeting in Penn Valley Tuesday night. Clearly, there are many residents of Penn Valley with a lot to say about the proposed rezoning. Unfortunately, most of us were unaware of the issue until days, or even hours before the meeting. Clearly the notice to residents within 500 feet of the affected areas was inadequate, and therefore the 60 day comment period, which is now 13 days, is also inadequate. Since we were told at the meeting that the most effective way for us to express our concerns would be to write letters, we need time to do so and to get the word out to our neighbors. An extension of the comment period would be appreciated.

It was evident from the turnout last night that although Penn Valley is a small, rural community it is a community that is passionate about the quality of life here. In such an environment small changes make a big impact; the proposal presented at the meeting is not a small change. The total number of acres under consideration is 33.55. At 16 units per acre, that is 536.8 units. At 2 vehicles per unit, that is 1073 cars. We have few roads, and they are all 2-lanes only. The noise, congestion, and air pollution of over 1000 cars being dumped onto Highway 20 through Penn Valley on a daily basis would be devastating. This assumes, of course, that these “low to extremely low income” residents have somewhere to go. Since there are virtually no jobs in Penn Valley, this might be an overstatement. The housing units would only provide 1 parking space per unit, so there would be a significant impact on available parking in and around the Village as well. In addition to the lack of jobs in and around Penn Valley, the local schools could not absorb the children of these families. Two of the designated parcels are currently zoned commercial. The loss of these commercial zones to housing would hamper the community’s ability to attract commercial development which would vitalize the community and provide more jobs in the area.

A high density, low income project, whether it is in Penn Valley or in a large city, has the same issues. But Penn Valley is a small community and doesn’t have the infrastructure, the police & fire resources, or the financial resources to deal with those issues. At 4 individuals per unit we would have over 2000 new residents with no way to support this influx.

The impact to the local ecology would be seriously detrimental. The parcels under consideration are heavily wooded with ancient California Oaks. The loss of these trees would not only create a visual blight in a currently beautiful area, but this loss cannot be “mitigated” by planting some other trees in some other county. This would also result in the loss of the wildlife that currently thrives in these areas. Additionally, Squirrel and/or Clear Creek runs through the largest of the parcels under consideration. There is no question that the high density population would be detrimental to the water quality in these creeks, which then flow into the Gateway Park swim area.

The prospect that some unnamed developer would be responsible to fund the “improvements” required to support a development that we don’t want in the first place is of little comfort. It is my understanding that if the EIR passes the developer would have no further requirements to meet.

In short, Penn Valley is simply not an appropriate venue for a high density housing development.

Thank you for your consideration.
Nancy Petty

Cc: Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce
Supervisor Hank Weston
Friends & neighbors in Penn Valley