Home > Rob Arkley, Virginia Bass > Arkley takes his crusade to the Supes in two terrible letters

Arkley takes his crusade to the Supes in two terrible letters

Eureka’s most repressed citizen, Rob Arkley, is demanding that Humboldt County Supervisors form Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) so that developers can get what they want out of the General Plan Update (GPU).

Arkley appears to be writing under the pseudonym “Kay Backer” in a pair of letters to the Board last week, and warns of a “dictator-style governance that suppresses it’s people” if supes refuse to ditch the last decade of work on the GPU to satisfy Arkley’s catalog of acronyms (HELP, CPR, etc.).

The first letter is humorous enough, but it was followed by a post script to include a “very important point” left out of the first letter.  In short, the letter says ‘it’s all Bonnie Neely’s fault.’ Look closely and you may see tear streaks smudging the page.

Former Supervisor Neely lost her bid for re-election last year to Arkley’s candidate, Virginia Bass. Therefore, obviously, he should get his way at every turn from now on.

The next hearing on the GPU will be April 14 at the Humboldt County Planning Commision meeting.  Show up or tune in at 6pm to hear the same parade of developers and Realtors mimic Arkley’s agenda, just like they do every week, month after month, year after year.

  1. 06em
    April 4, 2011 at 6:27 am

    So the BOS is supposed to heed the words of a woman from Sacramento because Mr. Arkley pays her? I don’t understand.

    BTW, the second link seems to be broken.

  2. Bolithio
    April 4, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Talk about one sided! All you see is arkley arley arkley. Or rather, that is what you want. Your narrative of developers vrs humboldt is way out in space, and getting sooo tiered at this point. The GP has been loaded with dubious agendas – not arkley’s – closed door sessions and underground regulations where hum planning attempts to enforce (illegally) elements of option A. Allot of these attempts have been successful – mainly though stalling tactics.

  3. 06em
    April 4, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Dude … HELP hired this woman. What else are we supposed to see?

  4. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 7:31 am

    No the Board ought to listen to 75 percent of the community that’s pissed about the waste of money and incompetence demonstrated over the past 10 yrs of this fiasco. The cities of EKA, Fortuna and Rio Dell have sent letters too. So have the Humoldt, GRB and MCK services distrcts and 4 Chambers.

  5. 06em
    April 4, 2011 at 7:47 am

    75% ????????

    You’ve just broken the meter on my bullshit detector.

  6. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 4, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Isn’t it funny how other “smaller less-privileged” citizens have said this years and years now – give all the little people the credit, make a list and compare that list to the privileged individuals and groups that represent many positions (Arkley is not many, but is a part of many).

    A list would reveal who the schmoozers are compared to the less-than-many whom have sincereness (like the little guy/gal).

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  7. April 4, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Henchman, there is no requirement under “Citizens United” for backers of Political Action Committees to identify themselves.

  8. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Jesus God. Do you guys ever get tired of demonizing each other?

  9. April 4, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t one of Virginia’s main campaign points the length of time it was taking to complete the GPU? Now Rob has lined up all the ‘conservative’ (I’m being nice) city councils like Eureka, Fortuna, and Rio Dell, to try to stall the process even more. Poor Virginia must be getting schizophrenic by now. If you go to the meeting this month, bring a towel. The tears will be flowing!!!

  10. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 4, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Moviedad,

    my comment about “a list” was proprietory, an idea, a thought, an interesting caveat when procured, if procured. Just sayin’ it would be a surprise for many to compare who is blabbing for notoriety, fame, glory, power and popularities versus those with true sincerity who have been speaking out while not trying to invent localized reality television shows, th th th th that’s all folks.

    JL

  11. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

    A-Nony-Mouse,

    actually stalling has been going on for years, before the “new regime” was seated.

    It is like The President of the U.S. and Congress, as of late, a long late – The one in power stalls, while the not-in-power want it moved along; then, when roles reverse, it is just other regimes doing what has already been going on while the groupees try to camoflauge their powers and manipulations as being someone else’s fault or some other groups fault, etc… More and more “level-headed and decent” people have had with “local groups”. Oops, let the cat outta the bag?

    JL

  12. Not Bob
    April 4, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I like how he’s now just suing a script font for Kay’s name, so she doesn’t have to bother being in town (or even alive) to “sign” her name to letters.
    It’s also interesting how having “elected officials” make our decisions is NOT democratic, but somehow, appointed board members would be? How a state required document (the GP) is all “Bonnie’s idea”, and that the citizens who sit on the Planning Commission don’t serve exactly the purpose that this new committee would.
    It is strange that he’s not aware of how his overreach of accusations that this elected board is acting like dictators discredits the entire letter and HELP as a so called organization, but I think that’s in part from the success of the Tea Party warping the minds of the far right.

  13. Governments evil twin
    April 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Any “outsider” who has tried to build a house in Humboldt county knows about oppression and dictators. The whole lot of “green” residents has the attitude, “We were here first, and you are the cause of all the problems around here.” But as soon as prices got good the evil green twins begin to speedily build for themselves too because the real cause of their problems is that they are greedy souls themselves, and they can’t stand to see someone else make a couple of dollars without scooping some off the top for themselves. There is a lot of unincorporated wild lands in Russia, why don’t you commie greenies move and start your own isolated city.

  14. Steve
    April 4, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Hilarious! The GPU process is “fraudulent” and the Board may choose a “dictator-style governance.” How do we get a copy of Kay’s tax statements to see how much Arkley is paying this lobbyist? One could argue HELP is a Citizen Advisory Committee, as is Healthy Humboldt and many others. Are they not citizens who formed a committee and are advising the decision makers? But no, we must argue at all costs!

  15. Not Bob
    April 4, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I like that the “chambers” have signed on.
    Learn a bit more about the Chamber of Commerce at Chamber dot 350 dot Org
    http://chamber.350.org/about/

  16. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 9:26 am

    “Any “outsider” who has tried to build a house in Humboldt county knows about oppression and dictators.”

    Took me 3 months to get a building permit for a county lot, including a F&G variance. In fact it was so easy and straightforward, I think because there were so few applications being reviewed at the time.

  17. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 9:50 am

    There is a HELP board member on the planning commission. How many environmental organization board members do you see on there? 0.

  18. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I hope you used that 3 months wisely with all the trips you would have had to make to buy lumber in Crescent City or Redding, because the lumber is so much cheaper there. ;-)

  19. April 4, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Arkley paraphrased–his most famous quote –applied to now by 10:15

  20. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Plenty of lumber in Humboldt 9:51

    Now please carry on with your scare tactics

  21. Thirdeye
    April 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

    It would be a bitter pill for everybody, but the County might be better off starting over. The housing element has been decertified by the State, and without a valid housing element there is no solid foundation on which the Planning Commission can proceed. If they try to do so in the current situation, it is a formula for years of political wangling and confusion. It was Planning Department staff’s responsibility to provide a valid housing element and they failed to do so. The first step would be to bring professional accountability to the Planning Department.

  22. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 10:40 am

    “Just sayin’ it would be a surprise for many to compare who is blabbing…versus those with true sincerity who have been speaking out while not trying to invent localized reality television shows”

    What more needs to be said. This whole things stinks…

  23. Percy
    April 4, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I put all my trust in realtors and developers. They deserve every dime they grovel for.

  24. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Builders & Developers are the cheapest SOB’s on the planet..

    every last dime = profit margin

    If they don’t grovel, their profits are lost

  25. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I haven’t had time to read the comments yet. Let me just say this article by Heraldo is a great pleasure to read.

  26. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 4, 2011 at 11:57 am

    For the last several years I’ve been attending GP Update hearings, elements, and workshops, there’s never been any media in the room.

    Without routine coverage of who’s dominating the meetings, the planing, and the politics of our cities and county, Arkley’s letters pass…the mockery and lies are completely lost.

    Kay Backer loves accusing opponents of being “social engineers”, but she becomes silent trying to defend her own advocacy for “social engineering”, by the highest bidders.

    In effect, a generation of “get-er-done” governance that treated the public’s infrastructure like an entitlement to be harvested far beyond capacity for remote McMansions that are unaffordable to 75% of local residents subsidizing it forever.

    Affordable housing is a pillar of civilization. Removing it creates higher levels of poverty, drug abuse, crime and homelessness.

    All the things the right-wingers LOVE to whine about.

    Another “win-win” for greed.

  27. High Finance
    April 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Yawn.

    Another “terrible” one-sided anti-Arkley rant by the Heraldo.

  28. Plain Jane
    April 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Arkley’s side was presented in the letters linked and you or he can always post a rebuttal, HiFi, instead of a whiny complaint.

  29. April 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Would you prefer an anti-HiFi rant by Arkley?

    (secretly I’d LOVE it!!)

  30. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    The first letter was a pretty straightforward summary of HELP’s position and their demands. Yes, there was a predictable amount of self-congratulation, along with a generous dose of exaggeration and hyperbole (“dictator-style governance”), in other words, nothing new or surprising.

    But the second letter cracked me up. Blaming Bonnie Neeley, that was the crucial argument that couldn’t be left out and required a whole separate letter to set the record straight!? Phffffft.

  31. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    In my opinion, the fundamental problem for fans of an Option A-style GPU, is not HELP or Arkley or CPR or even developers in general (after all, most people are not developers). The problem is that most Humboldt residents have not been convinced that an Option A-syle GPU is a good fit for Humboldt County.

    The political reality is that Option A supporters don’t currently have a dependable majority on the Board of Supes to pass a GPU that leans strongly in the direction of Option A, and the prospects of obtaining that majority anytime soon aren’t looking great (because Lovelace are Clendenan are up for re-election before Bass and Sundberg are).

    So, Option A advocates are stuck with either (1)trying to push the GPU process to its conclusion sooner during the current Board’s term, focusing on pressuring/persuading Jimmy Smith as much as possible to get the third vote to pass a GPU, but getting an outcome that will probably have to be far short of OptionAtopia, or (2) waiting for one or (more likely) two more election cycles in the hopes that they will obtain the necessary votes for the Board of Supervisors to pass something more to their liking — even though in the interim, the current General Plan will continue to apply.

  32. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Most surprising to me is the fact that those favoring Option A seem to be projecting a rather defeatist attitude toward further public participation at this point — it seems as if they are conceding that they’re bound to be out-organized by their opponents as the process continues.

    Otherwise, why not embrace the use of Citizen Advisory Committees, why not get their supporters involved in them, why not use the organizing opportunity to educate and inform the public? (And I don’t know whether the requirement for CACs is legally binding or not, but if it is, then it’s certainly unwise to oppose their creation, as it not only cedes the moral high ground, but also makes it look as thought the Option A supporters are trying to circumvent the legal process to game the system.)

    A few years ago, it was Healthy Humboldt, the Humboldt Watershed Council, NEC and others calling for more public participation in the GPU process…and they got more public participation, turned out plenty of people, including spokespeople (including Lovelace) for their own alphabet soup of overlapping organizations. But now it seems like the idea is, well, we got the kiind of participation that we wanted, and we should stop right there (because now those opposing an Option A-style GPU are getting more organized and we’re hearing from too many people who don’t agree with our goals). It seems a little like declaring victory while sounding a retreat, then being surprised when the other side doesn’t agree that the battle is over.

  33. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Tra said,

    “The problem is that most Humboldt residents have not been convinced that an Option A-syle GPU is a good fit for Humboldt County.”

    Response: Accurate assessment.

    JL

  34. fence
    April 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    The 1984 GP was already updated, by the adopting of the Housing Element, Chapter 8. Counties are required to have an adopted GP with an adopted Housing Element that occurred on August 24th, 2009.

    There is no state requirement to have a Housing Element IN COMPLIANCE the county would just get some GOODIES, ie grants. Approximately 20% of the 538 cities and counties in California do not have Housing Elements IN COMPLIANCE with State law. It makes is tough to get grants for that 20%.

  35. QP
    April 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Help’s website needs help (or payment)

  36. tra la la
    April 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    tra, come come away from la la land. A few years ago opponents of Option A were participating as much as anyone else. It could be argued that their views were more loudly expressed. You say that now anti-A groups are just waking up and need time to get organized so their view can be heard, too? How long do you see this “battle” continuing? Eight more years? Is that reasonable.

    All sides have had more than ample time and opportunity to have their say. During the last election cycle, everyone was obsessed with getting the GPU done NOW!

  37. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Zero growth in Humboldt County, folks. Our natural resources are dwindling and the money’s not coming back. Let the nation’s real estate moguls and developers work at the strip malls they blessed us with over the last 30 years.

    How does that fit into the GPU? Who cares…proper action is to shoot down marina centers, mega villages, bayshore malls and apartmento-plexes before they even land on the table.

    Why aren’t our elected officials in McKinleyville speaking out AGAINST the development that’s on the table here? New sewer lines etc. within dense construction. Could it have anything to do with the fact that AN INSURANCE AGENT WHOSE WIFE IS ALSO AN INSURANCE AGENT is calling shots??? It’s commonly refered to as “corruption”, and after the last election it became an epidemic that needs to be kept in serious check all over Humboldt.

  38. Bolithio
    April 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I think its important to remember that this isnt all arkley. There are allot of things option A policy does that effect many many people. Its not just developers. Im not saying all option A ideas are inherently wrong – its just that the middle ground seems like a better end to the story. (Option B)

  39. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    You say that now anti-A groups are just waking up and need time to get organized so their view can be heard, too?

    Well, in fact I didn’t say that. But yes, I think those who oppose an Option A-style GPU feel that they are not yet done “having their say.” If there’s a majority on the Board of Supes that wants to cut off debate now (or soon) and bring some final plan to a vote, they can do that. In the meantime, all kinds of people are going to continue to want to “have their say,” whether through Citizens’ Advisory Committees, hearings, elections, or all three.

    But I see no sign that a quick conculsion is in the offing any time soon, because, as I said above, it doesn’t look like the Option A supporters have 3 votes for the kind of GPU that they want, and the Plan C/D folks are more than willing to go with the current plan as the “battle” continues.

    How long do you see this “battle” continuing? Eight more years?

    Basically it seems to me like at least another 2 to 4 years of delay is what both sides are counting on, in the hopes that after one of the next two elections for Supervisors, their side will have a clear majority of 3 or more votes. In the meantime, both sides are more than happy to blame the other for further delay, and each sides’ followers seem happy to to blindly believe their leaders’ spin as they excoriate the other side for screwing up the process and dragging the whole thing out for years to come.

    During the last election cycle, everyone was obsessed with getting the GPU done NOW!

    That’s not quite what I heard during the last election cycle. I did hear criticism of how long the process has taken, and criticism of the process in general, but that does not equate to “get it done now.” I think most people would rather “get it done right,” the problem is that there is still a whole lot of disagreement on what is “right.”

    If I’m correct that the process is going to go another 2-4 years, then why not do our best to have the remaining process as inclusive as possible, including Citizens’ Advisory Committes? If the alternative is still a delay of 2-4 years, but with no Citizen Advisory Committees working in the meantime, is that really an improvement?

    Now if anyone really wanted to “get ‘er done” as soon as possible, they should be looking at what kind of compromise plan might win the votes of Clendenan, Smith and Sundberg (and forget, for the moment about catering to those who I see as the hard-liners on both sides, Lovelace and Bass).

    However, I suspect that there is more money, power, and organizing momentum at the poles than in the center, and neither those in the hard-line Option A nor the hard-line Option C/D camps are really all that interested in compromising in order to move things forward.

    So, my best guess is that we’re probably headed into at least 2-4 more years or wrangling over this plan.

  40. fence
    April 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Option B is the preferred project to be studied in the EIR for the GP update from the Sept 13, 2004 Board meeting. Option A and C are alternatives and D is remaining the same as 1984 (Current General Plan) no project.

  41. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I’m being moderated…for your protection.

  42. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    publish my above comment, please? It’s really my only two cents in the matter…and I think it’s valid.

  43. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    One slogan we did see on signs all over Eureka before the last election was “Marina Center NOW!” And the majority of Eureka voters bought it and voted for the Arkley-funded initiative with the catchy slogan that promised swift, decisive action.

    Of course it turns out that that slogan was, in essence, false advertising, since the initiative passed by the voters does little to move the project forward — for example it doesn’t affect the Coastal Commission process, and won’t affect the outcome. Really, the slogan should have been “Marina Center…maybe someday…or something else…maybe someday.” Not quite as catchy, though.

  44. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    hmmm…I’m a ranter eh? letter limmited…three paragraphs is too much to handle.

  45. Plain Jane
    April 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    You might have used a word that the auto censor didn’t like, Guy. It’s happened to me before, believe it or not.

  46. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    fence 4:46,

    Whatever this BOS or some future BOS eventually passes will probably be labeled “Option B” and described as a compromise, and to some degree it will have to be a compromise unless one faction is able to win a clear manority on the BOS. Of course what matters is what is actually contained in that package, whether it’s labeled “Option B” or “Option Z” or whatever.

    If they load it up with provisions from the original Option A it’s not going to be acceptable to most Humboldt residents, no matter what they call it. On the other hand, if there is, for example, no attempt to disincentivize suburban sprawl development, I don’t think that’s going to be very popular, either.

    It’s going to be tough to get to a plan that the majority sees as better than just continuing to live with the current plan while holding out for a better plan (keeping in mind that “better” means very different things to the to folks on different sides of the various GPU issues).

    I do think it would be interesting to see what kind of compromise plan could win the votes of the three less-ideologically-dogmatic members of the BOS: Clendenan, Smith, and Sundberg.

  47. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Zero growth in Humboldt County, folks. Our natural resources are dwindling and the money’s not coming back. Let the nation’s real estate moguls and developers work at the strip malls they blessed us with over the last 30 years.

  48. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    How does that fit into the GPU? Who cares…proper action is to shoot down marina centers, mega villages, bayshore malls and apartmento-plexes before they even land on the table

  49. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Why aren’t our elected officials in McKinleyville speaking out against the development that’s on the table here? New sewer lines etc. within dense construction. Could it have anything to do with the fact that an insurance agent (married to another insurance agent) is calling shots??? It’s commonly refered to as “corruption”, and after the last election it became an epidemic that needs to be kept in serious check all over Humboldt.

  50. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    My last paragraph is being censored for some reason. Ryan Sundberg…an insurance agent…isn’t speaking out against the new development happening in McKinleyville…new sewer lines in dense construction. Epidemic of corruption in humboldt after last election…we have to keep it in check!

  51. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    new development mckinleyville dense construction corruption

  52. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    ryan sundberg, an insurance agent, doing nothing. He’s married to an insurance agent, ya? epidemic of corruption after last election needs to be kept in check.

  53. Plain Jane
    April 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Maybe the developers are hoping they can stall the process until the next supervisor election and gain a majority blaming Lovelace and Clendenen for everything and then push through whatever they want.

  54. Plain Jane
    April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I was guessing that was the problem, Guy. I don’t know. Is your post labeled as being in moderation? Did it have a link?

  55. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    maybe they’re hoping they can squeeze in as much pre-plan construction without the public becoming savvy to it. Like in mckinleyville, being supervised by an insurance agent married to an insurance agent, supporting new dense construction with new SHEWER lines and the whole bit. It’s called “corruption”.

  56. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    …exactly how much of currently proposed “development” would be scrapped if Option A were to pass tomorrow? Especially in McKinleyville, where our supervisor is pushing for rezoning? Given the global political climate, it’s very safe to say people do NOT want to further tap even more resources.

  57. April 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Random Guy, some of your comments went into moderation for unknown reasons. That’s the way it goes. But feel free to think that Team Heraldo is sitting inside on a nice day just to target you for censorship.

  58. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I didn’t accomplish shit today, but I did a ton of reading on Complete Streets. How many jumped on THAT bandwagon without really looking into it? How come it’s just about impossible to find arguments against the campaign despite floods of them from rural areas all over the US? Why no mention that Caltrans already has such mandates? Do people realize it mandates the physical presense of Los Federales as well as their final OK on all GPU updates? I’m all for Greenwheels, but they’re humans too. How easy it is to sell people onto an idea they’d otherwise oppose than blaring the same radio ads all over the nation, of college kids talking about mandatory bike lanes over an acoustic guitar track?

    etc…

  59. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Plain Jane said: “Maybe the developers are hoping they can stall the process until the next supervisor election and gain a majority blaming Lovelace and Clendenen for everything and then push through whatever they want.”

    Well, yup, that’s half of it. Here’s the other half:

    Maybe the Option A crowd are also hoping that the process is stalled until the next supervisor elections (or the one after that) and can gain a majority blaming Bass and Sundberg for everything and then push through whatever they want?

    I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that the hard-liners on both sides are much more willing to delay and continue to battle, hoping for total victory, rather than trying for any kind of real compromise. I guess we shall see.

    In the meantime, expect both sides to continue to blame each other for the continuing conflict and delay — with the Option A crowd complaining that the Citizen’s Advisory Committees are a stalling tactic, while the C/D crowd complains that the A crowd is stalling the process by opposing the CACs. So there’s that to look forward to. Heh.

  60. Not A Native
    April 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    what tra writes over and over(as is his constant style0makes no sense. If there is an ‘option A crowd’ that wants to stall the process as he alleges, they wouldn’t be against new committees that can only delay the general plan. anyone infavor of more delay would welcome new committees to rehash whats already been endlessly discussed. The only people who want delay are those who favor the status quo and C.

    The public is largely behind an A ‘light’ approach that Clif articulated. Only the option C folks don’t want any vote now, because they know they won’t prevail.

    One thing you can be sure of. When you read tra writing the same points over and over or on different blogs, its because he’s hoping repetition will be make his points seem more true. Well, it doesn’t and they aren’t.

  61. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Random Guy,

    I believe the 5th District Supervisor is married to a school teacher, but maybe it is a double occupation situation that is involved, I dunno on that though.

    Also, I have not seen anything suggesting the 5th District Supervisor is supporting the McKinleyville rezone proposal for tract housing, at least not openly.

    JL

  62. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Okay, NAN, what prevented the previous Neeley/Lovelace/Clendenan majority on Board of Supervisors from passing the “Option A-light” plan that you say has such broad support? In fact, just last summer, didn’t the Board, with its Neeley/Lovelace/Clendenan majority say that they intended to finish before the end of the year? Yet they punted until after the election, and now the remains of that majority complains about the delay.

    If the Neeley/Lovelace/Clendenan faction had really been confident that they had the majority of county voters behind them, they could have “got ‘er done” while they still had a majority for an “Option A-light.”

    But instead, they kind of blew their opportunity and opted for more delay (or you could say “gave into demands for more delay,” but it really amounts to the same thing), and now Neeley is gone. So now, unless they can get Jimmy Smith to sign onto “Option A-light” they’re going to have to settle for less, or else wait until after the next election.

    That’s just a fact, whether I say it once or repeat it, it remains the same fact. Sadly, some people do seem to require a bit of repetition to absorb fact that they don’t like and/or that don’t comport with what they would like to believe. I’m happy to oblige, at least a few times. But I would hope most folks would have grasped the concept of “it takes three votes” by now.

  63. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Jeff…thanks for the correction. Somebody with the same namesake is also a prominent insurance agent for the same company…related? I just assumed married, but am not one to dig beyond public presentations of our elected officials. I post anonymously on the internet for a reason…live and let live without stepping on anybody’s toes…it’d be nice if our elected officials practiced the same when it comes to shaping our county.

  64. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    …not supporting it? Our 5th district supervisor is definitely not speaking out against it. What the heck IS he doing while the bulldozers are digging away? Selling insurance no doubt…

  65. Plain Jane
    April 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    So which plan does Smith favor, Tra? I’m trying to remember where I heard it, but I recall someone saying Smith was going to have a conservative challenger in the next election. Anyone know anything about that?

  66. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I’l readily admit that I don’t have any insider knowledge of the strategy of either faction or about where (if anywhere) Smith really stands. Maybe I’m wrong and actually Lovelace and Clendenan are confident that they can win the vote of Smith for a GPU that their supporters can live with, and they’re really going to push for a vote this year, or at least at some point before their current terms expire.

    But I have my doubts about that, given the fact that even when they had a more solid majority of Neeley, Lovelace, and Clendenan, they didn’t push forward on the the schedule that they had set during the summer of 2010, which was supposed to bring the process to completion and a final vote by the end of 2010.

    If the Option A cupporters didn’t/couldn’t get what they wanted last year, what has changed in their favor to enable them to get what they want this year? We know their strength on the BOS has not improved with the departure of Neeley. If what has changed is their willingness to reach some sort of compromise, that hasn’t been evident in their rhetoric, at least not so far as I’ve seen so far.

    I guess it’s also possible that the plan is to push some plan to a final vote, even though they don’t have 3 votes to pass it. But if it went down to defeat in a BOS vote, it seems to me that would push the whole process back even further, as it would seem like a pretty clear mandate to “start over.” So that doesn’t seem like a great idea from the point of view of the Option A crowd.

    I’m just saying that at this point it seems like a bit of a stalemate, and my best guess is that both factions are probably hoping that the outcome of the next election (or the one after that) will allow the to get more or what they want than they could get now — with the difference being that C/D side is more than happy to take the “credit” for delaying the vote, because that serves the interests of many of their supporters, while the A side is delighted to let the C/D side take the “blame” for the delay, because A-supporters are not at all happy with the status quo.

  67. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Jane,

    If I recall correctly, Smith pretty much crushed Vevoda, his conservative challenger, last time around. I think the conventional wisdom is that Smith would be the favorite whether he’s challenged from the left or the right.

    But I’m not sure whether Smith has announced his intention to run or not next time around. If Smith doesn’t run there could be a real doozy of a battle for that open seat, especially because of its potential to tip the balance closer to a “full victory” majority for either the hard-line A crowd or the hard-line C/D crowd.

    (Of course that’s assuming Clendenan runs again and wins, or someone else who is open to an Option A-style GP wins in his place. I do suspect that Lovelace’s re-election is probably pretty safe, but my sense is that Clendenan is not nearly so secure.)

  68. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    tra keeps referring to the imaginary option ‘A crowd’. This is big misnomer. There are hundreds of potential policies in the update, each with a range of options from A to D, and even are being changed by the planning commission. There is no person or organization that is promoting a ‘slate’ of A policies, thus the idea that there is an ‘A crowd’ is just a fabrication.

  69. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Well I’ll at least grant you that the Option A crowd is apparently not as large a crowd as its self-appointed leaders might have hoped! But, seriously, there’s no denying that, for example, Healthy Humboldt and Mark Lovelace (when he was head of Healthy Humboldt) were quite clear in advocating for Option A, lock stock and barrel. If HH and/or Lovelace are now backing off that “slate” of A policies, they sure aren’t being very public about it.

    I do, of course, agree that my portrayl of the major factions as the Option A crowd and Option C/D crowd are simplifications (I would argue that they are useful simplifications that do illustrate where, for example Lovelace stands, as opposed to, say, Bass). And we all know that the final product will not look exactly like any of the original Options. Nobody’s disputing that.

    But to deny that there is any faction that favors a GPU strongly leaning in the direction of the original Option A, well that seems like a rather strange claim to make. Has Option A really become so unpopular that even its supporters dare not mention it by name?

  70. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    tra, maybe you should actually watched the planning commission meetings or read the comments submitted as part of the general plan update and you will find that your “lock stock and barrel” comment to be off base.

  71. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Pardon the typos.

  72. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I did attend some meetings, and watched some others, and I don’t think the “lock, stock and barrel” comment is off base at all. There was definitely an “Option A crowd” that expressed strong support for “Option A” as a whole.

    Maybe some of those people are trying to run away from the “Option A” label now, but they weren’t running away from it at the hearings just a year or two ago. If that’s what’s happening now, then fine, I guess that’s some kind of progress…

  73. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Heraldo,
    Thanks for all the news. Great post. Love the graphic (and HELP’s PS letter). Actually, a shout out to HELP for being so entertaining.
    Cheers,
    Linda E.

  74. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    “There is no person or organization that is promoting a ‘slate’ of A policies, thus the idea that there is an ‘A crowd’ is just a fabrication.”

    My final penny on the thought…the public doesn’t really know squat about the GPU, that it’s even a hot topic, let alone anything about the specific options. I know only the basics myself. The plan’s own site covers basics. The “A” crowd isn’t a misnomer at all…there are fundamentals within Option A not in the others that make it stand out. Like you said, it covers a wide range…but is still a complete category. Hence the divisions, obviously.

    Congrats on your knowitallism by attending all the meetings, but don’t sell us laymen short. From my perspective, all you folks “in the know”…who are actually rubbing elbows with the movers and the shakers…are pretty frigging out of touch with the general public.

  75. A is for apple
    April 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    A is for apple. Clendenan is part of the A team.

  76. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Random Guy,

    No Problem and maybe there has been some not-for-public-eye discussion between the supes (The 5th too) and subordinate department heads regarding the re-zoning. Yet, I will obviously yield the notion of time wastings and process manipulations that stalls for any given political issue. The back and forth 1 step forward, 2 steps back result (may not necessarily be the intended approach, but a result nonetheless)in many areas of zoning application and ordinance creation is a hardship when lack of enforcements and maintenances takes away from the very ability to not have to create more regulatory standards because life is going well in the community. Self-defeating it would seem.

    JL

  77. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Watching the meetings on TV is not hard to do, no elbow rubbing necessary.

  78. A is for astronomical
    April 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    A is for astronomical. Astronomical delay in getting a building permit on your own land, astronomical fees and utility costs. A is for astronomical wages and benefits for the A team.

  79. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    tra says:
    April 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    The problem is that most Humboldt residents have not been convinced that an Option A-syle GPU is a good fit for Humboldt County.

    *********************************************************

    The problem is that most Humboldt County residents don’t know a thing about the GP, the new legislation on greenhouse gas emissions, safe streets, or the remarkable Health Risk Assessment.

    38% of registered voters didn’t even vote last November! And if national trends apply, half of the eligible voters aren’t even registered!

    The development community understands that the safe bet is in their ability to bullhorn our comatose media with enough bull to influence the public and a Citizen Advisory Committee.

    The risk is that they overplay their influence again and motivate AN ACTUAL “Alternative A Crowd” to form.

    In which case, Humboldt County residents MIGHT begin to understand planning, the GP, and where much of the old and new legislation has come from: unaccountable speculators that dug their hands deep into taxpayers pockets and quality of life by treating public infrastructure like personal goldmines.

  80. A is for MJ
    April 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    “….unaccountable speculators that dug their hands deep into taxpayers pockets and quality of life by treating public infrastructure like personal goldmines.”

    You must be talking about the marijuana crowd, after all everybody in SoHum is a grower or works for a grower according to the planning department.

  81. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    TV sucks. I prefer the printed page. Like I asked before, how much of what’s on the table right now (marina center, etc.), and how many of the holes being dug right now, would have to be reconsidered if Option A were to pass tomorrow? What if it had passed five years ago? Option A, to my limited understanding, would require much, if not most of McKinleyville’s current and future development plans to be completely revamped. I don’t think it’s coincidence that certain project supporters in our local govt. (and I use the term loosely to include people who smile without complaining) are stalling specific actions while installing their friends in positions to make decisions.

    I’m a layman, but generally speaking, that’s how it all looks to me.

  82. April 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    If you heard news reports on KMUD last week you might be surprised at how many businesses south of the landslide were short staffed because their employees live in Fortuna.

  83. Random Guy
    April 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I’m brainfried, done with the net, and don’t remember specifics about it…what was Larry Glass’s take on the GPU? Did he support a specific option?

  84. Anonymous
    April 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    tra, you can go to the Healthy Humboldt webpage where read all of their comments. You will find that it is not the Option A cheering section you make it out to be.

  85. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Reinventing The Wheel says: The problem is that most Humboldt County residents don’t know a thing about the GP, the new legislation on greenhouse gas emissions, safe streets, or the remarkable Health Risk Assessment.

    Wait, I thought the argument was that all these issues had already been thoroughly discussed with lots of public participation and there was no need for more talk and the associated delay. But here’s RTW saying that most people don’t know a thing about the GPU, which seems to suggest that more public involvement in the process would be desirable. So which is it?

  86. April 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Reinventing the Wheel also said, “38% of registered voters didn’t even vote last November! And if national trends apply, half of the eligible voters aren’t even registered!”

    You can’t force uninterested people to get involved.

  87. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    10:01,

    Healthy Humboldt’s webpage is pretty vague as to what they are actually advocating, though they do mention that the GPU alternatives

    range from the “environmentally superior” Alternative A to the least protective Alternative C.

    http://www.healthyhumboldt.org/gpu-whatis.html

    I guess we can all interpret that for ourselves.

    But I do like the fact that they put the words “environmentally superior” into quotes. Now do you suppose that was a meaningless typo, or an unintentional admission that there is, in fact, legitimate disagreement over whether the provisions of “A,” if applied to Humboldt County, would actually be better for the environment? Probably the former, I suppose.

    Anyway, I do think there has been some evolution is Healthy Humboldt’s position, but it’s not clear to me whether it represents any real change in the group’s goals, or whether they’re just being a bit more coy about their agenda after the TPZ moratorium debacle and the resulting backlash from rural residents and landowners. I guess time will tell.

  88. Not A Native
    April 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Again tra 7:23 assumes there is a option A cabal that is determined to have its way, regardless of any other considerations. And he says Bonnie, Clif, and Mark are the cabal leaders. If tra was accurate, the ‘cabal’ would have passed option A last year, They had the three votes necessary. Right?

    But tra is wrong, there is no cabal for A, just a lot of concerned citizens who want responsible development as well as a plan for expected growth and choices. Neeley, Clendenan, and Lovelace have worked diligently to define and implement those ideas. But have been stymied by those who want nothing less than unplanned development to allow a property owner to cut any deal he wants to put together. In their minds the property owner always knows best(and besides, its HIS property to use in any way he sees fit).

    What we have are responsible public officials working to implement their charter, facing off with private interests who want to continue running HumCo as it has been for many years. Like the Tea Party in the US congress, the local Help/CPR favor delay and crisis because they’re simply ideologically opposed to compromise and unwilling to cede any of their traditional authority and power.

  89. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    You can’t force uninterested people to get involved.

    Of course not. And it’s a good thing, too, because if you could force them to get involved, at that point their coerced participation probably wouldn’t be very constructive!

    But seriously…I actually tend to agree that probably most of the arguments that are going to be made have already been made, numerous times, and probably no stunningly new ideas would emerge from the Citizen’s Advisory Committees. But until some group of three supervisors is ready to call a vote on the plan, it seems like the public input process is going to go on in one form or another. And who knows, we might actually see some innovations and/or compromises coming out of those Citizen’s Advisory Committees that could help the Supes move in the direction of a GPU that a solid majority of county residents can live with.

    I’ve heard some claims that the Citizen’s Advisory Committees are a legally required part of the process. I don’t know if those claims are accurate or not, but if they are, then that would seem to make moot all the debate over whether they are desirable or just a stalling tactic. Any legal eagles want to weigh in on that question?

  90. tra
    April 4, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Well, NAN, you can throw the word “cabal” around if you like, but that doesn’t change anything. It’s still true that there is, in fact, a group of like-minded individuals who favor an Option A-style GPU and plenty have said so, openly, at the GPU hearings. There’s nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t make them a “cabal” it just makes them (in my estimation) another noisy, opinionated minority, which is a term that I think also describes the hard-core C/D crowd.

    You’re right that (as I pointed out above) Neeley, Lovelace and Clendenan didn’t call a vote on an Option A-style GPU — or any GPU — when they had the chance last year. And I applaud their restraint in that regard: If they had tried to jam an Option A-style GPU through during Neeley’s lame duck period, that would have been quite an affront to the voters.

    I do find it amusing that some commenters here are now so anxious to prevent the words “Option A” from being applied to those who…well…support the policies contained in Option A.

  91. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Whatever modifications to their rhetoric, one thing that Healthy Humboldt hasn’t changed is their insistence on doing away with the current “ministerial” permit process for a TPZ owner who wants to build a residence on their parcel, and their insistence on substituting an expensive, uncertain “conditional use permit” process in its place. As of September, 2010, they had re-affirmed that position:

    …Healthy Humboldt Coalition believes that a conditional use permit should be required for a residence on TPZ…

    http://www.healthyhumboldt.org/docs/HHC%20comments%20on%20TPZ_residential%208_10.pdf

    That’s their position, and they have every right to advocate for it, but it’s not going to be any more palatable to TPZ owners whether they call it “Option A” “Option A-light,” “Option A-/B+” or whatever.

    They’ll still need three votes on the Board of Supes to get it, and if they lack those votes they can complain as much as they want about “stalling tactics” by the other side, the fact remains that they are “stalled” anyway, at least until they gain majority support on the Board for that measure, either through persuasion, or by electing a majority who is already persuaded.

    Meanwhile, opposing the inclusion of Citizen Advisory Committees and complaining that years of public participation are are in danger of being derailed — by more public participation — well that seems like an odd way to try to persuade anyone of the strength of your arguments.

  92. Not an Expert
    April 5, 2011 at 12:55 am

    tra, there’s no such thing as “Option A” at this point in the process (or for the past couple of years). There are numerous policies in each section; some are A policies, some are A/B, some are A/B/C/D. Check it out on Healthy Humboldt’s website, they have a lot of info on the policies under consideration.

  93. lurch
    April 5, 2011 at 12:59 am

    tra: you cite HH’s description of Option A – the “environmentally superior” Alternative A – and you snark I guess we can all interpret that for ourselves.

    Your interpretation might bear a closer relation to the actual facts of the matter, if you consider that CEQA requires the consideration of an environmentally superior alternative to the preferred alternative.

    From my perspective, some of the provisions in Opt A are unecessary, while others are probably inadequate. On the whole, I strongly agree with NAN that What we have are responsible public officials working to implement their charter, facing off with private interests who want to continue running HumCo as it has been for many years. This is a microcosm of what’s playing out in Sacramento and DC: if the big money boys don’t get to run everything, they do their damndest to break everything they can get their hands on, while screaming that government is broken.

  94. Anonymous
    April 5, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Are people purposely misspelling Clif Clendenen’s surname just to be surly? Surely, it must be an inadvertent error!

  95. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Not an Expert,

    I’m well aware that the GPU is broken down into different “elements” and that there are numerous policy options in each element. But the ghost of the original Option A continues to haunt the debate for a reason: See for example the TPZ issue that I refer to in my 12:23 comment. This is why I refer to Healthy Humboldt’s goal as an “Option A-style GPU.” Yes, as I already conceded above, it’s a simplification, but I think it’s a fair way to encapsulate the overall kind of plan that the HH faction is pushing, just as I think it’s fair to summarize the demands of the HELP/Arkley faction as wanting an “Option C/D-style GPU.”

    But if you’d prefer to avoid the hazards of (over?)generalization, and would rather talk specifics, let’s talk about a specific “Option A-style” policy — the insistence by Healthy Humboldt that TPZ owners should lose their existing right to a “ministerial” permit to build a residence to live on their land, and that instead they should be required to go through an expensive, time-consuming and uncertain “conditional use permit” process.

    Folks can try to “de-couple” these sorts of policies from the phrase “Option A,” and their may be some public-relations benefit to that for those favoring such a policy (because in the context of the past few years of GPU debate “Option A” has, with good reason, become more or less synonynous with “overreaching, ill-considered and potentially counterproductive”) but that does nothing to solve the underlying policy question — the final version of the GPU that the Supes eventually try to pass is either going to require the expensive, time-consuming, and uncertain “conditional use permit” process, or not.

    “Yeah, we’re going to make it extremely difficult for anyone but the rich to build a home on a TPZ parcel…but don’t worry, we’re no longer calling it Option A,” well, that’s not going to make the policy any more palatable to those who opposed it back when it was still called Option A.

  96. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 1:58 am

    ..while screaming that government is broken.

    Yet it’s the Healthy Humbolt folks who are complaining that having Citizen Advisory Committees (oh the horror!), as provided for in the law, will somehow “de-rail” the process — referring to these committees as “another layer of bureaucracy.”

    http://www.times-standard.com/ci_17600236

    Apparently additional public participation, in the form of these CACs would somehow “undo” or “cast aside” other public participation, though of course there is no explanation of how that would happen or why this particular form of public participation would be any more prone to domination by “special interests” than the previous 12 years of process that they laud as such an exemplary record of public participation.

  97. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 2:18 am

    In response to Healthy Humboldt’s claims that the current level of opportunity for public input has been not just adequate, but actually exemplary, Bob Higgons from Humboldt Association of Realtors offered the following example of what that input actually amounted to as the Housing Element discussions reached a crucial point last year:

    The public, including the association and Planning Commission, received 131 pages of revised Housing Element documentation last Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. There was one day to review the revisions and prepare for a public workshop on Aug. 17. At that meeting, attendees were informed there were more revisions forthcoming. On Aug. 18, the public received 384 additional pages to review before a Planning Commission meeting on Aug. 19. Public speakers were given three minutes each to comment. Total public comment time at that Planning Commission meeting was limited to approximately 15 minutes … on a document hundreds of pages long…

    http://www.times-standard.com/guest_opinion/ci_17651600

    Perhaps that sounds like an exemplary feat of public involvement to some folks…but to most of us, I think we would expect something a little bit more meaningful.

    Higgons’ My Word piece also makes the point that people have been asking for the formation of Citizen Advisory Committees for more than two years now, which kind of undercuts the argument that it’s just a last-minute stalling tactic. Perhaps if the CACs had been formed two years ago, their work would already be completed by now. Just sayin’.

  98. Plain Jane
    April 5, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Do you have any reason to believe that Higgons claims are factual, Tra? You did notice, I’m sure, on whose behalf he wrote this opinion piece? How many times do they need to repeat their talking points and at how many meetings until they are secure in the belief they were heard? I’m guessing not until their demands are met 100%.

  99. Anonymous
    April 5, 2011 at 7:48 am

    happens all the time jane. you spend an hour or two reading through the agendas and then show up at the meeting to comment only to find 10 – 20 pages of new or changed supplemental information on the counter, if there are any copies left when you get there. i don’t know if it’s by accident or design, but it is frustrating.

  100. A is for Aristocracy
    April 5, 2011 at 9:00 am

    “Aristocracy: a class of persons holding exceptional rank and privileges”

    A-team Aristocrats love conditional use permits because the permits can be easily revoked.

    “A degenerate nobleman is like a turnip. There is nothing good of him but that which is underground.”

    ClendenAn under the 101 mud slide.

  101. April 5, 2011 at 9:12 am

    “A” is for other things, too! It still astounds me that Fortuna elected someone as moderate and level headed as Clif. He’s as “middle” as you could get.

    Gotta give Rob an “A” for perseverance, at least. As Al Capp used to say, “What’s good for General Bullmoose (Rob) is good for the USA”. Greed and self-interest always seem to float to the top.

    Check out the signatures on those letters and tell me Kay Backer wrote them herself. Pretty funny!!!

  102. tra la la
    April 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

    tra, if you’re afraid you will lose your existing right to a “ministerial” permit to build a residence to live on your land, then why don’t you hurry up and build already? Take advantage of the delays, like everyone else does.

    Better yet, just build the house with no permits. Hell, the county does absolutely nothing about the many un-permitted houses that exist now. I personally know three people who have houses on TPZ with no permits. Been there for years. County makes no effort to collect property taxes from them. Sweet deal. Go for it tra.

  103. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 11:48 am

    tra la la,

    If, as you say, the County can’t/won’t enforce the existing permit requirements, it seems to me that it makes little sense to pile on additional permit requirements. If your “solution” is that people should just go ahead and ignore the rules, then what’s the point of the rules?

  104. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    “County makes no effort to collect property tax from them.”

    Well first of all, it’s wrong for them to avoid paying their property taxes.

    I know some TPZ owners with unpermitted residences that have been there for years, but they are paying their property taxes on those houses and have been for many years.

    Eventually the County Assessor’s Office is going to catch up with your friends and they’ll have a big ‘ol bill for back taxes and penalties. The Assessor’s office uses ariel photographs and Google Earth to check for new construction. I believe they do try to contact the owner to get an assessor out there in person, and if your friends ignore those requests there may be some delay before the taxman catches up with them, but it’s only a matter of time, and the longer they delay, the bigger that bill for past taxes and penalties will be.

    As far as the County “not doing anything” about non-permitted homes, that’s not true in every case, as anyone who followed the Code Enforcement fiasco a few years ago can tell you. But it would be correct to say that enforcement of the permit requirements is sporadic and selective — given the resources, and the politics, only a small percentage of those who are living in unpermitted dwellings get raided by the Code Cops.

    So, on taxes, it’s just a matter of time before your tax-dodging friends get hit with a big bill for current and past taxes. But as to their lack of permits…yes, there’s a good chance that they will continue to get away with that for the forseeable future…

  105. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    “County makes no effort to collect property tax from them.”

    Well first of all, it’s wrong for them to avoid paying their property taxes.

    I know some TPZ owners with unpermitted residences that have been there for years, but they are paying their property taxes on those houses, sheds and other buildings, and have been for many years.

    Eventually the County Assessor’s Office is going to catch up with your tax-dodging friends and they’ll have a big ol’ bill for back taxes and penalties. Even if their house is not visible from the street, the Assessor’s office uses ariel photographs and Google Earth to check for new construction. I believe they do try to contact the owner to get an assessor out there in person, and if your friends ignore those requests there may be some delay before the taxman catches up with them. But it’s only a matter of time, and the longer they delay, the bigger that bill for past taxes and penalties will be.

    As far as the County “not doing anything” about non-permitted homes, that’s not always true, as anyone who followed the Code Enforcement fiasco a few years ago can tell you. But it would be correct to say that enforcement of the permit requirements is sporadic and selective — only a small percentage of those who are living in unpermitted dwellings get raided by the Code Cops.

    If all your friends’ neighbors like them and are O.K. with them, and there’s nobody who has a grudge against them who might make an anonymous complaint to the Code Enforcement Unit, and there’s nothing else that draws the attention of the County to their parcel (like new roads, culverts, recent contruction, a fuel spill or something like that) then most likely the County won’t confront them about their lack of permits for a house or other buildings that were built years ago. No guarantees, but that seems to be how it usually works — the Code Cops are usually called out due to someone making a complaint, or due to some current construction or pollution or other issue and discover some older unpermitted dwellings while they are there.

    On taxes, it’s just a matter of time before your tax-dodging friends get hit with a big bill for current and past taxes. But as to their lack of permits…yes, there’s a good chance that they will continue to get away with that for the forseeable future…

  106. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Heraldo,

    FYI my last post won’t show up, nor does it show as “in moderation,” yet when I try to post it again, I get the “duplicate comment” message.

    Cybergremlins at it again?

    I’ll try a shorter paragraph, let’s see if that works.

  107. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    tra la la,

    It’s just a matter of time before your tax-dodging friends get hit with a big bill for current and past taxes…which is what they deserve, as they ought to be paying their fair share along with most TPZ residents, who DO pay taxes every year on their home and outbuildings. Sooner or later the assessor’s office will notice them on Google Earth or an ariel photograph, and then the taxman will come looking for his due.

    But as to their lack of permits — yes, there’s a pretty good chance that they will continue to get away with that for the forseeable future. No guarantees, though, because they might be one of the select and unlucky few who get a visit from Code Enforcement. I hear that can be rather unpleasant, to say the least.

  108. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I love it…the comment about having difficulty posting comments has posted, but I still can’t post any other comments. Let’s see if this one posts…

  109. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    !!!!

  110. tra la la
    April 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    tra, lighten up. I was being sarcastic about building with no permit.

    I’d like to see all the un-permitted structures identified and brought into the tax system. I don’t think any of our land use laws should be ignored, but they often are. Many times because of political pressure from vested interests who argue that their private property rights trump environmental laws. And planning laws.

    I do wonder why you don’t build your house now, if that is your intent.

  111. April 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Your comments are up now, TRA.

  112. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Tra la la,

    I don’t even own a TPZ parcel, it’s not about me.

    But there are plenty of folks who bought a TPZ parcel at some point in the past, planning to eventually build a house and live on their land, but who aren’t in a position to rush to build before the new GPU, for the simple reason that they don’t have enough money yet. So, “just do it now, so the new regs won’t affect you” is only a strategy for those who happen to have lots of ready money right now.

    And if somehow they do manage to pass a GPU that requires an expensive, lengthy, and uncertain “discretionary” permit process for homes on TPZ parcels, that will also mean that only those with lots of ready money will be able to play that game. Those who can’t afford to build and live under the new regs will sell out to those who are wealthier and can afford the costs, the delay and the legal hassles, or maybe they’ll end up selling their TPZ parcels to one of the timber companies.

    Basically, whether intentional or not, it looks to me like a recipe for a rural landscape of scattered trophy homes for the rich, among vacant timberlands owned and managed by absentee Big Timber. For some folks, I guess that’s their vision of a healthy humbolt. For others, perhaps they just haven’t considered the potential unintended consequences of their proposed policy on TPZ.

  113. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks H. Sorry for all the duplicates, feel free to delete a bunch of them. I was just trying to see if the length or content of the comment was the problem, so I tried posting a few different chunks. Anyway, I’ve said plenty on this thread, I wish I hadn’t littered the end of it with all those duplicates! Oh well. Time to go do something else anyway.

    Maybe WordPress or my own computer was just trying

  114. April 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    …to tell you something?

  115. tra
    April 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    to tell me to quit with the long-winded comments and go do something else on this windy but sunny afternoon…and that’s not a bad idea.

  116. Connect The Dots
    April 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    What Mr. Higgons failed to include in his opinion piece was that “hundreds of additional pages” are not the same as “hundreds of pages of revisions.”

    Many PC meetings have been canceled, postponed or delayed, sometimes to accommodate requests for more time to review documents.

    In fact, the actual revisions made were easily reviewed in minutes, (for those following the issues). All the revisions made had been previously reviewed and debated in numerous meetings, many were requested by the development community themselves! The staff listens to both sides of the issue ad-nauseum, and makes their suggestions to the PC, the PC will eventually make their suggestions to the board, where we get to hear the whining all over again.

    But then, this is what Higgons is paid to do! He once authored a letter to Arcata’s Planning Dept. with his recommendations in support of their Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, while fighting tooth-and-nail for years against having one in Humboldt County.

    Lurch @ 12:59 nailed it.

    These folks want to ensure that “when the market turns around” it’s back to harvesting their perceived entitlements to the public’s infrastructure and the streets, emergency services and waste water systems already seriously diminished by haphazard development.

    As far as the former supervisor-majority’s desire to ram-through Option A, I remember that the RHNA figures were still delayed leaving the GP Housing Element in limbo at that time.

    What I heard in many meetings wasn’t merely demands for a home on TPZ land, but another home for the kids…(and then their kid’s kids…??), “Its my land”!!

    Ask anyone who worked at the local U.S. Census HQ in Eureka: what’s happening in our rural areas is no different than what human beings have done virtually everywhere else. There are people living in thousands of buildings visible from satellites that are not on the maps. They are near their water sources being sucked-dry for every imaginable use; Olympic pools, trout farms, lakes, orchards, vineyards and pot farms.

    Several years ago the rural residents of Indianola began demanding public water hookups because their wells were low and contaminated by septic systems.

    I’ve attended most GP-related hearings and ONLY ONCE did I hear ONE rural Homesteader “suggest” codification of low-impact ordinances at the PC meeting held at CR attended by 1,000 citizens.

    How else do we begin to attempt controlling the predictable excesses in our headwaters, (by a planning Department unable to effectively regulate unbridled developments in nearby Cutten or Indianola)?

  117. Anonymous
    April 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I don’t see how a huge Cutten subdivision can even be contemplated in this current economy. Who is going to build those houses, or live in them?

  118. Anonymous
    April 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Unbridled rural development or corporate clear-cuts is a false choice.

  119. Not bob
    April 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    The cutten development is interestingly being opposed by HumCPR and the rest of local developers’ lobbyist because it’s from an out of the area developer who is willing to invest for the long haul. That’s what it takes to do a planned community. It will eventually make money, but the local developers do NOT want competition for selling off their smaller subdivisions, which also do not require as much “planning” which is to say infrastructure investment done up front by the developer. Of course the NIMBY crowd gives Rob’s friends the appearance of being grass roots opposition, but the fact is that project is closer to Smart Growth, then most of what you see done in Humboldt County.

  120. Fence
    April 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    The cutten subdivision is a 30 year project so it will equal about 50 homes/apartments per year over the course of its development. Doesn’t seem to drastic to me.

  121. Anonymous
    April 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Silly “Fence”.

    If the next 30 years are ANYTHING like the slow-growth of the last 30 years…we’ll have to form neighborhood teams to sandbag the raw sewage…while watching our sewer bills double anyway!

    Maybe we can be NUMBER ONE in pedestrian fatalities instead of just among the top in the state, per capita.

    Plopping hundreds of working-poor families 10 miles from services and jobs is called sprawl, not smart. Ask a professional planner.

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