Planning Commission applicants

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will consider a list of applicants to fill an at-large seat on the County Planning Commission at its regular Tuesday meeting.  Here are the folks whose hats are in the ring:

  1. Johanna Rodoni
  2. Chuck Ciancio
  3. Blake Lehman
  4. Harry Gene Davenport
  5. Frank Bacik
  6. Greg Conners
  7. Darrel Petersen
  8. Glenn Ziemer
  9. Sungnome Madrone
  10. Tim Hooven
  11. Ben Shepherd
  12. Linda Disiere
  13. Maggy Herbelin
  14. Virginia Graziani
  15. Dick Hansis
  16. Kurt Kramer
  17. Pam Service

Download the applications here.

The seat is currently held by Commissioner Bruce Emad, whose term expires on January 31, 2011.  After submitting a letter of resignation last month, Emad was asked to withdraw the letter following a unanimous vote by the Supervisors to support a request that he stay for an additional year, or until the General Plan Update is complete.

However, the Board reversed itself two weeks later and voted 4-1 to review all applications.

Whether Emad is chosen to stay — or even wants to after the Supes reversal — the Planning Commission is changing.  Chairman Jeff Smith had his last meeting on Thursday, and Dennis Mayo’s term is also set to expire at the end of the month.  Those two seats will be filled by new Supervisors Virginia Bass and Ryan Sundberg.

  1. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Tim Hooven should complete his commitment to his school board before taking on further responsibilities.

  2. Fence
    January 24, 2011 at 9:42 am

    The General Plan doesn’t matter anymore what does is the rezones of 183 parcels staff is trying to do. Thats between 7,000 and 12,000 multifamily units. That many multifamily units will drive the general plan and determine where services will need to be in the future. These rezones don’t match any alternatives being studied or the current General and Community plans. The tail is wagging the dog.

  3. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

    9:39 I don’t know Tim but I do know that if you want something to get done, ask a busy person. They are the “do-ers”. Many people I know are on many boards, and do a great job with them. Being a productive and successful person who is a great addition to a board takes experience.

  4. 69er
    January 24, 2011 at 10:04 am

    i agree with Anon 9:48, there are doers and there are wannabees. We need to seek out the doers and let them do their jobs with as little interference as possible.

  5. 69er
    January 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I am not advocating that Tim is the one, only that he is a good choice if so deemed by the board.

  6. Draft TIM
    January 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I didn’t know that Tim Hooven was serving on a volunteer (i.e. thankless) school board. This really shows his committment to the community and his willingness to put in the hard work needed to make the right choices for our future generations. In addition to this, he would bring a calm, thoughtful tone to the discussions of planning issues. His background and experience makes him the most qualified.

    I say it’s time to Draft TIM!!

  7. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 10:45 am

    No Draft. Being a school board member should take up 40+ hours a month. If he has time to take on the role of planning commission, the people lose. It’s not the role of a school board member to merely rubber stamp the recommendations of staff. He should resign from the school board if he joins the planning commission.

  8. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I like Tim, but would have to agree with the first post. The time it takes to be on two boards as active as these would be stressful to all involved. I also wonder if these aren’t what they call “incompatible offices”.

  9. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Herbelin is a mover and shaker, woman’s coastguard auxiliary among other important roles, committed to her community and retired. it is ridiculous but true that these volunteer positions become full time jobs and you must be a dedicated doer to take them on. I like Maggy.

  10. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 10:57 am

    this really shows his committment to the community

    this really shows his desire to use a school district as a stepping stone to a more powerful post.

    FTFY.

  11. Plain Jane
    January 24, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Don’t know anything about him, but love the name Sungnome Madrone. Commissioner Sungnome Madrone would be fun to read in the paper. Sounds like he stepped out of Middle Earth.

  12. skippy
    January 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

    The BOS meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday, at 9am.

    The Times-Standard article is here

  13. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I second those people who say the time requirements of a good school board member (40+ hours per month) makes it impossible to also serve on the Planning Commission at the same time.

  14. January 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    So how will this work? Is this going to be like The Apprentice? Survivor? So you think you can be on a Planning Commission?

    Add some spice to the process.

  15. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Personally,

    at this stage of abuse, I would like to see Emad stay so that there is as little turnover as possible. I wuld also hope Sundberg would allow Mayo to continue on.

    The musical chairs and the changes of direction during this whole GPU process has been anticipated, obviously. Question is – how many more attempts to bait and switch the various communities over bits and pieces of the GPU process. Smith has done an admirable job as well, albeit mistakes have occured along the way not exclusively his fault as chair.

    The worst thing that can happen is more ideological manipulations with a new cast of commissioners.

    Mary G. – even though I sometimes wonder about her thought processes and disagree with the applications thereof at times, I like the fact that she brings a different viewpoint for which is necessary in order to have serious and open-minded rationalities. When too many people are of the same values, many viewpoints or representations can get prejudiced by those who have biases toward social minimalizations.

    JL

  16. Dippy
    January 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I vote for Glenn…

  17. Not A Native
    January 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Seventeen is a large number of applicants, no shortage of citizens stepping up to “selflessly serve their community” even as they further their interests. Lots of real estate agents looking to pump up their gravy train.

    With the newly elected BOS, I’ve no doubt that an ardent ‘property rightist’ will be appointed. Maggie and Greg have no chance. The selection will really come down to picking which owners of cutover timber land will be first in line to be given the highest increase in wealth by getting rezonings to ‘rural’ residential. Ultimately the vote will be unamimous, but we’ll find out if Cliff/Mark have any influence at all.

  18. Steak n Eggs
    January 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    So the BOS vote to appoint the “At-large” seat, while the newly elected supes may appoint at their own choosing? Do the commissioners appointed by the new supes need to be in their respective district?

  19. Fence
    January 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Go Glenn!!

  20. January 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Do the commissioners appointed by the new supes need to be in their respective district?

    Yes.

  21. TimH
    January 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I have arrived! Heraldo, do you offer commemorative versions of these posts? It would look nice in an oak frame I think.

    “this really shows his desire to use a school district as a stepping stone to a more powerful post.”

    you saying you want to follow me on twitter?

  22. anon1
    January 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Ben Sheppard..Hasn’t won an election in years. I think the people have spoken many times..They DO NOT TRUST Ben..He has been politicking for and with Ryan the bobble head Sundberg. Most of the list are pawns..Look at Ciancio..Hes a smart guy but kinda whacked..Most of them have an agenda..Ben is such a peach,he knows the only way hes rubbing elbows with the elite..is to do what they want..Ben’s the guy who built his house on Titlow hill on someone else’s property..Great planner

  23. anon1
    January 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Tim’s ego, for a small man is bigger than life..

  24. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    The agenda item is to reappoint Bruce Emad. Why wouldn’t that happen?

  25. January 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    4:57, it looks like a quick reappointment to me, too. My application is from last year’s First District opening. There is no opening and no application, so no, I do not stand a chance.

  26. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks Greg. It looks like a done deal and so not worthy of a major discussion. Lots of great candidates to save for a later date. Enough already.

  27. mresquan
    January 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    “The agenda item is to reappoint Bruce Emad. Why wouldn’t that happen?”

    Take a gander at which Supervisor Bruce supported last November.Hopefully Virginia is above that though,we’ll see.

  28. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    It’s an at-large seat which takes 3/5 of the board, not the 4th District seat, which is a Bass appointment.

  29. For the sake of balance
    January 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Sungnome Madrone is the best choice. He’ll do the most to protect our natural resources, which is to say, or bread and butter, our security.

    Or, we could just scrap the entire exercise, give it ALL over to those with vested interests, and let them fight over who gets the biggest piece of the land pie.

    20 years from now, who knows what miserable state our country and county will be in. Don’t look for an economic turn around – it isn’t going to happen.

    Planning that does not account for this reality is a wasted exercise.

  30. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I would never vote for someone who had to make up his name and has a history of such limited scope. I want a person who will look at both sides.

  31. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Honestly, Sun Gnome Madrone?? A gnome?? C’mon, are we in the Trilogy?

  32. Ruthy
    January 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Herbelin is a kook burger. Nice lady, but an ideologue that shouldn’t be allowed close to any public office.

    Kramer is a developer that was cozy with the mightiest of Heraldo’s villians. But, I guess they had a falling out, so perhaps thats enough to favor him.

  33. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Kramer is definitely favorable.

  34. January 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Kramer made old town look like a Brady Bunch carnival during the last election countdown. Thanks but no thanks.

  35. Jack Durham
    January 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Tim, how about a T-shirt that reads “I was on the Humboldt Herald and all I got was this crappy T-shirt.”??

  36. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Kramer does a great job getting it done. No doubt about it.

  37. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Kramer would be awesome on the planning commission.

  38. Decline to State
    January 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Kramer will always hold a special place in my heart for saving the Old Town Bar and Girls building but am not sure I want him on the planning commission.

  39. Ulansey my Hero
    January 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Who would Ulansey vote for?

  40. Timh
    January 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Sweet idea Jack! Will I get busted if I lift a big Heraldo Face off this site for my shirt?

  41. January 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Git y’er T-shirts! $15 a pop.

  42. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    heraldo shirts r a good idea.

  43. Eurekan
    January 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Tim – How about a “No Arkleyville” t-shirt instead?

  44. anon1
    January 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Kramer are you for real? conflict anyone, Bueller, anyone, anyone?

  45. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    My first vote would go for keeping Emad on, out of respect for him and the process. Aside from that, there are quite a few names on the list tied to special interests. The two people who stand out as being both experienced and fair: Dick Hansis & Pam Service. Hope our Supervisors favor experience and fairness over special interests on either side of the isle.

  46. Sun Gnome Madrone
    January 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    To be clear I have lived in Humboldt County for 38 years. I have 4 children and 10 grandchildren and they were the ones who named me Sun Gnome in honor of the decades of work that I have done for our community and for forests. I have an extensive track record of working with both sides. I do not just talk that line, I walk it. Examples of projects that I have been involved in include the Hammond Trail in McKinleyville which required easement negotiations with private landowners, securing rights of way from Cal Trans for the trail, and securing millions of dollars to hire local contractors and buy local materials. Another project is the Trinidad Area of Special Biological Significance including the Kelp beds in the Bay and its fisheries. When I began this project there was a history of Trinidad area government agencies, tribes, and other residents fighting with each other. It was my privilege to be instrumental in bringing all the various stakeholders in the area together to agree to work on our common problems. Five years later we have a local watershed council and have leveraged millions of dollars for watershed and bay improvements. We have secured grants for helping folks with failing septic systems in an incentive based approach rather than trying to get compliance with hammers. My entire adult career in Humboldt County is a record of community volunteering and engagement in projects that benefit the whole community. I recognize that there are those who cannot see this and will attack me because of the box that they put me in. I try not to put folks in boxes and instead try to listen and understand concerns and look for solutions that benefit our community. I signed this comment because I take responsibility for my actions and comments. Good luck Humboldt County. I for one hope that we as citizens of this community can move forward in our civility towards each other to complete the general plan update and to work together on a solid future for our children and for their children.

  47. 5th District Voter
    January 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Okay, based on the above, I vote for Sun Gnome.

    Tim Hooven is responsible for much of the unplanned, haphazard growth in McKinleyville. The signature look of the homes he has built is “cookie cutter.” His nickname should be “T-111.” I get the feeling that if he had his way, much of Humboldt would look like Santa Rosa. Hell NO!

    Ryan Sundberg: If you had any guts or sense, you’d name Sungnome as your commissioner. Do you?

  48. January 24, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    5th District Voter either is not, or is clueless. Check the yellow pages.

  49. Jack Durham
    January 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Tim,
    Hell. We can make “I Love Heraldo” T-shirts and sell them. The only way he/she/they can stop us is to reveal themselves! Until then, we can cash in on their name. I imagine one of your steamrollers could be adapted to make shirts.
    – Jack

  50. Timh
    January 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    5th – I have never built a house in my life. I live on a small lot in the middle of town. I live less than two miles from my work, a few blocks from schools and shopping. Some would call that “smart”. I know I have a huge ego, but responsible for the growth of McKinleyville? I wish, I think it is nice here. Don’t throw the Santa Rosa thing at me, that is what we will get with plan “A”.

  51. Timh
    January 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Rose, that graphic is great. Jack, we can’t stop at shirts. Mugs, mouse pads, etc. Very targeted market, each person who gets the honor of appearing, we just email and see which package they want. That’s what they did to me at disneyland with that photopass. Heraldopass.

  52. Anonymous
    January 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Plan A = Santa Rosa? Tim, maybe you don’t remember Santa Rosa 25 years ago. No plan is perfect, but if they went with a “Plan A” type development plan you would not have the traffic and sprawl that is there now. It is all the quazi-“rural” subdivisions that makes the highway and downtown the mess it is today.

  53. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    There could be no possible way that the S.F. Bay Area/Marin County feeder communities have not had there fair share of exported citizens who decided to move northward.

    I will say, it sucks not being able to see the old barn/water tank up on the hill from near abouts River Road/HWY 101 overpass. The development was very noticeable to eliminate view distance from the freeway to a landmark that was noticeable for as long as it had been there up until major development superimposed the landscape just south of Cardinal Newman private school toward that old landmark site.

    Ya know, maybe people will get smart and figure out the whole costs and regulations things that plays out when deciding what kind or type of home to develop or build. Then again, so many homeowners did not want to think about how much they were over-paying, so apparantly, the kind or type of home really did not matter as much as the whole asset/equity valuation thingy that was really just “propped-up” retoric playing on human beings’ futures, sadly. When costs go down, there exists more options to make nicer that which was kinda forced in a way to not be as nice or approporiate because profit against high costs was too important to not realise. Afterall, who wants to build and sell for a loss?

    JL

  54. January 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Tim, we’ll send ’em out in plain brown wrappers. Gonna need someone to sneak around in the dark putting stickers on parking meters, though. Maybe 5th District Voter needs a short term gig between elections.

  55. kale estanoche
    January 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I agree with 10:47. Just want to add, though, in the interest of “imagining humboldt”, I would love to see ag land/community forests integrated more with our more urban areas. Infill makes sense, but so does maintaining prime ag lands around McKinleyville and forestland around Eureka. I think that well-planned, smart development is the only way to preserve the rural character of this region.

  56. January 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Free promo!

  57. kale estanoche
    January 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    PS – I’d like to apply for the stickering job.

  58. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Plan A = Santa Rosa? Tim, maybe you don’t remember Santa Rosa 25 years ago. No plan is perfect, but if they went with a “Plan A” type development plan you would not have the traffic and sprawl that is there now. It is all the quazi-”rural” subdivisions that makes the highway and downtown the mess it is today.

    if you double the density in the developed areas, what do you think will happen to the traffic? not to mention the host of infrastructure problems that will follow. see what the csd managers are saying about the housing element. “problems treating effluent” – yes, that will add to my quality of life immensely.

  59. Mitch
    January 25, 2011 at 6:44 am

    The Times-Standard could do T-shirts. They could just buy up threadbare old ones and ask local politicians and anyone else looking for free publicity to write on them.

    Any that smelled dirty they could give to the North Coast Relevance to sell instead. They’re great at whitewashing dirty laundry.

  60. Mitch
    January 25, 2011 at 6:48 am

    I like the T-shirt idea.

    The T-S could buy up really threadbare T-shirts and transcribe BoS meeting minutes onto them, then sell them.

    If any smelled bad, the T-S could send them over to the North Coast Relevance, where they could be whitewashed first.

  61. Decline to State
    January 25, 2011 at 7:02 am

    I’m envisioning members of the Eureka City Council or our Board of Supervisors meeting and facing a sea of Hearaldo shirts…daunting.

    I need one.

  62. January 25, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Heck, half the elected officials around here need one. Wear ’em like a badge of honor.

    And take note of the fact that 5th District Voter is exposed as a propagandist and liar above. Oh, so carefully worded to sound like just another guy, and so completely dishonest. Methinks he has a dog.

  63. Anon
    January 25, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Acually they are following the process. Emad resigned a few weeks before his term was up – January 31, 2011. Usually the process is the Board looks at applicants to replace the at large seats that have expired and they vote on those applicants. Each newly elected or recently elected Supervisor can appoint a person of their choice to serve during their term and it has to be a person that lives in their District. Jeff Smith moved to Fortuna and was Bonnie’s choice. Now Virginia and Ryan both have an opportunity to appoint their District’s representative with no Board vote as they are not considered at large members.

    For those who believe Tim H is a developer??? he has the equipment to knock down houses but not to build them unless it is grading for the project.

  64. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 8:08 am

    “if you double the density in the developed areas, what do you think will happen to the traffic? not to mention the host of infrastructure problems that will follow. see what the csd managers are saying about the housing element. “problems treating effluent” – yes, that will add to my quality of life immensely.”

    Taking the same number residences and spreading them out over rural lands means more traffic and more infrastructure to be maintained at a higher cost, not less. This doesn’t mean you need build only apartments and such, but as tax payers and rate payers we should be concerned about subsidizing growth in areas that will cost more for us to maintain in the long run.

  65. just sayin'
    January 25, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Yes, increasing the density of residential in or near downtown areas does NOT equate necessarily with increased traffic, unless you consider bikes and pedestrians “traffic.” It is textbook Smart Growth. Ringing the urban core with greenbelts is a strategy that goes back literally centuries (see London) and adds value and livability to existing development within a city proper.

    The fact that Mr. Hooven mistakenly equates Option A with Santa Rosa is perhaps the most compelling reason why he would be a spectacularly poor choice for County Planning Commissioner.

  66. January 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

    “Taking the same number residences and spreading them out over rural lands means more traffic”

    Yeah, those country roads are so congested!!!

    The Lovelace crowd WANTS “Infill” and that means living like rats in a cage, piled on top of each other, no room for your kids to play, no room to plant a garden, no room for privacy… it is the OPPOSITE of why we love it here. Nice sounding phrases and assertions like the one above, like Ann Lindsay’s ridiculous claim that city people are healthier are designed to fool you. Don’t be fooled. THINK!

  67. skippy
    January 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Nice work on that T-shirt you made, Rose. What a good promotion you did in advertising for our host and hero here, our own Heraldo!

    They’ll go splendidly with our ‘cream pie and seltzer water’ get together!

  68. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 8:58 am

    well said, 8:08. and to add another point re: traffic and waste treatment…

    Traffic problems, to a large degree, are a result of poor planning rather than density. Look at certain neighborhoods in Portland for example: much higher density with little effect on traffic.

    As for waste treatment and the housing element: no doubt we need to take care of the infrastructure problems in various CSD’s and upgrade certain facilities before taking on more growth. (I think that municipalities should also encourage alternative effluent treatment and reuse such as greywater to minimize the burden on large facilities and reuse for irrigation.)

    Spreading more folks across the landscape is not going to address the problem of our failing sewage infrastructure. Many households outside CSD’s are faced with failing septic systems, which directly impacts groundwater and nearby waterways.

  69. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Rose should make tee shirts to promote her own blog. The graphic would be an inward spiral with the caption, “I tried to read Rose’s blog but just got dizzy.”

  70. January 25, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Rose should change “WatchPaul” to “Can’tStopThinkingAboutRichard.”

  71. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 9:07 am

    The point is that the county roads aren’t congested yet, we still have a few fish left, and some agricultural and working timber lands. We can plan to maintain them or let them go. Most of the population of Humboldt lives within an area that receives services (including you Rose), we don’t feel like “rats in a cage”. Good design facilitates gardens for planing and places for children to play. Your idea that people that promote these ideas are children and plant hating rats is really over the top.

  72. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I think that gardens and room for all of us to play is crucial in all communities. “Infill” and “compact growth” does not have to mean that we are living on top of each other. And we should discourage it as such. Smart Growth means places like downtown Ferndale and Old Town Eureka, and I would hope that most of us would rather see that kind of development than, say, Central Ave in McKinleyville.

  73. all those empty parcels
    January 25, 2011 at 9:13 am

    The same people drone on about the same lie:

    “There are no empty rural parcels left to buy or build on in Humboldt!”

    TOTAL BULLSHIT. There are something like 7,000 rural parcels, zoned rural residential, ready to build on in Humboldt. And very few of them are “vertical” land in Shelter Cove, as these folks protest. A most inconvenient truth.

    Unfortunately, most of these liars are either real estate agents, developers, or their fellow travelers. Sad.

  74. Ron Kuhnel
    January 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

    There should be 18 names there. I filed an application as well. I guess it got lost in the shuffle. n any case the Board should appoint Bruce Emad. But there are a lot of very qualified candidates here, and it is impressive to see this many people willing to give up their time for public service.

  75. Remembrance of Things Past
    January 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Tim Hooven sat for awhile on the McKinleyville Plan Committee. Back in the 1990s. As I recall, Tim appeared to be against the notion of planning, regulation, and most government functions.

    Tim espoused unfettered private property rights as the only legitimate guiding force for development.

    First and foremost, Planning Commissioners must believe in planning.

  76. Timh
    January 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

    So you double the density and rezone the commercial areas to encourage multi family housing. How, exactly will this reduce traffic? There aren’t jobs here. They will have to drive to eureka, especially as the amount of commercial property is diminished. The sewer line sizes are a big part of the problem so you have to run a parallel line or remove and replace the exsiting line to increase the size to deal with increased density. This is not cheaper than extending a line. Cheaper than building a new treatment plant, yes. The cheapest utility installations are not in the street where you have multiple existing utilities to contend with and fixed elevations to hit. These would be the expensive ones.

  77. DaveV
    January 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

    @all those empty parcels, Your “facts” are not only incorrect, your assertions that real estate agents, developers, and “fellow travelers” are liars is inflammatory, defamatory, and a typical example of an uninformed, angry individual that is not getting their way!

  78. January 25, 2011 at 11:46 am

    “First and foremost, Planning Commissioners must believe in planning.”

    Where is it written?

  79. Questions for Dave
    January 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Okay, Mr. Varshock (a mortgage broker married to a real estate agent, for those of you not in the know),
    I’ve got a few questions for you:

    1) Exactly how many unbuilt-on rural residential parcels remain in Humboldt, if 7,000 is an incorrect number, as you contend?

    2) In addition to those, how many built-on rural residential parcels are currently for sale?

    3) Given the answers to the above two questions, why do you contend that they somehow are insufficient to meet current and projected demand for rural homebuyers?

    4) Do you consider asking these types of questions to be defamatory?

  80. Back to the 80's
    January 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    If you want the Humboldt County of the future to resemble McKinleyville strip mall/sprawl “paradise,” then Tim Hooven’s definitely your man.

    Appointing Hooven to the Planning Commission would be very much like Ronald Reagan appointing James Watt to be Secretary of the Interior.

    Anyone up for strip-mining the White House Rose Garden?

  81. January 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Hooven was the favored choice for HumCPR honcho Bob Morris at today’s BOS meeting. Emad was reappointed.

  82. longwind
    January 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    12:20, rhetoric and imaginary numbers aside, these points aren’t worth arguing about. The state already rejected the imaginary numbers, remember?

    Our Housing Element had to be rewritten because a thousand or so ‘buildable’ lots were in fact vertical sucker jobs in Shelter Cove, among other problem areas. You’re disagreeing with the state of California, not a blogger.

  83. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Longwind, care to honestly answer Dave’s questions above?

    Really, one thousand lots in Shelter Cove are unbuildable? Source, please? Or just more truth-fudging?

  84. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    From 2004 NCJ article

    John Strawn (HC tax assessor)

    “In the last assessment period, 2,459 of the 4,189 lots, or 59 percent, were valued at $10,000 or less, far cheaper than most buildable lots are selling for in Shelter Cove. Seventeen percent, or 716 lots, are listed as “low value,” or worth less than $2,000, and therefore not subject to taxes.”

    link

    The county won’t even issue building permits for these lots. Are they counted as buildable in the total?

  85. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    “John Strawn (HC tax assessor)”

    LOL. Had a three martini lunch there Plain Jane ?

  86. longwind
    January 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Yes, many of them were, Jane. Here’s the T-S on why the funny numbers were rejected by the state:

    http://www.times-standard.com/ci_12172005?IADID=Search-www.times-standard.com-www.times-standard.com

    Search Housing Element state on the T-S website for more particulars.

  87. TimH
    January 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    “If you want the Humboldt County of the future to resemble McKinleyville strip mall/sprawl “paradise,” then Tim Hooven’s definitely your man.

    Appointing Hooven to the Planning Commission would be very much like Ronald Reagan appointing James Watt to be Secretary of the Interior.

    Anyone up for strip-mining the White House Rose Garden?”

    McKinleyville was built up along the old highway 101. That is why it is a “strip”. It may be of interest to note that most of the development in McKinleyville has been infill. I have an aerial photo in my office from 1995. The footprint of the town is not significantly different that it was 15 years ago, but it is filled in. You call that sprawl? I suggest you travel. I guess if you don’t have facts you can go ahead and resort to name calling.

    “First and foremost, Planning Commissioners must believe in planning.”

    And that is why the current ones are gutting the McKinleyville Community Plan, right? You know, the one that was duked out week after week for years with all sides represented, the one where nobody got what they wanted but everybody got something. That is why I applied for the PC. I wanted to preserve the plan that was the consensus of the community. Silly me. At least I’m getting a t shirt.

  88. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I don’t get the joke, 2:25.

  89. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    The article quotes Giraud as saying (paraphrased) that some of the lots considered unbuildable are actually buildable but only with extensively engineered foundations at exorbitant cost.

    My father actually did some of the heavy equipment work putting in the Shelter Cove subdivision, very dangerous work due to the steep slopes and sliding hillsides. Even way back then he was amazed that anyone would call some of this land “lots.”

  90. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Ah, TimH wanted on the Planning Commission to thwart plans to put low income housing in McKinleyville. Well, maybe Sundberg will appoint him.

  91. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Yes, I (and I reckon most non-McKinleyville residents)would call McKinleyville a textbook example of what not to replicate in Humboldt County. For a rural county, it is a dictionary definition of “sprawl.”

    If you disagree Tim, fine. But please don’t contend that it is what the rest of the county is rushing to duplicate.

  92. TimH
    January 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I never said it was. Somebody else said that. I am only stating the reality that it is a town that grew up around a highway. Where would you have put the houses over the past fifteen years if not in the footprint of the existing town?

    “Ah, TimH wanted on the Planning Commission to thwart plans to put low income housing in McKinleyville.”

    You could call it that but I would call it “following the McKinleyville Community Plan”. Don’t you believe in planning?

  93. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    State law and Humboldt County Planning trump McKinleyville Community Plan, Tim. But of course you know that which is why you wanted on the County Planning Commission. The Planning Commission doesn’t need NIMBY’s but open minded people who will make decisions based on the law and what is best for the county as a whole.

  94. DaveV
    January 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    @Questions for Dave – I have not been in lending for over 1.5 yrs (update your information, I was forced to shut my lending co. down as a RE Broker can no longer operated a “mortgage co.” and a real estate co. under the same license. I was regulated out of business!), I am a Real-Estate Broker, married to a real estate agent, a parent, a small businesses owner, and a very active member of the general public from volunteer time to civic involvement.

    “1) Exactly how many unbuilt-on rural residential parcels remain in Humboldt, if 7,000 is an incorrect number, as you contend?”

    Contrary to your narrow, and obvious limited knowledge of development there are many more factors involved in the ability of a parcel to develop other than simply the slope of the land. After applying ALL of the physical AND governmental constraints to the land inventory, generously there are fewer than 3000 buildable lots remaining in the inventory.

    “2) In addition to those, how many built-on rural residential parcels are currently for sale?”

    I am not in front of the mls right now, but you obviously know who I am, call me an I will be happy to go over the inventory with you.

    “3) Given the answers to the above two questions, why do you contend that they somehow are insufficient to meet current and projected demand for rural homebuyers?”

    Because your data is incorrect, as evidenced by the information submitted to HCD causing them to deny certification of the housing element a number of times.

    “4) Do you consider asking these types of questions to be defamatory?”

    No asking questions is encouraged, Defamatory is calling people liars in a public arena, especially when some livelihoods are built and maintained on reputation of information, oh, wait, then it could be construed as liable!
    Moreover, this is all coming from someone who has not even made it clear who they are, unless I missed something?

  95. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    How many new homes are expected to be necessary in the next 50 years, DaveV? Our projected rate of growth is less than 1%, probably falling now.

  96. Jack Durham
    January 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    The two opposing factions that are sometimes revealed when McKinleyville land use issues are debated seem to be in agreement when it comes to upholding the town plan. So the “us agaInst them” arguments here don’t really work.

  97. Sam Spade
    January 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    The Once-ler: “Now, you listen to me, Pop, while I blow my top! Trees? Ha! You speak for the trees? Well I speak for men, and human opportunities! For your information, you Lorax, I’m figgering on biggering and biggering, and biggering, and BIGGERING, turning MORE truffula trees into thneeds! Which everyone, everyone, EVERYONE NEEDS!”

  98. longwind
    January 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Jane, on your previous comment to Tim, there’s a good-faith understanding that community plans taking several years, coordinated through the Planning Department and billed as components of the General Plan, will be honored as such. When that doesn’t happen, people feel lied to, that they wasted their time and trust. Macktown isn’t the only place that feels like that.

    More and more often state mandates rather than local realities (such as projected growth rates) drive planning. The rejected Housing Element had conjured its nutty numbers for the particular purpose of pretend-compliance with state ‘affordable housing’ mandates, which require that it be ‘proven’ possible to do what, nonetheless, hardly anyone does–build cheap housing.

    The housing element said that affordable housing could be built atop those “extensively engineered foundations at exorbitant cost” that you mentioned above, for example. Since the Plan is so often a meaningless scramble of compliance-feints rather than reality, the mandated policies don’t actually happen, yet we get to fight over them anyway. Isn’t politics fun?

    The McKinleyville, um, houseless housing controversy is another example. The state mandates that homeless shelters be a principle permitted use in certain (non-residential) zones. So maps documenting the zones are prepared for the state. Neighbors flip out, but no one was going to build the shelters anyway.

    But there’s hope! Just last week the Planning Commission noticed that their economic plans and pie charts didn’t include the county’s principle economic activity! They never have, but it’s wonderful that someone official has noticed, and said so out loud. I’m sure they can revise the plan in a month or two, for a little thing like that . . .

  99. TimH
    January 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Jane,
    McKinleyville has provided around 40% of the affordable housing in the county. OK, state law trumps community desire. That’s nice, but that doesn’t mean most of it needs to come to McKinleyville. Riddle me this: Why isn’t there any around Arcata? http://mckinleyvillepress.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/mckp012611_1small.jpg

  100. The Once-ler
    January 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Every once in a while I sit down with myself asking ‘Once-ler, why are you a Once-ler?’ And I cringe, I don’t smile as I sit there on trial asking ‘Aren’t you ashamed, you old Once-ler? You ought to be locked in a hoosegow, you should! The things that you do are completely un-good.’ Yeah? But if I didn’t do them, then someone else WOULD! That’s a very good point, Mr. Once-ler. Progress is progress, and progress must grow!

  101. Mcklefty
    January 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    The other part of the Mckinleyville controversy is the affordable housing element The county wants to greatly increase zoning densities to allow affordable housing in Mckinleyville to comply with a state mandate. Most of the selected land is now open space so the anti sprawl patrol should be on the side of resistance to the County Planning staff’s plan. Could other approaches like allowing mother in law units do the same thing?

    TimH’s company sure has been doing lots of earth moving on environmental restoration projects and they pay prevailing wage. He must be the Devil! His 10:41 comment is correct about costs which the “infilldels” never have understood.

    Nevertheless Emad’s re-appointment was my preferred outcome.

  102. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    How do you know there isn’t, Tim? The article you linked doesn’t mention Arcata, at least in the portion I could access. You will notice that it said, “COULD result in 1,151 new apartments or rooms.” There are 180 parcels that meet the criteria for development across the entire county, not just in McKinleyville.

  103. Mcklefty
    January 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Arcata was aggressive about complying with their share of affordable housing as assigned by HCOG, mostly already built. The surrounding areas are not sewered so not so easy for County.

  104. anon1
    January 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Jack, it’s important for you to be honest and not just sell papers. Why have you become scared of pissing someone off. You of all people know Mckinleyville is no different than Eureka in as much as there is the same good ol boy network, in Mck as Eureka..And frankly you knew about Sundbergs DUI and you didn’t report either. I used to respect you when you first started and tried to report the news..Now you don’t have my trust or respect..That’s why I cancelled my subscription to your paper..You are becoming a sell out to the people..You write well, but report nothing..Hope you are making a living cause you aren’t making a difference..I remember talking to you early and you were interested in reporting ..What happened?

  105. Jack Durham
    January 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I was not aware of Sundberg’s DUI. As for my statement that McK residents support their existing town plan, I stand by that. As for your subscription, you can take the next edition, roll it up and stick it up your ass.

  106. DaveV
    January 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    According to imagine Humboldt, which I don’t think I will be supporting, says 24,500 additional Pepe in the county by 2050. Regardless, what happened to just having an accurate and truthful land inventory. Jack, you have a great publication, your not affraid to speak your mind and I respect that you do you continue to operate a business here, thanks for you support of the community. Keep up the great work Tim. No one wants sprawl, but take away property rights and you have put a nail in the American dream!

  107. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    appreciate the lorax references.
    very appropriate after listening to Tina, Julie and their mean-ass band of raving nutters.
    PS – kudos to whoever coined “infilldels”

  108. anon1
    January 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I wouldn’t wipe my ass with that cheap paper..I believe you are a liar about Sundberg..You reported the McCulloughs got some construction work at the school but, you must have forgotten that the company mentioned is the Superintendent of MUSD husband, isn’t that a conflict of interest..Or no investigative reporting..Not much gets by a GOOD home town news paper..You are a sell out sir.

  109. Mitch
    January 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    “you can take the next edition, roll it up and stick it up your ass”

    As always, our local journalists have our best interests at heart.

  110. Jack Durham
    January 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    You “believe” I knew about Sundberg? So this is a faith-based opinion. Okeydokey. By the way, contact me so I can scrub you from the subscription list.

  111. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    DaveV says, “No one wants sprawl, but take away property rights and you have put a nail in the American dream!”

    So, are you saying that those that have property should be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, regardless of the impact on neighbors, fellow community members and the generations that follow?

  112. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Seems to me that there are many people throughout the region who are feeling left out of the planning process.

    What about an impartial, well-mediated public community planning process where all vested interests are at the table to discuss the question of how to develop our communities?

  113. Jack Durham
    January 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Anonymous 6:18,
    I advocate that we reconvene the McKinleyville Citizens Advisory Committee, which was made up of local residents representing various interests. It was pretty well balanced.

    The committee can then go about creating a new updated plan for McKinleyville. It’s a slow process, but what’s the rush?

  114. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Jack,
    How are Advisory Committee members selected?

  115. Timh
    January 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Jack, you are the man. Jane, look at the maps. No highlighted areas, no callouts. McCullough did those guys a favor with their 220. Give me a break. Unanswered questions: How is McKinleyvilles infilling for the last 15 years sprawl?
    Why isn’t the area around Arcata getting increased densities?
    Why isn’t the planning commission following the McK Plan?
    How does increasing densities and decreasing commercial property in a bedroom community reduce traffic?

  116. Jack Durham
    January 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Unless I’m mistaken, committee members were appointed by the supes. The last committee was well balanced.

  117. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Can you provide a link to the map, Tim? The one you linked only showed McKinleyville and there certainly weren’t 180 circles around areas the county considers suitable for development.

  118. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Lots of low income people don’t work, Kevin, like retirees and the disabled. They also ride buses, bike and walk more than higher income people.

  119. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Timh,
    Since no one else has spoken to your questions up to this point…

    1) Over the past 15 years, it seems that McK has undergone considerable infill development. What I would classify as sprawl are areas such as Southern McK (e.g. Cochran, Hewitt, Sutter, Bartow, and all the cul de sac – single family, large lot, huge house neighborhoods).

    2) Given that the current GPU process only applies to the unincorporated areas of the County, the City of Arcata is not included in the county’s Housing Element. Arcata has its own General Plan and Housing Element that has increased densities, mixed-use development, and inclusionary zoning (which mandates a certain percentage of low-income housing). As to why increased density is not proposed in the “area around Arcata”, it is constrained due go geography and zoning (i.e. Ag land, TPZ and wetland.)

    3) I don’t know whether or not the PC is following the McK CP, or why, but this would be a good question for County Planning Dept.

    4) First off, I should state that even to me the County has not been very clear with what they are proposing regarding multi-family housing in McK relating to the Housing Element. There is also a great deal of misinformation being distributed, confusing matters further.

    That said, from what I understand (and hope to be true) the multi-family proposals are not aimed to decrease the amount of commercial property in McK. The objective appears to be to give property-owners more flexibility to achieve more mixed-use development – which would actually minimize traffic if designed well.

    It would be nice for the County to clear this significant issue up, once and for all.

    Hope at least some of that is helpful.

  120. Jack Durham
    January 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Jane,
    The good news, when it comes to walking and biking, is that the existing McK plan has a pretty awesome trail/bike path requirement. As properties are developed, trails and paths must be developed. This will take place regardless if densities.

  121. Plain Jane
    January 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    That is good news, Jack.

    Thanks for clarifying why Arcata isn’t included in the general plan, 7:32. Maybe the answer is for McKinleyville to incorporate and get their own housing plan approved by the state.

  122. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    One other thought – planning/building large neighborhoods far away from commercial areas (esp. goods and services) is a sure-fire way to increase traffic demand (especially when you don’t provide safe transportation options such as bus service, sidewalks or bike lanes). There are a few good examples of this in McK (and elsewhere throughout the county).

  123. Mitch
    January 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Truly pathetic, but someone has apparently gone to the trouble of using my name and email address to post at 8:35.

    I suppose I should be honored.

  124. January 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    The impostor comment was deleted.

  125. Jack Durham
    January 25, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve got all sorts of complaints about planning in Mack Town, but an example of good planning is our trails. People were accussed of being commies for supporting this element, but that was the type of silliness that’s expected. To know what I’m writing about, check out the Mid-Town Trail. Or, better yet, check out the little piece if trail near the mini-storage on Central near Murray. At first, you’ll think “WTF? That doesn’t make sense.” But it does. If you want private property owners to build trails for the public, this is how it happens — in conjunction with major developments. They’re a condition of approval, just like streets and sudewalks.

  126. Jack Durham
    January 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Typos shympos. This iTouch has a tiny keyboard, and I have sausage fingers.

  127. all those empty parcels
    January 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Dave, Dave, Dave, read the post. Calm down. The only folks I called liars are the ones who keep claiming there are no rural parcels in Humboldt left to build on. You say there are 3,000+. Why are you including yourself by implication?

    For a county of 132,000 folks, IMHO they provide quite a few options for a hardy individual to experience rural living. Many of us who are not in the business of selling real estate are quite happy with the options those 3,000+ parcels provide. So buddy, take a chill pill and consider that maybe your choice of professions has impacted your judgment on the direction the vast majority of the rest of us want the county to go in.

  128. longwind
    January 25, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Many of us who aren’t in the business of selling real estate think people should be able to live in the country without being told how to and why not to by people who don’t believe in living in the country.

    Not to knock your overwhelming majorities or anything, but people who vote don’t seem to agree with you either.

  129. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    What issue do you think people were voting on, really?

  130. all those empty parcels
    January 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Wait a second. There are 3,000+ empty, buildable rural parcels in the county, and you’re coming back with “I should be able to live in the country without being told how to”?

    This, in a nutshell folks, speaks to the utter foam-flecked cluelessness of the HumCPR crowd. Confront them with facts, and they come back with their tired, meaningless soundbites.

    BTW, don’t get too hasty with electoral statistics. Ryan Sundberg won by just 350 votes, and Eureka is just one piece of the bigger Humboldt puzzle.

  131. longwind
    January 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    That’s me, foam-flecked and clueless, but otherwise too enlightened to respond to that post.

  132. Anonymous
    January 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    In Eureka it was all about the Marina Center, a very urban project, not rural living.

  133. longwind
    January 25, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    10:48, I think a lot of people voted against micromanaging, feeling pushed around. But both sides are sinners. Conservatives are authoritarian, liberals are nannies. Both are annoying.

    But that’s how they bobble power back and forth without changing much. The system works!

  134. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 12:28 am

    “Many of us who are not in the business of selling real estate are quite happy with the options those 3,000+ parcels provide.”

    Well, consider this: Let’s say you already own a rural parcel that is zoned TPZ or Ag, and you’re told that under some of the more restrictive proposals for the GPU you may not be allowed to build even a single house on the land you’ve worked so hard to aquire and care for, (even though building at least a single residence on these sorts of properties was clearly allowed at the time you aquired the property).

    If that’s the position you’re in (as it is for many of Humboldt’s small rural landowners), being told that this is really no problem because there are 3,000 other supposedly available Rural Residential-zoned properties in the County — well that is not going to be very reassuring.

    For starters, most people are not in the position to just buy a whole new parcel. And if your current TPZ or Ag parcel is suddenly decreed off-limits for even a single residence, obviously the value of that parcel will drop considerably (if you still owe money on the property, you may suddenly find yourself “underwater,” meaning that you owe far more than the property is now worth on the open market, despite the fact that you made a significant down payment and have been making monthly payments for years). And will you be compensated for this sudden loss of wealth? No, you will not.

    Meanwhile, due to the laws of supply and demand, the price of the now much-more-limited supply of rural land where you would be allowed to build a house is likely to skyrocket. So just selling your current parcel and using the proceeeds to buy one of the privileged 3,000 is probably not going to work out either.

    Even assuming you can find a suitable rural residential parcel, and it’s roughly in the right geographic area, and it’s within your financial means to buy it, well, it’s still pretty crappy to be forced off the land you’ve owned and made improvements to over many years and you are in effect forced to choose a property that will likely cost a lot more, even though it may not meet your needs as well as your current property.

    And, even if you do manage to aquire and move to one of the precious Rural Residential-zoned parcels, how is that actually reducing your impact on the land? Do people living on Rural Residential-zoned parcels magically use less water and energy, and produce less waste, than someone living on a similar rural parcel that happens to be zoned TPZ?

  135. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Apparently, the Option A True-Believers either did not think through how stripping TPZ and Ag parcel landowners of their right to reside on their property would actually harm real people, or else they simply did not care (I suspect it’s a bit of both). This is what created the opening for a group like CPR to be formed, and the reason why the group has enjoyed significant success in recruiting members and supporters. Yes, CPR has been helped by money from those with a financial interest in increased development, including realtors and developers, but the most important source of CPR’s strength as an organization is, without question, the individual rural residents and property owners who were brought together by the threat of Option A-style overregulation. So, the Option A True-Believers really only have themselves to blame for the political backlash that their overreaching land use agenda has created. Sorry, but it’s true, folks.

  136. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Assuming a right to build and having a right to build are two different things. Maybe some real estate agents over sold the whole TPZ thing.

  137. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Apparently, the Option A True-Believers either did not think through how stripping TPZ and Ag parcel landowners of their right to reside on their property would actually harm real people, or else they simply did not care (I suspect it’s a bit of both).

    This is what created the opening for a group like CPR to be formed, and the reason why the group has enjoyed significant success in recruiting members and supporters. Yes, CPR has been helped by money from those with a financial interest in increased development, including realtors and developers, but the most important source of CPR’s strength as an organization is, without question, the individual rural residents and property owners who were brought together by the threat of Option A-style overregulation.

    So, the Option A True-Believers really only have themselves to blame for the political backlash that their overreaching land use agenda has created. Sorry, but it’s true, folks.

  138. longwind
    January 26, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Great recent history, tra. To back you up I have unimpeachable evidence instead of the usual bullshit: the original prognostication of exactly this happening, as warned to Heraldo: https://humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/rednecks-and-hippies-unite/

  139. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Anon 12:46,

    Educate yourself. TPZ owners are allowed to build at least a single residence on their TPZ parcel, and that’s the way it’s always been right back to the beginning of the TPZ designation. It’s a “principally permitted” use of a TPZ parcel, and no one even suggested, until just a couple of years ago, that it should be any other way.

    Those who would like to change that to disallow even a single residence — or to allow it only with severe restrictions and expensive studies and discretionary permits — are proposing to change the rules in the middle of the game, with no compensation for the loss of money and disruption of their lives that this would cause for thousands of Humboldt County residents who bought such properties over the past several decades.

    So, does that give you a little better understanding of who many of those rank-and-file supporters of HumCPR might be, and why they are upset with and suspicious of the Option A True Believer crowd?

  140. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Yup, Longwind, I remember that post.

    Imagine if, instead of putting so much effort into trying to take away the rights of TPZ owners to reside on their own land, instead of demonizing rural residents as a bunch of greedy “developers,” imagine that the urban/suburban environmentalist crowd had actually joined together with their conservation-minded rural neighbors to focus on the land-use issue that most people are most concerned about: actual suburban sprawl . Sure, the realtors and developers would no doubt still be trying to fight for their right to sprawl, but they wouldn’t have most of those rank-and-file HumCPR members on their side in that battle.

    Basically, by re-defining rural residents and TPZ landowners as “the enemy,” the Healthy Humboldt crowd isolated itself and created a situation where rural residents, under fire, went looking for allies whereever they could find them…and sure enough, these rural residents soon found allies (temporary and self-interested as they may be) in the form of realtors and developers.

    Such are the perils of Hubris, and it’s logical outcome, Overreach.

  141. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Heraldo,

    Normally my pseudonym, “tra,” automatically appears in the name field, but for some reason today the name “Mitch” keeps appearing there. What’s really spooky is that Mitch’s e-mail address is showing up in the e-mail field. This is a bit of a breach of Mitch’s privacy, because from his e-mail address, you can tell what his last name is (or at least it’s an extremely strong clue).

    I have no idea why this is happening today, it’s never happened before. As it happens I already know who Mitch is, and I know that he lives many, many miles away from me, so it’s not like we’re on the same wi-fi signal or anything like that.

    Anyway, I thought you should know that somehow WordPress is autofilling the name and e-mail fields on my screen with Mitch’s name, and even his e-mail address, despite the assurance that “Your email address will not be published.”

  142. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 5:46 am

    must be a wordpress thing. “mitch” showed up in mine last night here, and “mresquan” showed up at the mirror, complete with email addresses.

    and yes, i find both sites entertaining.

  143. Tiger
    January 26, 2011 at 6:50 am

    What is going on with the email and the blogs – that happened to my partner yesterday, too.

  144. Tiger
    January 26, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Mitch’s name and email address showed up on Heraldo’s, and Rose’s name and email address showed up on Humboldt Mirror. Wierd.

  145. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 8:10 am

    There are a number of possible culprits, including Word Press, gravatar, and, possibly, Suddenlink or its internet transport vendor. While I’m hardly deep anonymous, this is a lawsuit-worthy problem if it turns out it is due to one of these vendors screwing up. If I were truly a whistle-blower, let’s say in Iran, my life would now be in danger.

    Personally, I believe the ability for people to be anonymous on the internet is critical to the freedom of society. Not so that immature morons can call one another fucktards, but because there are genuine whistleblowers who will reveal criminal corruption and government incompetence only if they feel they can be truly anonymous.

    For anyone who is truly concerned about anonymity, I’d advise you to investigate Tor, which is an anonymizing service that has a plugin for many browsers. They are at http://www.torproject.org .

    If you aren’t that worried but would rather your email address did not get associated with your pseudonym, I’d suggest you simply make up an email address for use on the blogs. At least on the Herald, there doesn’t appear to be any need for it to be a real address, just for it to have an at sign and a dot com.

  146. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I think I’m going to take my advice right now, at least on the email address.

  147. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

    How’s this?

  148. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 8:27 am

    “Those who would like to change that to disallow even a single residence — or to allow it only with severe restrictions and expensive studies and discretionary permits — are proposing to change the rules in the middle of the game”

    Changing the rules or applying the laws that have not been applied until now?

  149. Plain Jane
    January 26, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Having a “junk” e-mail account through Yahoo or hotmail and using that when you post might help, Mitch. At least if wordpress screws up, no one has your real e-mail address or name.

  150. January 26, 2011 at 9:06 am

    WordPress was giving me grief yesterday morning but I thought it was only on my end since people were continuing to comment and access the site without complaint. I contacted WordPress about it but no one there seemed to have an explanation.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

  151. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Yes, PJ, that would help for “lite” anonymity.

    But you are still traceable, unless you use a service like Tor and it really provides the security it claims to. Anyone who has reason to desire strong anonymity should also be encrypting all email http://www.gpg4win.org .

  152. January 26, 2011 at 9:15 am

    The Herald has one regular commenter who strictly uses encryption services. Several of his comments end up in the Spam file, which have to be fished out later. Finding the culprit has been futile. If you try this and your comments seem to disappear, this is probably the cause.

  153. TimH
    January 26, 2011 at 9:27 am

    1) Over the past 15 years, it seems that McK has undergone considerable infill development. What I would classify as sprawl are areas such as Southern McK (e.g. Cochran, Hewitt, Sutter, Bartow, and all the cul de sac – single family, large lot, huge house neighborhoods).
    Respectfully disagree. Those areas were planned to be developed, the reason they are larger lots is because they are on the edge of the developed areas and it was the will of the community at that time to have smaller lots in the middle of town and larger lots on the edges to create a sort of buffer between the forested and agricultural lands and the “town”. The reason I do not believe it is sprawl is because the water and sewer service lines have not been extended.

    2) Given that the current GPU process only applies to the unincorporated areas of the County, the City of Arcata is not included in the county’s Housing Element. Arcata has its own General Plan and Housing Element that has increased densities, mixed-use development, and inclusionary zoning (which mandates a certain percentage of low-income housing). As to why increased density is not proposed in the “area around Arcata”, it is constrained due go geography and zoning (i.e. Ag land, TPZ and wetland.)

    Disagree – there are not any commercial or residential properties around (as in outside the city limits) Arcata that could be rezoned for more density? Not even one? What about 50013109?

    Agreed on 3

    We’re 80% together on 4 so I’ll leave that alone.

    That said, from what I understand (and hope to be true) the multi-family proposals are not aimed to decrease the amount of commercial property in McK. The objective appears to be to give property-owners more flexibility to achieve more mixed-use development – which would actually minimize traffic if designed well.

    I think the idea is good but I have yet to see it work out where the people living in the buildings work there too. I have visited a number of these smart growth developments including Celebration in Florida. Yes, they look and feel like “old time” developments like the Plaza and the last one I went to looked eerily like Eureka to me – not the Victorian part. You are supposed to live downstairs and work upstairs but they are almost exclusively retail establishments on the bottom floor with housing on top that is relatively expensive as it is “downtown”. Mostly chain stores too. So the people who work at the boutiques and ice cream shops earning very low retail wages live across town and drive to work, passing the upstairs residents on their way to work at the law firm or higher paying job somewhere else. I can’t see how it would work any other way in McKinleyville because we simply do not have the base of jobs here.

    Thanks for the well thought out responses. Now I can say I got MORE than just a crappy t shirt.

  154. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 9:36 am

    tra,
    As a supporter of Healthy Humboldt, an organization that has undergone some not so insignificant shifts throughout the last few years, I would urge you to contact them to discuss the TPZ issues you are raising. I think you will find more common ground than you are assuming at present.

    I personally agree that changing the rules without just compensation is entirely inappropriate and I think there is a workable way to address the issues without placing undue burden upon rural landowners.

  155. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 11:58 am

    “Changing the rules or applying the laws that have not been applied until now?”

    In the case of code enforcement, it would be fair to describe thos activities as “applying the laws that have not been applied until now.”

    But in the matter of the new GPU and the proposal to require expensive, uncertain discretionary permits for the the building of even a single residence on your TPZ parcel, yes, that one would be “changing the rules in the middle of the game.”

  156. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    9:36,

    If Healthy Humboldt has decided to back off on their attempt to strip TPZ owners of their right to build a home on their TPZ parcel, that would be good news. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything public from them that would indicate a change of heart on that issue.

    Now it’s true that the Planning Commission voted to reject the attempt to strip these rights, so presumably it won’t be in the draft GPU that the PC forwards to the Board of Supes. But since it is the Supervisors, not the PC, who get the final word on the language of the GPU, the battle is not necessarily over.

  157. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    “I personally agree that changing the rules without just compensation is entirely inappropriate and I think there is a workable way to address the issues without placing undue burden upon rural landowners”

    I’m all ears — what is your proposal?

  158. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    So with no analysis we should assume that all our watersheds can handle a home built on every TPZ lot without discression?

  159. Azalea Ave Resident
    January 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Interesting how this thread has morphed from the Emad appointment to the McK General Plan. Several years ago a sub-division was proposed in our neighborhood and residents near the sub-division were pretty organized in addressing shortfalls where both the Planning Commission and County Public Works disregarded major sections on the McK General Plan, mainly traffic safety, non-vehicle access to town center and trails/interconnected neighborhoods. I seem to remember the McK Press ran several in-depth articles whereas the TS did not. Kudos to Jack and Daniel Nintz(sp?) on that! IMO, the County seemed more concerned about the developer’s bottom line than the quality of life of the residents in our neighborhood even with several 100 neighbors signing petitions in favor of enacting key elements of the McK GP. Or maybe it was just the County’s utter incompentance? Anyway, Jill Geist/Duffy was the one supervisor that actually listened our neighborhood concerns at a formal appeal of the Commission’s decision and eventually some issues were addressed. However, Azalea Ave continues to crumble apart and the County has done little to improve this sub-standard road (for the amount of traffic it conveys).

  160. tpz revisited
    January 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    tra,
    As a matter of background…TPZ, and the associated tax-break, was applied by the State as part of an effort to preserve working timberlands for timber production and the beneficial uses the forests support such as clean water, air and wildlife habitat.

    TPZ properties are subject to a substantial tax break, yet TPZ landowners at present have the same “principally permitted” right to build a residence as folks who own rural residential or ag-zoned properties. If a TPZ landowner is actively managing their land for timber production and other forest ecosystem values then the TPZ tax-break is well deserved.

    If, on the other hand, the TPZ owner is only using the land as a rural residence (or as a commodity to sell for residential development), the tax break is entirely inappropriate. It is simply unfair that a TPZ parcel that is being used and valued for residential purposes would be subject to significantly less taxation than its rural residential counterpart.

    One possible solution for those who bought TPZ with the intent to use it as a residential property – rollout of TPZ to a rural residential zoning. That way, property rights are maintained and all residential property owners are paying their fair share in taxes.

  161. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    “So with no analysis we should assume that all our watersheds can handle a home built on every TPZ lot without discression?”

    Well, as I’m sure you know, the situation that we’re actually facing is a whole lot less dramatic than that. If you want to try to radically change the existing rights of the owners of all those TPZ parcels, on the basis of that rather far-out worst-case scenario, well, you are free to try to do so. That is essentially the position that the Plan A True Believers have taken, though so far their efforts have been fruitless (and in fact counterproductive to their overall goals, given the backlash that this proposal produced).

    At any rate, I wouldn’t expect the owners of those TPZ parcels to quietly go along with the strippng away of those their rights, and the value of their land that is in part dependent on those rights, without any compensation for having the rug pulled out from under them, all based on a scaremongering worst-case scenario.

    Many people feel that a voluntary, cooperative, education-and-incentive-based approach to addressing issues such as winter water storage, water conservation, improvement of culverts on rural roads and so on should be tried before we start talking about radical new compulsory rules that would strip away current rights without compensation, all based on a wildly hypothetical scenario like the one you decribed above.

  162. tpz - the short version
    January 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    In short: show active land management on TPZ and receive the tax benefit for your work or roll out to a rural-residential zoning and pay your fair share.

  163. tpz - PS
    January 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I agree with all the solution and incentive based approaches you mention, not just for rural dwellers.

  164. Plain Jane
    January 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Don’t I remember a lot of complaints from TPZ property owners who already had homes on their property that with the proposed changes they wouldn’t be able to build additional homes on their property for their kids (and grandkids and great grandkids)? Has that issue disappeared or are they just not mentioning multiple homes because the ability to build a single home garners more sympathy?

  165. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    “It is simply unfair that a TPZ parcel that is being used and valued for residential purposes would be subject to significantly less taxation than its rural residential counterpart.”

    Perhaps you didn’t realize this, but under the existing rules, if you build a house on part of your 160 acre TPZ parcel, the house, any outbuildings, and a surrounding 3-acre homesite is assessed taxes just the same as if it was any other residence. The rest of the land, the other 157 acres, which is still growing timber, remains under the usual TPZ regime, to be taxed if/when harvested. That approach seems pretty fair to me…I don’t see any reason to change it.

    “One possible solution for those who bought TPZ with the intent to use it as a residential property – rollout of TPZ to a rural residential zoning. That way, property rights are maintained and all residential property owners are paying their fair share in taxes.”

    Then you’d have the whole property, not just the house and homesite, taxed as residential. Hiking those taxes and changing the zoning to residential would only increase the incentive for existing property owners to try to subdivide the property for more residential units. Or to sell out, either to someone wealthy enough to pay residential tax rates annually on the entire parcel, or to someone who hopes to subdivide, either legally or illegally. Meanwhile, removing the TPZ designation would make it harder to do timber harvesting on the other 157 acres of the parcel.

    So the current system allows for the owner to build a single dwelling, with just a ministerial permit (all the regular rules must still be followed) and to be taxed in an equitable manner on their house, outbuildings and homesite, while still recognizing the value of keeping the rest of the parcel in TPZ, whether it is to be harvested in the near-term, or allowed to re-grow for the next 100 years.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if you still think it IS broke, at least try to consider the potential unintended consequences of your proposed fix.

  166. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    “I wouldn’t expect the owners of those TPZ parcels to quietly go along with the strippng away of those their rights, and the value of their land that is in part dependent on those rights, without any compensation for having the rug pulled out from under them.”

    Where is this “right”? Is it perceived or actual?

  167. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    12:33,

    Thanks for your willingness to engage constructively and discuss the matter thoughtfully. You said:

    “In short: show active land management on TPZ and receive the tax benefit for your work or roll out to a rural-residential zoning and pay your fair share.”

    First of all, I must respectfully disagree with your premise that TPZ owners with a residence on their land do not already “pay [their] fair share” of taxes. The system already provides for TPZ owners to be taxed, at the regular rate, on their home, outbuildings, and homesite (see my 12:57 comment).

    As to your proposal, I’ll agree that it sounds reasonable enough on it’s face, but the devil could be in the details, and given that I don’t agree that there is a tax equity problem in the first place, I don’t see a reason to take the risk that the details would turn out to be devilish indeed (as so often seems to be the case when dealing with County Planning).

    Even if you were to convince me that such a plan was justifiable, I’d certainly have to hear more about what exactly it would take to “show active land management” in a concrete enough way to convince staff to grant you the discretionary permit. In the past, folks making similar proposals were talking about the landowner having to prepare a full-fledged Timber Management Plan, complete with studies from various ‘ologists, lots of expensive documentation, and so on. I don’t know if that’s what you had in mind, but I thought I should make you aware that when you say “show your active land management” that leaves a lot of territory undefined and therefore ripe for concern.

    Because, remember, you’d be asking people to spend the money to do the studies and make the plans and apply for he discretionary permit, and then they still wouldn’t be sure that the County Planning staff would actually approve their discretionary permit, that they wouldn’t be forced to jump through other hoops, that it wouldn’t take an expensive bureaucratic and legal battle — potentially stretching out over a period of years — to get the job done, or that the County might not change the rules in the middle of the game, adding more new requirements, during the delay. So perhaps you can understand why people would rather continue to have a right to a “ministerial permit” as opposed to being forced into the “discretionary permit” process?

    If it costs you many thousands of dollars to “show” your “active land management,” even though you’re not actually planning to harvest for many years (likely not even in your remaining lifetime, given how many of these properties were heavily logged-over shortly before they were purchased by their current owners), then the tax benefit could essentially be overwhelmed by the costs incurred in qualifying for it. There is also the possibility that causing people to incur the costs of “proving” their intention to eventually harvest may actually cause people to harvest more frequently, and more intensively (creating more negative impacts to the watershed) in order to pay for these bureaucratic costs. Again, unintended consequences.

    So at this point, I’m not crazy about the particular approach that you are suggesting, and I think it still amounts to a risky solution to a tax equity problem that I’m not convinced exists in the first place. But I do appreciate your focus on potential compromise solutions, rather than the usual all-or-nothing approach too often taken by both sides in this debate. At any rate, I’m willing to keep listening, and to keep talking.

  168. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    “Where is this “right”? Is it perceived or actual?”

    It IS “actual,” not just perceived. Currently TPZ owners have a legal right to obtain a “ministerial permit” to build at least a single dwelling on their parcel (they are still required to follow the normal rules for building a residence, including septic, building to code, etc).

    So the proposal to change the GPU to require an expensive, time-consuming and uncertain “discretionary permit” in order to build a house on your TPZ parcel, well, this would be something new, it would be a change in the law, and it would constitute a reduction in the rights of the landowner and consequently a reduction in the market value of the land.

    If you want to advocate for that, you’re free to do so…but let’s not pretend that it wouldn’t change anyone’s existing rights,; it would.

  169. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    “Now it’s true that the Planning Commission voted to reject the attempt to strip these rights, so presumably it won’t be in the draft GPU that the PC forwards to the Board of Supes.”

    Correction: This was true until the next meeting where Mary Gearheart announced her “mistake” and changed her vote to mirror the Healthy Humboldt line of no homes on TPZ.

  170. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    P.J.,

    There could be a possibility of building a second “mother-in-law” unit on the same TPZ parcel, but any more than that and I believe they would have to subdivide, which is a whole separate process.

    I have no doubt that there are some speculator / developer types who would like to make it easier to subdivide rural parcels into suburban-style cul-de-sac developements (and I’m not in favor of that), but that’s a separate issue.

  171. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    tra, What exactly is the difference between your position and that of HumCPR? It seems identical and reasonable.

  172. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    1:50,

    I guess I must have missed that.

    If what you’re saying is accurate, that’s all the more reason to remain vigilant and to continue to advocate our position to the PC and the Supes.

  173. Plain Jane
    January 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    That should be a separate issue, Tra. But to some in HumCPR, property rights are absolute.

  174. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    “But to some in HumCPR, property rights are absolute.”

    No doubt you are correct but to many of them property rights are not so absolute. Such a broad generalization to a group of 4,000 seems a tad unfair.

  175. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    2:07,

    I don’t know whether my position on TPZ is identical to HumCPR’s postion or not, but I suspect that it is at least pretty similar. You’d have to ask them.

    One place where our positions may diverge is that I would be O.K. with a separate category, with different rules, for large, industrial timber holdings of thousands of acres (in order to avoid something like the Maxxam Redwood Ranches scenario where each underlying parcel could be developed as a trophy home for the wealthy). I’m not sure what HumCPR’s position has been on that issue.

  176. Plain Jane
    January 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Do you not understand what “some” means, 2:14? What broad generalization are you talking about?

  177. tpz - one for the road
    January 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    tra,
    Your post at 1:35 seemed more reasonable than those previous, and one I would rather respond to. And FYI (if you hadn’t guessed it), there are multiple anonomii in this discussion.

    As to the tax equity issue, it does not seem fair to me that the landowners who are not planning on harvesting timber be taxed at a substantially lesser rate on the remaining 157 acres, where you have others paying the standard rate on their 160 acre ranch (if not in Williamson) or residential-zoned property.

    I agree that people must consider the potential unintended consequences of their actions. I think landowners are going to harvest the trees whenever it’s financially lucrative or necessary for them to do so, whether it is because of taxes or because a family can’t make the payments on the TPZ land they purchased at its inflated valuation for residential use.

    Under the current General Plan, TPZ owners can and are subdividing down to 20 acre parcels. Look at Barnum and Eel River lands. With current trends, and no new policies to address it, there are a great number of people who are concerned about the long-term viability and productivity of this County’s timberland. There is a problem, and hopefully we can move together towards a solution, or, we can have something altogether more restrictive come at us from on high at some point in our future.

    I agree that the devil is in the details, and we’d need much support to ensure that demonstration of active management is not overly burdensome to the landowner, and that the management promote restoration and regeneration, rather than the cut and run practices of previous owners.

  178. Curious
    January 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Why would HumCPR disagree with this?:
    “In short: show active land management on TPZ and receive the tax benefit for your work or roll out to a rural-residential zoning and pay your fair share.”

    It preserves property rights while correcting a substantial tax inequity problem.

  179. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    P.J.,

    I think it’s fair to say that there are some pretty hard-core, dogmatic idealogues on both sides. The challenge is to find the common ground, but the current level of polarization and misinformation makes that quite difficult. In my opinion, both sides are guilty of some scaremongering and distortion. One side paints apocalyptic visions of our rural areas being rapidly overrun with suburban sprawl development, while the other hints at a dark conspiracy to herd everyone out of the rural areas and into hellish “urban cages.”

    With respect to the separate issues of (1) whether to enact a new requirement for a discretionary permit to build a house on your TPZ parcel, and (2) whether to make subdividing easier, harder, or keep it about the same: While they are related, politically and to some extent policy-wise, legally they are two separate issues. Requiring a discretionary permit for building a house on a TPZ parcel would not, in and of itself, make subdividing to allow further development any easier or harder.

    However, there is a risk that, by making it impossible, or near-impossible, to build even a single home on your TPZ parcel, this may in fact increase your incentive to “roll out” of the TPZ program and have the land re-zoned residential. The increased annual taxes that would result from such roll-outs could actually increase the incentive for such landowners to build a secondary unit to help them try to recoup some of the costs — or even to seek subdivision of their newly residential-zoned land for additional residences. Again, unintended consequences can be just as consequential as the intended ones, sometimes more so.

  180. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Curious 2:22,

    Perhaps you didn’t read my 1:35 comment?

  181. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    TPZ – One for the road,

    “As to the tax equity issue, it does not seem fair to me that the landowners who are not planning on harvesting timber be taxed at a substantially lesser rate on the remaining 157 acres,”

    Either the TPZ owner eventually harvests, at which time the taxes are paid, or they don’t, which provides an important conservation benefit for wildlife and the watershed. Either way, there is a benefit to having that 157 acres growing trees. So, I still don’t see where there unfairness is. And if someone else has a forested 160 acre parcel, and they want the same tax benefits as TPZ owners, I believe that they could apply to have their parcel re-zoned as TPZ. I’m not clear on what the process is for that, but you could check with the county about that.

  182. TimH
    January 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    “Under the current General Plan, TPZ owners can and are subdividing down to 20 acre parcels.”

    Those must be existing parcels because you can not subdivide TPZ property. 160 Acre minimums I believe.

  183. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    “Under the current General Plan, TPZ owners can and are subdividing down to 20 acre parcels.”

    I’m not sure how widespread this problem actually is (Do you know how many TPZ parcels were actually subdivided down to 20 acres over the past 10 years, for example?), but I do acknowledge the potential for this to be a problem, and if you’re saying that you’d want to change the rules to make it harder to subdivide parcels, well, I could probably get on board for that. But subdivision of parcels is a separate issue from what we’e been talking about, and would not be solved by requiring a discretionary permit for putting a single house on an existing TPZ parcel (see my 2:38 comment).

    In fact, making it too hard to build even a single home on your TPZ parcel could end up creating a strong incentive for TPZ owners to drop out of the TPZ program and seek rezoning as residential, and then due to the costs associated with rezoning and the higher annual taxes some of these folks may actually end up building a mother-in-law unit to provide some extra income to help make up the gap, or even to seek to subdivide down into numerous residential lots, which would be exactly the opposite of what you say you want to prevent.

    “I agree that the devil is in the details, and we’d need much support to ensure that demonstration of active management is not overly burdensome to the landowner, and that the management promote restoration and regeneration, rather than the cut and run practices of previous owners.”

    Thank you for recognizing that the concern about such a process potentially being overly burdensome is a legitimate concern.

    Just to take one example, let’s say you bought a TPZ parcel ten years ago, and it had been heavily logged-over some ten years previous to your purchase. At the time of purchase, your intention was to both build a house for yourself and your family to live in, and to let the forest grow back in anticipation that your children or grandchildren, or some other future owner of the property would eventually harvest the timber.

    Depending on the type of trees, terrain, supply of soil moisture and sunlight in your location, and many other factors, you might be able to harvest again in as soon as 30 more years or so. But if it is not harvested right away, the forest will be quite content to continue to grow, and given a hundred or so years it may actually begin to take on more old-growth-like characteristics.

    This would mean more quality habitat and fewer negative watershed impacts in the interim, as well as some better-quality, larger diameter, more densely grained old-growth-like timber in the long-run. If your plan is to basically back off and let the forest grow for a hundred or more years, well past your own lifetime and probably past your childrens’ lifetimes, does that mean that you don’t have the “intention” to harvest, and therefore shouldn’t get the tax deferrment?

    Another way of looking at it is how “active” does the “active management” have to be. If the forest was re-planted after being harvested, and is growing in just fine, and your plan is simply pretty much leave it to grow for many, many decades, probably beyond your own lifetime, is that too “inactive” an approach?

    I ask because the proposal, at one point, was to only allow a residence if you could show that that residence was necessary to manage the timber resources. In the example I outlined above, since the owner was not planning to harvest for many decades, and the amount of management in the interim was likely to be minimal, it seems like the landowner would have a hard time showing that their residence was “necessary” to the timber management, and therefore under that standard the discretionary permit would be denied.

    In other words, if the standard for “active” management is too high, then in order to get their permit to build a house, the owner would be incentivized to cut more, sooner. That might be better, in the short-term, for the county’s tax revenue, but not such a great outcome for the forest itself. Yup, this is another potential unintended consequence that merits consideration.

  184. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    “It IS “actual,” not just perceived. Currently TPZ owners have a legal right to obtain a “ministerial permit” to build at least a single dwelling on their parcel (they are still required to follow the normal rules for building a residence, including septic, building to code, etc).”

    Can you cite the code/law that makes this true?

  185. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Not off hand. So if you want, you can play the “burden of proof” card, and I suppose that’s fair. Nonetheless, I’ll leave it to you to call the Planning Department for confirmation of the current ministerial permit process for building a house on a TPZ parcel, because I don’t think that anyone who has been following this issue for the past few years really has any doubt that this is the status quo, legally.

    That’s why those who want less housing on TPZ land are trying to change the rules and institute a discretionary permit process for TPZ, because they’re not satisfied with the status quo of a ministerial process. If that were not the case we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place.

  186. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    “I don’t think that anyone who has been following this issue for the past few years really has any doubt that this is the status quo, legally.”

    I think that is may actually be in dispute. Your lack of a real reference for your strong opinion on this is interesting.

  187. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Well I urge you to make a call to the Planning Department. Because you’re right, I’m quite confident that the status quo is not really in dispute, though I can’t cite the code off the top of my head.

    I am genuinely surprised that you disagree with what the status quo is. It’s as if someone asked me to cite the specific criminal code that says it’s illegal to rob a bank. I don’t know, off the top of my head, the specific criminal code that outlaws bank robbery, but I’m quite confident that bank robbery is illegal, and if someone challenged me on that assertion, I’d probably decline to do their research for them and would toss the burden of proof back their way and encourage them to look it up for themselves, as I am doing with you at this point.

    So, feel free to give the Planning Dept. a call and report on what you find out. I don’t think the results will come as a surprise to very many people, but who knows? Maybe there are a lot of people out there with the same misperception. Or maybe I’m dead wrong, and if so I’ll thank you for straightening me out. But really, I’m just about as close to 100% certain as I could be, so I’m going to leave it to you to check it out.

    By the way, in the unlikely event that the Planning Department is able to show you language that makes it clear that there’s already a requirement for a discretionary permit on TPZ land, please do alert Healthy Humboldt, HumCPR, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors!

  188. tpz - permit
    January 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Anonymous 4:29,
    The current Humboldt County TPZ ordinance does in fact list a residence as a “principally permitted use” on TPZ land. This is, however, different from most other counties in California.

  189. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    As far as I understand it, a residence is only allowed on TPZ if you can show it is required to manage the TPZ land. This is what makes it conform to the zoning. You must assume that that argument can be made for all TPZ parcels, no matter what the situation.

  190. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I wonder how many TPZ parcels tra owns?

  191. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Me personally? Zero. It’s not about me.

  192. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    5:09,

    That is the standard that some people would like to see instituted in the future, but that’s certainly not the way that the current TPZ language has been interpreted up to this point. That’s the reason that there is a controversy about this in the first place.

  193. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    “any use that does not significantly detract from the growing and harvesting of trees” is principally permitted. the whole residence argument comes in a list of examples of things that do not significantly detract from the use as a tree growing property. if anybody tells you a residence is necessary to grow trees, they are looney. this is just language that has been twisted to prevent people from living in the woods.

  194. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Timh – Current Rules allow subdivision of TPZ parcels below 160 acres through the JTMP (Joint Timber Management Plan) process. I think 40 acres is generally the minimum, though current General Plan policies allow for 20 acre TPZ parcels in site II and above.

  195. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Anon 6:10 nailed it.

    It’s like, don’t worry, we’re not trying to prevent you from building on your TPZ parcel, as long as you can prove that the residence is necessary for the trees to grow. Of course it just so happens that in the real world a residence is never necessary for trees to grow and therefore in the real world you won’t be allowed to build a residence on your TPZ land. But it’s not like we’re trying to disallow residences on TPZ land… it just kinda works out that way. Are you reassured yet?

  196. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    tra,
    you say you are willing to “listen” and “talk” then you carry on with the CPR propaganda. good work! makes folks like me want to give up and let those at the County and the State who do believe that any residence on TPZ should be “necessary for the management of timber” (as it states in the CTPA) make the rules. good luck out there, fella.

  197. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    6:58,

    Just because you find certain facts inconvenient, or disagree with certain opinions, that doesn’t mean that those facts are inaccurate, the opinions are unreasonable, or that any of it amounts to “propaganda.”

    But I suppose it’s easier to just dismiss opposing arguments with sweeping generalizations, rather than actually responding to them substantively. I’ll check back later to see if you change your mind and decide to engage in a more meaningful fashion.

    Have a pleasant evening.

  198. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    “That is the standard that some people would like to see instituted in the future, but that’s certainly not the way that the current TPZ language has been interpreted up to this point. That’s the reason that there is a controversy about this in the first place.”

    So now we go from “100% sure” to “interpreted” to “controversy”. It seems that “interrupting” the law may have been just conveniently ignoring it. I too have made some investments based on assumptions and “trust” that were not valid. Some of those didn’t work out.

  199. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    ““any use that does not significantly detract from the growing and harvesting of trees” is principally permitted.”

    Really, “any use”. So a gas station, strip club, or whatever, so long as I can make the argument that it doesn’t detract from tree growing is ok? I find that hard to believe.

    I don’t mind people living in the woods, but this type of interpretation of the code seems kinda weird to me.

  200. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    O.K., so you got me interested in what CPR is saying about the TPZ issue, and so I thought I’d check out their website to see what they had to say about the current state of that debate. Here’s the most recent article that I found, and you can judge for yourself whether it qualifies as “propaganda” or simply as factual information that some folks would rather not recognize as factual:

    In a stunning reversal of recent trends, the Humboldt County Planning Commission voted 4-1 in favor of language that would allow homes on land zoned TPZ at it’s GPU meeting in Eureka Thursday April 15th…

    …The Policy As Approved:

    “Residential Construction on TPZ Zoned Parcels: Recognize the right to construct a residence under a ministerial permitting process subject to physical standards set by the County…”

    [To underline the significance of this vote it’s worth taking a look at the policy proposed under Alternative A, which language had just been revised. It read as follows: “FR-P9. Residential Construction on TPZ Zoned Parcels: Preserve continued viability of timber production on TPZ zoned parcels by requiring demonstration of active management for timber production prior to issuance on new residential permits and by mitigating the impacts of residences on water resources, biological resources, wildland fire potential and public services… Residential uses shall be limited to individuals employed on the premises for lands planned Industrial Timber (IT) or necessary for the management of timberlands on lands planned Timber Production (T)”. ]

    http://humcpr.org/2010/04/homes-on-tpz-given-thumbs-up/

    So, according to that report, the Planning Commission rejected the Option A proposal that contained the “demonstration of active management” and “necessary for the management of timberlands” language, in favor of the “ministerial permitting process” language outlined above.

    There was a poster upthread who said that Mary Gearhardt changed her vote at the next meeting, but by my count that would still leave a 3-2 majority in favor of the “ministerial process” language. My understanding is that this is the language that has been (or will be?) forwarded to the Supes as part of the overall GPU proposal that the Supes will then have the chance to accept or modify before final passage.

    Now of course there are some new members coming on the PC and I’m not sure if they could still go back and revise that section at this late date, but even if they could, I doubt that they would actually do so.

    At any rate, ultimately it will be up to the Board of Supervisors to decide on the final language, so it’s not over ’til it’s over.

  201. Sun Gnome Madrone
    January 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    TPZ parcels smaller than 160 acres are created two ways. One is through old Patents and I believe the other is 160 acres subdivided into 2-4 parcels that have a Joint Timber Management Plan (JTMP). This JTMP applies to forest lands in the coastal zone as well.

    I for one do not have a problem with folks living on rural lands be they TPZ or not. In fact I believe that it could be in the best interest of the land and our communities. There is much to do on these rural parcels from thinning out fire hazards, to re-planting stump meadows, to road systems erosion control. There is a huge back log of work to do and these rural residents could be the force that carries that out. Major opportunities exist for oak woodland restoration that would involve the removal of encroaching Douglas Fir on our precious native prairies. These harvested Douglas trees could be milled with mobile mill systems producing valuable lumber for these new steward homestead projects. So to me it is about how we live on the land. I believe that when adequate financial incentives are created in the tax code and in the GP and its implementing ordinances to encourage good land stewardship, then good land stewardship will follow. More carrots and less hammers. It is a simple and old well proven method that rewards responsibility and fines irresponsibility. Who decides? How do we account for this behavior? I believe that there are ways to accomplish that in the least invasive way possible. Unfortunately we do not live in a time where we can all do what we want. Our sewage can pollutes others water supply and our failing roads can dirty the water for people and fish.
    It is time to stop fighting about how to regulate folks and start thinking about the behaviors we are trying to encourage. I appreciate that there has been some very constructive dialogue on this thread. Keep on trying, keep an open mind, and treat each other with respect.

  202. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    “Really, “any use”. So a gas station, strip club, or whatever, so long as I can make the argument that it doesn’t detract from tree growing is ok? I find that hard to believe.”

    I have to agree that “any use” does sound like the kind of loophole that you could drive a Winnebago through!

    Nonetheless, that is apparently what the current law says and it would take some pretty creative “interpretation” to say that one house and a 3 acre homesite (often in an area that is already a clearing, as many of our TPZ lands actually include a lot of natural grasslands along with the forested areas) would “significantly detract” from the tree-growing capacity of the other 157 acres.

    My guess is that there just haven’t been any applications for gas stations or strip clubs out on our TPZ lands, which is why concerns about those potential uses haven’t surfaced. Or perhaps there are provisions in other parts of the law that would preclude those kinds of uses? At any rate, you raise an interesting point.

  203. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    It always comes back to the “if everybody lived like I do” argument. The reality is that unfortunately they don’t, and trying to talk people into it is more than difficult. Just look at the Mattole River watershed as an example. Our watersheds have real carrying capacities and limits to how many residences they can take before the impacts are too much, no matter how groovy we all want to think we can be. Living in the woods is awesome, but there are limits to all good things.

  204. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    So now we go from “100% sure” to “interpreted” to “controversy”. It seems that “interrupting” the law may have been just conveniently ignoring it. I too have made some investments based on assumptions and “trust” that were not valid. Some of those didn’t work out.

    Well I’m sorry to hear about your failed investments, but in my opinion that isn’t a very good analogy. People didn’t buy their TPZ parcels with the expectation of being able to build their residence on it just based on some sort of vague “assumptions” and “trust,” they based their expectations on what they were told by the Planning Department and on the “interpretation” of the law that the county has been using for many decades.

    Now you can postulate some other interpretation if you want to, but it’s not like your private interpretation carries the same weight as the interpretation that has been followed by the county for decades. Until a court overturns that interpretation, or else the law itself is revised, the existing interpretation is the only one that counts. Which is why the Healthy Humboldt crowd has tried so hard (and so far failed) to gain support on the PC for the original Option A language as outlined above.

    Now what it looks like to me is that some folks have realized that they are probably not going to prevail in their attempt to change the law in the way that they want to and are now falling back on the position that they don’t really need to change the law, just reinterpret it the way they want it to be interpreted. But I don’t see how that is going to happen unless they are able to get a court ruling stating that the county has been misinterpreting the law all along, which I think is quite unlikely. So I think you-all are barking up the wrong tree.

  205. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Not that I have any inclination to challenge your “interpretation” in court, but I would say that the idea that a court would hold up a planning department’s staff interpretation of the law just because they have been doing it for years seems tenuous at best. The intent of similar codes in other counties have been challenged and have not gone your way.

  206. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    planning staff is not allowed to interpret or create the law, only implement. interpret is for the judicial branch. create is for the elected officials. that gets confused around here quite a bit.

  207. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Okay, 9:27, but until someone takes the issue to the judicial branch by filing a lawsuit, in the meantime some kind of interpretation has to be utilized by the executive branch in order to implement the laws as passed by the legislative branch, right?

    In this case I would expect that the Planning Dept. would receive guidance from the County Counsel’s office on how to interpret the law in lieu of any court decisions to the contrary. Perhaps someone who is an actual lawyer could weigh in here and help us understand how that process would work.

  208. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    If 9:27 pm is correct,

    then no Planning (now CDS) Department/Staff is necessary since they “selectively” interpret laws/ordinances every single work day.

    JL

  209. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    “There was a poster upthread who said that Mary Gearhardt changed her vote at the next meeting, but by my count that would still leave a 3-2 majority in favor of the “ministerial process” language.”

    I think you will find that there are seven members on the Planning Commission not five and that the vote was 4-3 against rural homes. My recollection was that this was during Sef Murgia’s reign of terror (RIP to a well intentioned if misguided man). The vote might be different if held today. I believe the HumCPR site needs to be updated.

    tra, Be cautious. You have taken a position identical to HumCPR. The personal attacks will commence without warning or logic.

  210. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    10:08,

    Thanks for the correction. Of course you are right, seven members when all are present.

    Do you know what the date was of that 4-3 vote? Which commissioners voted which way? And what was the actual language that was approved by the 4?

  211. January 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Mitch’s name and email address showed up on Heraldo’s, and Rose’s name and email address showed up on Humboldt Mirror. Wierd.

    Not weird – someone is doing it deliberately. Surprised they went after Mitch though.

  212. Tiger
    January 27, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Who ?

  213. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 6:37 am

    In this case I would expect that the Planning Dept. would receive guidance from the County Counsel’s office on how to interpret the law in lieu of any court decisions to the contrary.

    yes, they will get advice from county counsel, which is half the problem. those are people who let planning staff give a presentation where they deleted paragraphs and changed punctuation of the relevant laws to support their position. not a peep from counsel. if i remember right, that was so they could say the emergency tpz ordinance didn’t have to go through ceqa. i’m sure somebody else remembers this.

  214. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 27, 2011 at 7:56 am

    10:08 pm MAKES A GREAT OBSERVATION

    that must be discussed – The vote and its effects.

    Now, how can a full 7 member commission be as effective, balanced, fair, representative, etc. if votes meander around full and partial attendence.

    Afterall, a 4-3 vote is much more involved than a 3-2 vote IF that be the case.

    Likewise, when will the county (or someone reading this who wants some symbiotic political insider fame and glory) start posting an internet page that will show the date, time, agenda item, vote, yea’s and neas’s in row/column form with each supes name in the appropriate boxes so that their historic votes are forever etched in time and web for the viewer to extrapolate how voting records are by publicly elected officials in the LOCAL ARENAS.

    JL

  215. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 8:58 am

    According to the County’s tally, the vote was 3/2/1 (One of the commissioner’s (Nelson) was apparently not present)

    Three (Smith, Emad, and Mayo) voted in favor of the following language for FR-P9. Residential Construction on TPZ Zoned Parcels…

    “Recognize the right to construct a residence under a ministerial permitting process subject to physical standards set by the County. Second units: may be allowed on TPZ parcels greater than 160 acres; And, may be allowed on TPZ parcel less than 160 acres as a conditional use only in the area already converted, intended to be converted, or that does not meet the definition of timberlands. Second units may be allowed on TPZ parcels less than 40 acres within Community Planning Areas.”

    Two (Gearhart and Kreb) voted in favor of this…

    “Preserve continued viability of timber
    production on TPZ zoned parcels by requiring demonstration of active management for
    timber production prior to issuance on new residential permits and by mitigating the
    impacts of residences on water resources, biological resources, wildland fire potential and
    public services.”

    One (Faust) voted in favor of the former language with the addition of the following…

    “…Residential uses shall be limited to individuals employed on the premises for lands planned Industrial Timber (IT) or necessary for the management of timberlands on lands planned Timber Production (T).”

  216. Anon
    January 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Healthy Humboldt advocates for separate zoning for Industrial TPZ (1 house per 600 acres) and Non-Industrial TPZ (essentially 1 house per parcel over 40 acres). The whole point is to allow small landowners to build a residence, since these small parcels are not primarily managed for timber production, while preventing the large timber holdings from being parceled out to small owners. The definition of large holdings being over 5000 acres, which would only include Green Diamond, Humboldt Redwoods, SPI, and possibly Barnum (although they have already sold off so much they may not have over 5000 acres anymore).

    Healthy Humboldt IS primarily concerned about sprawl in the outskirts of suburban areas. And that is EXACTLY where the developers and timber industry want to develop. So they’ve convinced the small landowners it’s about them, and some of them have believed it. It’s not about the smaller TPZ parcels that already exist; it’s about FUTURE development, and the future of the timber industry.

  217. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Thank you for that clarification.

  218. Jen
    January 27, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Another clarification: Healthy Humboldt would like to see “active management” defined to include restoration, fuels reduction, erosion control, and the like, to broaden the concept to land stewardship that benefits the natural resources that timberlands support. In other words, it should not be narrowly defined to only include timber production. This is because there are so many small landowners putting a lot of energy into restoration of logged-over land that we feel should have the option to remain in TPZ for the reduction in property taxes.

  219. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 10:14 am

    “This is because there are so many small landowners putting a lot of energy into restoration of logged-over land that we feel should have the option to remain in TPZ for the reduction in property taxes.”

    A fine and noble goal with which I tend to agree. Unfortunately it is totally at odds with the intention of the TPZ concept and the state ordinances. Changing the goals of TPZ is well and fine but is a state issue not a local one and certainly can’t be done with a county GPU. Perhaps a HumCPR/Healthy Humboldt road trip to Sac?

    BTW, it sure is nice to see HH at least begining to modify their stances. A positive first step.

  220. What about this?
    January 27, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Given that TPZ is land that is designated by the state for the primary purpose of timber production and to address tax inequity and property rights issues…

    1) Demonstrate active timberland management on TPZ and maintain the tax benefit for your work

    2) For those who own TPZ with the intent to use it as a residential property – rollout of TPZ to a rural residential zoning.

    3) Create a Restoration Contract similar to a Williamson Act contract for landowners engaged in restoration activities on lands that do not already receive a management-related tax break.

  221. Poco
    January 27, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Too long have certain landowners used TPZ as a tax shelter to live an urban lifestyle in the country. Restoration zoning or a well-crafted restoration contract would provide incentives for those who are actually doing the work of repairing damage done to our forests and rivers.

  222. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

    10:39,

    Interesting, though hardly new ideas. The problems with (1) have been stated over and over again so there is no reason to revisit it. See earlier posts on this thread and others, many, many, many of them. (2) Sounds attractive at first but ignores the issue that the problem is not that people use TPZ for a residence in addition to timber production but occurs when they use their property only for residential purposes. If your idea is to rollout properties where the intent is never to harvest as when there is a conservation agreement then I agree that should be rolled out. Of course this screws the whole easment idea. (3) is a great idea for the state. It is, however not a county issue.

  223. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

    So, what would it take to “show active timberland management?”

    Would you have to prepare a Timber Harvest Plan? (You do know how expensive and time-consuming that is, right?) If not, what other documentation would qualify as sufficient to prove your eligibility for the privilege of building a house on your land?

    And how does one prove their “intent” to harvest many decades in the future. If you do not plan to harvest in your lifetime, but it is your intent that your children or grandchildren (or whoever might purchase the property in the future) could harvest in 80 or 100 years, does that count as “intent?” Are you somehow supposed to vouch for the intent of your children, unborn grandchildren, and total strangers who might buy the property after you’re dead?

  224. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 11:51 am

    “According to the County’s tally, the vote was 3/2/1 (One of the commissioner’s (Nelson) was apparently not present)…”

    (1) Is that from the April 15th meeting?

    (2) Has there been a different vote since then?

  225. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Rose,

    While paranoia is often justified, I really, really doubt anyone is “after” either of us. What I think is that Suddenlink or its internet transport vendor has screwed up something related to caching. It could be Word Press, but I think it would have made national headlines if it were Word Press. We got hit because we’re both, uh, verbose.

  226. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

    “Healthy Humboldt IS primarily concerned about sprawl in the outskirts of suburban areas. And that is EXACTLY where the developers and timber industry want to develop.”

    Great… so I guess now we can expect Healthy Humboldt to come out in oppostion to the Forster-Gill project, which would gobble up prime timberland on the outskirts of Eureka to create 1,400 new suburban residences in Cutten, with all the profit going to one wealthy out-of-area developer?

  227. Sun Gnome Madrone
    January 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    We could have a “Stewardship Act” to recognize and reward responsible landowners. Rather than base it on a Timber Harvest Plan or some other expensive instrument it could simply be based on your on-the ground activities. It is better to put your money into the work rather than expensive permits and while many activities require permits to do them there are also many that do not. Things like doing road maintenance and erosion control, water conservation through rainwater collection, and non-commercial thinning to reduce fire hazards, thin dense regeneration forest stands (which are extensive on much of the small non-industrial forest lands) and provide some valuable wood products do not need permits. It would be nice if we could just do good work and be left alone, but if we expect tax breaks and other public assistance than we should expect that there has to be some way to monitor these public benefits. Perhaps an annual audit done by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) who has a long history of private landowner cooperation and fairness. They come out only with adequate notice and take a look to see if you are doing good stewardship. The evaluation would be based on objective guidelines developed for these types of practices such as the DFG Restoration Manual and NRCS erosion and sediment control guidelines. Just a thought. This process would work better for those not necessarily looking to do major timber harvesting, but simply want to live on their rural land, be a good steward and be rewarded, not fined or pushed off.

  228. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Sun Gnome Madrone says:
    January 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm
    We could have a “Stewardship Act” to recognize and reward responsible landowners. Rather than base it on a Timber Harvest Plan or some other expensive instrument it could simply be based on your on-the ground activities. It is better to put your money into the work rather than expensive permits and while many activities require permits to do them there are also many that do not. Things like doing road maintenance and erosion control, water conservation through rainwater collection, and non-commercial thinning to reduce fire hazards, thin dense regeneration forest stands (which are extensive on much of the small non-industrial forest lands) and provide some valuable wood products do not need permits. It would be nice if we could just do good work and be left alone, but if we expect tax breaks and other public assistance than we should expect that there has to be some way to monitor these public benefits. Perhaps an annual audit done by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) who has a long history of private landowner cooperation and fairness. They come out only with adequate notice and take a look to see if you are doing good stewardship. The evaluation would be based on objective guidelines developed for these types of practices such as the DFG Restoration Manual and NRCS erosion and sediment control guidelines. Just a thought. This process would work better for those not necessarily looking to do major timber harvesting, but simply want to live on their rural land, be a good steward and be rewarded, not fined or pushed off.

    Response: Yes, stewardship is very important, but road maintenance and erosion control are not exclusively exempt from a drainage plan or other mitigating factors that are warranted through county ordinances and potentially a higher CEQA process.

    Merely moving around enough yardage of road base, soil, etc… requires a grading permit (Land Use regulations), especially when near a potential water source, stream, tributary or any other land feature that acts as a conveyor belt or escalator while transferring human caused impacts from one place to another. This is what mass over-population causes, environmental impacts.

    JL

  229. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Re: This proposal that landowners should be required to “show active timberland management” to get a permit to build a house on their TPZ parcel:

    What would happen if someone states their “intent” to harvest and provides the (still-unspecified) proof of “active management,” obtains their discretionary permit and builds a residence, but then does not follow though with “active management” in the future and does not actually harvest the timber that they had earlier told the Planning Department that they had “intended” to harvest (either because they never really intended to, or because something happens in their life and they don’t have the financial resources to do the work, or they die, or they sell the property, or whatever)?

    At this point, the residence would be a fait accompli, , so what recourse would the County have? Bulldoze the house? Not likely. Force the landowner to harvest timber? How?

    It seems like the County’s only real recourse at that point would be to kick them out of the TPZ program and change the zoning to Rural Residential, requiring the payment of annual taxes on the whole property, not just the 3 acre homesite. But that would puts the property right back in the position that TPZ was designed to prevent: high annual taxes, creating a strong incentive for additional residential development, instead of an incentive to allow the forest to grow, which is what TPZ tax deferrment does.

    It seems to me that this proposal either has not been very well thought-out in terms of how it would actually work in practice, or else it’s not really intended to work, it’s just a talking point designed to look like a compromise.

    The person who has come the closest to explaining how thi might work is Sun Gnome, who mentions the idea of annual audits (first time I’ve heard that proposed). But again, what is to stop someone from doing the annual audit for a year or two, getting their permit and building their residence, and then not following through in future years, either on purpose or due to circumstances beyond their control? The same questions apply as to what the County’s remedy would be at that point.

  230. Jen
    January 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    @ TRA at 11:35 a.m.

    Healthy Humboldt’s recommendations re: a specific plan to demonstrate “active management” on non- industrial TPZ lands include an NTMP, CFIP or EQIP forest management plan, erosion control plan, thinning or fuels reduction plan, fish and wildlife habitat restoration plan, etc., or inspection (with fee to cover cost) showing active forest management.

    Of course a THP would be included but that would not be reasonable or appropriate to require for management other than timber harvest. A road management or decommissioning plan would be types of erosion control plan.

  231. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks Jen,

    A couple of follow-up questions for you (actually just restatements of questions aleady asked, but not yet answered):

    what is your estimate of the cost of the “NTMP, CFIP or EQIP forest management plan, erosion control plan, thinning or fuels reduction plan, fish and wildlife habitat restoration plan, etc., or inspection (with fee to cover cost) showing active forest management.”

    What is your estimate of the amount of time it would take to complete that stuff and obtain the permit to build the residence?

    What happens if the landowner does the initial work needed, gets their permit and builds the residence, but then they, or a future owner, fails to follow through on the active management for timber production and/or restoration?

  232. Sun Gnome Madrone
    January 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Good questions JL and TRA. Thanks for the additional info Jen. Yes the current costs of permits are prohibitive for many and required for many things. There also is no guarantee that once permitted and taxed lower that the actions actually will happen. Here are my thoughts on that. What if there were two permit routes, one was for stewardship landowners that want to carry out various stewardship practices and the other route could be the standard route like we already have. The stewardship route could involve reduced permit fees because there is an applied interest in doing good work for the environment and the costs would be easily deducted on our taxes. Additionally, stewardship properties could be prioritized for funding assistance to accomplish many of the restoration and watershed protection measures. The standard route is already clear, but the only difference two routes might make is that if the incentives and process are designed well them why would not most folks follow that route. If it was more economically rewarding than the standard route many would go there. Those Stewards that are found to not be in compliance by the annual audit could go into a probationary period and then if another year passes they could loose their stewardship certification. It would then be possible to use hammers(regulations) only on the truely irresponsible. If fees were less, tax benefits more extensive, then the good stewards that are out there everywhere would be supported and rewarded. Its the outcome that matters, me thinks. What do we do if someone already built a house and then does not engage in forest management to qualify for reduced taxes? One option would be to then remove the reduced tax rate and shift the property to some other base. My point would be that we need stronger positive incentives for good actions, but without strong enforcement of this everything falls apart. It simply would not be fair to those responsible landowners if the irresponsible was allowed to “carry on”. Of course no of this would be necessary if we all acted responsibly. That reminds me, I need to get out and clean up the waterbars on my own road. Later

  233. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Sun Gnome,

    If I am understanding your most recent comment correctly, it seems like you are proposing that instead of adding requirements for every TPZ owner who wants to build a house, under your proposal the TPZ owner could either:

    (a) Go through the existing ministerial permit process, without any additional requirements, and pay the normal permit fees for the building permit, normal taxes on the 3 house and 3-acre homesite, all according to the current system.

    OR

    (b) Choose to voluntarily take part in a newly-created forest restoration program that would require meeting some specific standards and having that confirmed by annual audits, in return for which they would receive benefits in the form of reduced Counnty permit fees and/or reduced County taxes on their house and homesite and/or reduced permit fees for any County permits that are required for the restoration work itself. Failure to continue the restoration work could then be disincentivized with the threat that the owner would lose the additional tax break on the house/homesite, perhaps have to pay back the benefits received up to that point (including any break they were given on permit fees), and/or pay penalties, all of which would have been agreed to, voluntarily, when the owner originallly opted into this new restoration program.

    Am I understanding your proposal correctly?

    If so, it’s an interesting idea, and it seems to me that something along those lines might be a compromise that a majority of Humboldt residents could live with. It would appear to take nothing away from TPZ owners’ existing rights (they could, if they preferred, still be able to build their home with a ministerial permit and not be required to prove their “active management”). But if the incentives for joining the voluntary restoration program were good enough, and the costs of qualifying for those incentives were not prohibitive, you might really be able to accomplish a great deal of restoration work while at the same time not forcing anyone to do anything.

    And because those incentives would be in addition to the standard TPZ tax deferrment, there would be something for the County to take away if the landowner failed to follow through on their goals. And since the landowner would be voluntarily agreeing to a set of rules in order to be eligible for these additional incentives, some additional penalties could be included in the agreement, penalties that could be applied if the landowner later fails to follow through on their commitments.

    In other words, this sort of voluntary restoration agreement would include more carrots, in cases where the landowner fails to live up to their agreements, a few more sticks as well. This does seem like an approach that might (a) actually work — meaning that forests are maintained and restored, and (b) be politically acceptable to current TPZ landowners and those who are concerned about protecting rural property rights in general.

    But would something along those lines be acceptable to Healthy Humboldt, would it be acceptable to Lovelace and Clendenan?

    Jen?

  234. two questions
    January 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Sungnome,
    I have supported the idea of a Stewardship/Restoration Contract since it was first being discussed around this neck of the woods. It is something that would benefit everyone and something we should rally for. That said, it seems that it is a matter for the State rather than the County, correct?

    Do you think that residential development on TPZ should be unconditionally allowed for small landowners and timber companies alike?

  235. two cents
    January 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I think that a Stewardship Contract (or some such thing) would only make sense if applied to properties that were not already afforded a substantial tax break for what should be responsible land management (i.e. TPZ and Williamson Act lands).

  236. TimH
    January 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Do you think that residential development on TPZ should be unconditionally allowed for small landowners and timber companies alike?

    loaded question.

  237. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    You should know a loaded question, take a look at all of yours upthread.

  238. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Could phrase it like this if you’d rather: Given Barnum’s current parcellization and development of timberlands, or Green Diamonds subdivision proposals, is there a concern that unconditionally allowing unchecked development will result in more poorly planned, large lot developments that suck the County’s resources dry and unfairly convert resource lands to private estates for the wealthy?

  239. Anon
    January 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Does anyone really believe the county or state will be giving additional tax breaks to anyone in the near future? Did you follow what happened with the Williamson Act recently?

  240. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    4:16,

    Scenario 1: You currently have a TPZ parcel with no residence on it, taxes are deferred until it is harvested. No tax revenue coming in to county coffers until harvest.

    Sccenario 2: You build a house on it under current rules, the house and surrounding 3 acre homesite are assessed annual taxes. Meanwhile, the remaining timberland will continue to have it’s taxes deferred until a harvest takes place.

    Scenario 3: A program is developed that provides tax reduction on the house and 3-acre parcel in exhange for restoration work on the property as a whole.

    Scenario 3 would represent a loss of tax revenue compared to Scenario 2, but might still provide more tax revenue than Scenario 1.

  241. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    And meanwhile Scenario 3 would be providing ecosystem benefits by restoring the forestlands, which, depending on how the restoration agreement was worded, could still allow for some eventual harvesting, albeit less frequent and more selective harvesting, and perhaps that first post-agreement harvest would be delayed longer in order to allow more time for re-growth and more time for the forest, and the trees themselves, to regain more old-growth-like conditions.

    Yes, this might mean less short-term income for the county than the county would get with more frequent, more intensive measures like clear-cutting, but in the long term the quality of the timber harvested could be better (larger diameter logs, more densely-grained wood) which might partially or entirely make up the difference in revenue over the long term.

    Just thinkin’ out loud here.

  242. Wendell Berry
    January 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    “And because a community is, by definition, placed, its success cannot be divided from the success of its place…its soils, forests, grasslands, plants and animals, water, light, and air. The two economies, the natural and the human, support each other; each is the other’s hope of a durable and a livable life.”

  243. Sun Gnome Madrone
    January 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Tra: yes you summarized and organized what I was saying well.
    2 questions: Yes creating a Stewardship Act would have to happen state wide, I believe, to have effect on incentives, but some of the actions happen at the local county permit levels based on General Plans and implementing ordinances. My preference would be to not subdivide “Industrial” TPZ lands into estates.
    Anon: Tax breaks can actually increase our overall revenue as they can lead to significant private investments into the land. It is true that these are hard times. but what about the future? How do we want to construct it? With incentives or dis-incentives? Right now the laws are full of dis-incentives for good stewardship and that is costing us dearly in all sorts of natural resource arenas.
    Tra 4:39 Right on about the movement towards quality wood. Let the other areas of the country produce fat grained pulp wood if they want. I believe that our best avenue is to produce the best quality old-growth like wood (with tight grain) in the world. Imagine a future where Humboldt is know for the best quality wood and organic, outdoor (non-diesel) buds. Our watersheds would be better off and we can do restoration forestry and watershed restoration to get us there. That could be one scenario.

  244. Timh
    January 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    There is no such thing as “unconditionally allowed” development in TPZ or any other zone, that’s why I said it was loaded.

  245. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Sun Gnome,

    Glad to hear that I understood your proposal. It sounds like a good idea to me, and I suspect it would be embraced by TPZ owners as a way to incentivize good land stewardship practices without taking existing rights away from anyone. It sounds like the major problem, from a practical point of view, is that we’d have to get enabling legislation passed in Sacramento, where Humbolt has very little political juice. So, not impossible, but definitely a real challenge. Perhaps if there was very widespread support for such a proposal, with both property-rights advocates and environmentalist backing it (which may not be easy: see below), and maybe if it was a created as a pilot program available only in Humboldt or a few other interested counties, then the legislature might go along with it as kind of experiment.

    However, I suspect that some of the folks who have been pushing for tough new mandatory requirements and restrictions on TPZ residences will see this as too weak of an approach, because of the possibiltity that many or even most TPZ owners may simply choose to not take part in the restoration program, instead sticking with the status quo ministerial permit system and being allowed to build their house with no new requirements or restrictions beyond those that exist in the current system. Anything short of a punitive, compulsory, extremely restrictive system covering all TPZ owners will probably fail to satisfy the most hard-core folks on that side of the issue.

    Fortunately, a proposal does not necessarily have to satisfy the most hard-core folks on either side, it just needs to be acceptable to a sizeable majority of the less dogmatic people from both sides and the pragmatists that aren’t strongly commiteted to either side. For example, I can see how such a proposal might be able to win Jimmy Smith’s vote, and maybe even Clif Clendenan’s vote…but I have my doubts that Mark Lovelace would be satisfied with such an approach.

    My feeling is that we’ll never know if a voluntary, incentive-based approach like this could work unless we try it for a few years. And, at least to me, it certainly makes sense to at least try a voluntary, incentive-based system and see if it can be made to work, rather than rushing straight into a compulsory, punitive, highly restrictive, expensive and overly bureaucratic approach that will be sure to create lots of conflict and endless enforcement nightmares.

  246. Sun Gnome Madrone
    January 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I have actually run these ideas past Senator Chesbro several times over the past 15 years and he is very supportive, but said that it would not pass unless broad support was generated. So your assessment is right on building the middle ground. I also believe that Mark could support such an approach if given a chance to understand it. Mark? Are you our there? We need to try something to move forward and get some traction. Burdensome laws that dictate how we should and should not behave simply do not get enforced so that is a waste of time and is basically what we have been doing.

  247. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Sun Gnome,

    If you have the time, and are willing and able, perhaps you could write up more detailed and concrete proposal to present to the Planning Commission, Supervisors, our representatives in Sacramento, and to all the interested and involved parties, including groups like Healthy Humbolt and HumCPR.

    You would have to clarify what kind of enabling legislation would have to be passed by the state, as well as what kind of language would need to be adopted in the County’s GPU and/or other County ordinances.

    I would look forward to seeing such a plan fleshed out, and to seeing how it would be received by various individuals and groups.

  248. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Meanwhile, with respect to approach that Healthy Humboldt is advocating (described by Jen in her 1:00 pm comment), I would still like to see Jen’s answers to these questions:

    (1) What is your estimate of the cost of the “NTMP, CFIP or EQIP forest management plan, erosion control plan, thinning or fuels reduction plan, fish and wildlife habitat restoration plan, etc., or inspection (with fee to cover cost) showing active forest management.”

    (2) What is your estimate of the amount of time it would take to complete that stuff and obtain the permit to build the residence?

    (3) What happens if the landowner does the initial work needed, gets their permit and builds the residence, but then they, or a future owner, fails to follow through on the active management for timber production and/or restoration?

  249. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    My point would be that we need stronger positive incentives for good actions, but without strong enforcement of this everything falls apart. It simply would not be fair to those responsible landowners if the irresponsible was allowed to “carry on”. Of course no of this would be necessary if we all acted responsibly. That reminds me, I need to get out and clean up the waterbars on my own road. Later

    Response to Sun Gnome Madrone above:

    Yes, lack for socialized enforcement of laws/codes/standards/regulations/ordinances, etc… is a huge problem AFTER over-population. Non-enforcement allows the political powers that be to become even more powerful off the bad deeds of those who could have been kept in check. Incentives won’t work; nor does tax breaks relative to high societal costs of living. Time and energy are not free; nor is the materials necessary for proper stewardship. Thus, if ya don’t got the cash, then ya won’t deal with the trash. So, what are we left with as a resolve when costs throughout society are unjustifiably way too extreme regardless of whether or not the liable person for maintaining that land (stewardship)is employed.

    Answer: do whatever until caught – a trait that humans have morphed into….like a categorized disease.

    JL

  250. Fence
    January 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Right now everyone is missing the point. If KG and planning staff pull off the 150 rezones all alterentives for the GP update are dead. the rezones don’t match any alternative so it would have to start from scratch. That being said the new supervisors balance of power would not change the TPZ zoning issue from it’s current status. If you want one of the alternatives you need to push it now before it all changes along with the balance of power and the rezones which negate all GPU alternatives!!!!!!

  251. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Fence,

    rezoning ala a dictator may or may not be the final nail in the coffin; nonetheless, on the less positive side, we all know government at any level or tier can pinch on a dime for that oligarchial pick and roll maneuver.

    JL

  252. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Fence,

    I don’t understand what you are saying about how these “rezones” would “negate all GPU alternatives.”

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying that I don’t understand what you’re getting at. Perhaps you could provide a bit more detail on what, according to you, Girard is doing and how that would impact the GPU process. If you could point out where you got the information, a source, a link or anything like that, that might be helpful as well. Thanks.

  253. Fence
    January 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    If you look at the three alternatives through the mapping you will see that none of those sites are planned to be multifamily. where you have multifamily you have to have services or what would be mapped as commercial zoning. the parcels being rezoned would change all the general plan and change all the alternatives that have been worked on for the last ten years. You can go to the county website and see the alternative map book under the GPU update and compare it to the housing element rezones housing element website on the county website and see they don’t match. They are required to match under state general plan law so once the rezones are done the general plan must follow the rezones. So the tail is going to wag the dog.

  254. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Fence, thank you for the very succinct remark.

  255. Sun Gnome Madrone
    January 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Tra: Yes I have put these ideas together in a document called “Financial Incentives for Stewardship of Non-Industrial Forest Lands in Humboldt County”. This document is available at Redwood Community Action Agency’s Natural Resources Services Division for a fee. It was completed in 1998 and co-authored by myself and Nancy Reichard. I have given copies to the State Forester (Andrea Tuttle) who used it to start a State Task Force to look at incentives, but later fizzled; to CDS at a recent Planning Commission meeting; and to the Board of Supervisors. Everyone says great…but nothing has happened because the battle between opposing views has taken center stage rather than solution based problem solving. I will continue to educate and try to bring together consensus regardless. I am not going anywhere. This is my home and its worth the effort to try to craft a more peaceful and rewarding future for us all. Perhaps we could organize a meeting with HH and HCPR leaders to discuss these matters further. If the leaders can find common ground then we trot it out to the members and the commission. Just a thought.

  256. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    “Perhaps we could organize a meeting with HH and HCPR leaders to discuss these matters further. If the leaders can find common ground then we trot it out to the members and the commission”

    Sounds like a good idea.

  257. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Incentives for better land management practices are a good thing, and supported on all sides (even if some feel it is not realistic given the current state of our economy). That said, from reading all of the above comments relating to TPZ, it seems that the proposal for incentives on non-industrial forestlands doesn’t address the overarching concerns of the parcellization and residential development of TPZ lands (especially on Industrial Timberlands closer to urban areas). If folks on one side are saying it’s a serious concern, and folks on the other side are saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” a meeting of those parties seems futile.

    However, if both parties can recognize eachother’s concerns (e.g. that development on TPZ land could pose a threat to the economic viability of timber production and negatively impact forest and watershed health or that certain proposed policies could negatively impact landowner’s existing property rights), then there could be room to reach an agreeable conclusion. From there folks could move together to address stewardship incentives.

  258. the reasonable unanimous...
    January 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    …wouldn’t that be nice?

  259. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    If the fish returns in the Mattole are any indication of the results of a long sustained “incentive” program then I would not be very optimistic.

  260. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Do rural landowners really want more people living in the hills? Two houses per 160, 40 or 20 acres?

    Can the Eel and Mattole Rivers really support more dry-weather water withdrawals that is inevitable with more development?

    Is this really supporting a rural lifestyle that cares for the land and all its inhabitants?

  261. Goodbye Williamson Act?
    January 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    “In an effort to tackle the budget deficit, Governor Jerry Brown has proposed cutting California’s most effective agricultural and open space land preservation program…under Brown’s proposed budget, the state would terminate Williamson Act funding in an attempt to tackle a part of the $25 million deficit.”

  262. Voter
    January 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Part of the problem exhibited on this thread and elsewhere is the numerous opinions that are based on hearsay rather than facts. People who disagree really can’t come to consensus if they can’t even agree about the facts. By facts, I mostly am referring to what the GPU proposes. For example, the GPU proposes 2 separate categories of TPZ, with restrictions on housing on the large contiguous holdings. Those would be lands owned by Green Diamond, Humboldt Redwoods, SPI, Barnum, and that’s about it (because Eel River Sawmills is already gone).

  263. Not A Native
    January 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    The answer anon 4:36 is that ‘rural landowners’ want to get top $$$ for their properties when THEY choose to sell and development ‘rights’ increase those $$$. If rural landowners really wanted to keep properties permanently with fewer humans, the price of non-developable land would be bid up higher than developable land. But thats not what is happening. So don’t be fooled by the rhetoric. The market prices for land show what owners’ intentions(or desires) actually are.

  264. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Personally I’d be O.K. with two separate categories for small TPZ vs. large industrial TPZ, where the latter category has greater restrictions on home-building.

  265. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    That would deal with the concern about any possible future mega-development plans along the lines of Maxxam’s so-called Redwood Ranches (or was it “Redwood Estates?”) plan where they wanted to split up (along existing parcel lines) a large amount of timberland and develop them as trophy homes for the wealthy.

    As I hope a few of us still recall, that was this issue that spawned the whole TPZ controversy — a temporary building moratorium was enacted for ALL TPZ parcels, ostensibly to demonstrate to the Texas judge overseeing the Maxxam/PL bankruptcy that Maxxam’s real estate plans were a non-starter. However, once that crisis had passsed, some folks adviocated for continuing to ban or severely restrict home building even on the small TPZ holding, which spawned a huge backlash by small TPZ owners…and this is how HumCPR attracted so much of their support.

    So, this whole TPZ controversy was started in response to a proposed mega-development on a vast tract of corporate-owned industrial timberland, but in a classic example of attempted bureaucratic overreach it later morphed into an attempt to put severe new resrictions on ALL TPZ land, including the all small, individually owned TPZ parcels.

    It sure would be nice if we could separate those issues again, and deal with each on it’s own merits.

  266. Anon
    January 29, 2011 at 11:16 am

    But Bill Barnum and Green Diamond’s lobbyist Gary Rynearson and Arkley’s Sacramento consultant Kay Backer will continue to work hard NOT to separate those issues. They want the small landowners to think their interests are at stake, when they are being used to protect the timber industry and developers’ profit motives.

    Over 35,000 acres of large TPZ holdings have been sold to individual owners over the past 12 years. Barnum Timber has probably sold more than half of its holdings since 2002, when they owned over 38,000 acres. Real estate investors across the US are looking to buy timberland for future development profits. The closer to town, the higher the value. It’s not about the truly rural homesteaders, much as they like to think it’s about them. They are being used.

  267. Anonymous
    January 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    how much of that 35,000 acres has been converted from tpz? what % of the tpz land is that? those are the real questions. any time i see big numbers and no comparative info, i wonder what is being peddled.

  268. Anon
    January 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Depends what you mean by “converted.” It is still considered TPZ in that it has been broken down into smaller holdings while retaining the TPZ zoning and tax status. Whether it being used primarily for timberland is another question. The numbers are from a report by the Northcoast Regional Land Trust:

    “A rough estimate of parcelization over the past 12 years is that approximately 35,000 acres from ownerships in the >2,500 acre range were broken into smaller parcels.”

    35,000 acres is about 5% of industrial TPZ holdings in 2002 in the County.

  269. Ancient Anonymous
    January 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    And another thing: don’t you just hate that the Vances, Carsons, Dolbeers and those other timberland owning families a century ago died out and lost their timber parcels before we could tell them how to own and manage them? We didn’t even get a chance to require them to get discretionary permits for their houses or to write restoration plans or erosion control plans. Damn them! And who

  270. Ancient Anonymous
    January 29, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    And another thing: don’t you just hate that the Vances, Carsons, Dolbeers and those other timberland owning families a century ago who all died out and lost their timber parcels before we could tell them how to own and manage them? We didn’t even get a chance to require them to get discretionary permits for their houses or to write restoration plans or erosion control plans. Damn them! And who are we going to tell how to own these lands 100 years from now? Why can’t we require that nothing ever, ever change? I can’t tell which is worse: that someone else owns these lands, or that they think they can sell them. These lands should all belong to the public.

  271. Anonymous
    January 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    uh, yeah. dummass.

  272. Anonymous
    January 30, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Whether it being used primarily for timberland is another question.

    actually the question is whether it significantly detracts from the growing of timber. of course if there is a house on 3 acres with 157 left over for timber, it is primarily growing timber. to me it is better to have more owners than several large owners.

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