Home > Humboldt County General Plan Update > Humboldt Dems support General Plan Update

Humboldt Dems support General Plan Update

[The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee approved a resolution in support of the General Plan Update at its meeting last week.  The resolution notes the importance of an up-to-date plan that will guide development in Humboldt County for the next 20 years. — H.]

Whereas, further residential development in timber and agricultural land disrupts wildlife habitat, contributes to global warming, and reduces acreage available for resource production;

And, whereas, such conversion of resource land to residential use raises its value as real estate making it more costly for productive use;

And, whereas, ongoing urban sprawl onto productive resource land requires the extension of roads, drainage, fire, police and other public services paid for by the general public;

And, whereas, a General Plan Update that actually protects resource land and economizes public services while infilling established urban areas that can efficiently be served by public services has been developed through an orderly process of representative government with expert preparation by planning staff and open public hearings by the Planning Commission, both under the direction of the elected Board of Supervisors, for over a dozen years;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee strongly urges the timely adoption by the Board of Supervisors of a version of the General Plan Update that most effectively restrains further residential development of prime resource land and promotes efficient infill of urban areas for the benefit of the entire community now and in the future.

  1. April 17, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I recognize that Heraldo favors putting strong restrictions on private forest land use. Heraldo, I’m guessing doesn’t own such land; most likely neither do most of the democrats.
    There are many things wrong with the “Healthy Humboldt” position. Functionally, the worst effects will be the changes brought by making a sudden drastic reduction in the land available for rural residential parcels, and decisions the changes will prompt in those who own forest and TPZ land to try to remove their lands from the effects of the new regulations. In terms of negative social implications, the tendency to want to “clump” development will essentially finish off the very real and very special subculture in the hills. You’ll simply have suburbs scattered through the county, no one will be truly rural. Finally, there is the fact that “HHers” are happy, even eager, to constrain the rights of others based on what they imagine to be the public good. There is simply an element of envy and jealousy against those who want to live on a large private parcel.
    It’s also overlooking the fact that many Hum CPR supporters have done their part to protect the forest, and others have demonstrated decades of sound land ownership and use practices. Heraldo has been quick to denigrate some of these people. It is only circumstances which force some of them to be bedfellows with developers.
    This is not to say there should not be control over growth, or reasonable restrictions on land ownership; I don’t support Hum CPR entirely. It is simply to say that the kind of growth experienced in the backwaters of Humboldt is appropriate even though it increases the carbon footprint, increases sediment from roads, all the criticisms people have of scattered growth. But, there are benefits, too, to having truly rural people in the county, instead of people who live in town and think of themselves as “rural” because it’s a long drive to a starbucks. Landowners who have a residence take better care of their parcel however big it is.
    I hope “Healthy Humboldt” is not successful in their efforts to curtail the rights of their fellow residents to build a home and live on their land, and to split that land and sell part when their bones get old, or their kids need a place.
    I also have to say, I detest the Tea Party, but on the other hand, the social agenda of the Democrats is driving my vote away. This was a great opportunity for them to avoid an opinion, instead of dividing the community even more.

    April 17, 2011 at 7:22 am


    WHEN the GPU is completed, the next GPU process will be less than half the plan’ life away from the next GPU process. SO, a 20 year plan practiced for less than 10 years before the next 20 year plan is done – or, maybe it becomes a 25 or 30 year plan, who know.

    Hey, if a plan takes this long, something is wrong with the plan and the process! Should the process stop – NO! Should the process be pieced together, NO.

    So, stuck in between the two ends of the process spectrum with no finanlity in clear viewsite.


  3. Decline To State
    April 17, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I simply quit reading a posting when it opens with a provocative remark like…

    “Heraldo, I’m guessing doesn’t own such land; most likely neither do most of the democrats.

    …firstly because they are simply foolish statements intending to rile people up and secondly because the author has no intention of engaging in any real discourse. Next!

  4. High Finance
    April 17, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Well that tears it.

    If the Democrat Central Committee is for it, I am against it.

  5. FoxStudio
    April 17, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Totally for it. Pass it and move on.

  6. Steve
    April 17, 2011 at 8:18 am

    fringe- can you give us specific examples of how property rights will be curtailed under the GPU? Different than they are now?

  7. Quick Question
    April 17, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Fringe: Do you think that everyone should be able “to split that land and sell part when their bones get old, or their kids need a place”? Do you see any downsides to that?

  8. Mark Sailors
    April 17, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Humans have cut down 50% of the worlds forests, natures carbon recycling system, and increased our output of carbon exponentially in the last 100 years.

    We can not afford, as a species, to cut any more forests.

  9. Mitch
    April 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

    OK, Mark. Given that some forests are “owned” by people or corporations-owned-by-investors, which would you prefer?

    The government buys all the forests at their market value, as determined by timber prices?

    The government just takes all the forests, forcing their owners to forfeit their property or investments?

    The owners are left with ownership of the forest, but told they cannot log them, and are not reimbursed for the loss of what was once an income source?

    If you have a plan D, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, are you advocating for A, B, or C?

    Because if you can’t state that you favor A, B, or C, and can’t offer a plan D, what exactly are you on about?

  10. Anonymous
    April 17, 2011 at 10:52 am

    We can not afford, as a species, to cut any more forests.

    Of course small TPZ owners in Humboldt tend to log less frequently and more selectively than Big Timber. In fact that’s one of the chief complaints we hear about small TPZ landowners, that they don’t log enough which is then portrayed as “taking land out of timber production” (as if trees stopped growing when you don’t harvest them every couple of decades).

    Therefore we should institute a discretionary permit process to make it very expensive and in many cases impossible for small TPZ owners to live on their own land, thereby forcing them to sell that land — many to Big Timber — because that arrangement will be great for our forests and watersheds.

    So, problem solved. See how easy it is, when you just recognize how fabulous Big Timber has been for our forests and watersheds.

  11. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

    That was me, “tra,” at 10:52. Not sure why my “nickname” didn’t post.

  12. Not an Expert
    April 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Clearly the TPZ issue is complicated but it would benefit the discussion if people would read what is actually proposed before forming opinions.

    Namely, different zoning for small TPZ owners (1 house per 40+ acre parcel) and large TPZ owners (1 house per 600 acres).

    Sure, there are complications and tangents that you can point to, but this is the issue boiled down.

  13. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    …what is actually proposed…

    Problem is, there’s more than one proposal. Are we only supposed to discuss the draft language as adopted by the Planning Commission (where, as I understand it, a ministerial permit process would remain in place for those who want to build a residence on their TPZ parcel), or can we also discuss what Option A supporters continue to advocate for (discretionary permits required, even for small TPZ owners), which they apparently still hope to have included in the GPU when it is finally passed by the Board of Supervisors?

    Until it’s clear that the latter option is totally off the table, I think it’s fair and appropriate to continue to warn of the unintended (?) consequences of such a move, including more TPZ land being bought up by Big Timber (and then used for more intensive logging) and/or bought up by rich people (to be used as wasteful “trophy ranches.”)

  14. Anonymous
    April 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    “We can’t cut down any more forests”

    Such uninformed nonsense. Forests grow back.

  15. Anonymous
    April 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    so does your mom’s penis, 12:19.

  16. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Sorry, Not an Expert, I failed to address your point about a different set of rules for large TZ owners and small TPZ owners (which I favor, by the way). But the problem is exactly the same — there isn’t just one proposal, there are several, and which one will be included in the actual GPU as passed by the Board of Supervisors is not at all a settled matter at this point.

    Perhaps you could specify what you mean by “what is being proposed,” in other words, which proposal? And perhaps you should explain why that’s the only proposal we should be discussing, when in fact the whole thing remains wide open until the Board actually takes action?

    Finally, with regard to whichever proposal you’re referring to, when you mention how many acres per allowable residence, are you talking about the current type of ministerial permit process for those residences, or are you talking about those residences being “allowable” only with a discretionary permit process — in other words might be allowed, if you have enough time and money to jump through all the hoops, challenge the staff’s decisions in court if need be, and take a chance that in the end you’ll still get turned down.

    This makes a big difference, since the discretionary permit process will often prove too expensive, lengthy, and uncertain in its outcome for many of our “land-rich but cash-poor” small TPZ owners — and may lead many to sell out to Big Timber or to wealthy folks who have the deep pockets to wade through the discretionary permit process in pursuit of their dream of a rural “trophy home.”

    I guess this only matters if you actually care whether our rural areas become a landscape of mostly unoccupied but heavily logged industrial timberlands, interspersed with the trophy ranches of the wealthy — rather than a mixed landscape of lightly-logged owner-occupied timber, along with homesteaders and small farmers and ranchers.

  17. Thirdeye
    April 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Actually, tra, small gyppo operators buying/logging/selling land had a greater proportional impact than larger operators. The Forest Practices Act did mitigate that, but it also changed the economics of timber production for small landowners. The unsolved problem is to tilt the incentive balance for small landowners from development back to production while maintaining the standards expected under the Forest Practices Act.

  18. Anonymous
    April 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I care. That is why we should actually look at the data to develop these land use choices rather than myth and anecdotal self evaluation.

  19. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    The problem is, 1:25, there is no “data” about the future. So we’re left with looking at the various proposals and trying to predict what is likely to happen if each was adopted, based on the financial and legal dynamics each of those proposals would create.

    So my prediction is that if the county imposes strict new discretionary permit requirements on all TPZ parcels, this will result in a lot of our “land-rich but cash-poor” small TPZ owners selling out, either to Big Timber, or to wealthy “trophy home” developers.

    Do you predict a different outcome…and if so, why?

  20. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I get it.

    It’s much easier to threaten the public with the false-alternative of corporate clear cuts, than to demand strict low-impact ordinances for all FUTURE developments, AND land use. However, after witnessing thousands of GP testimonials by individuals, lobbyists, and Humcpr publications, it’s clear that there is no movement to do so!

    This kind of hypocrisy can only generate more support for Alternative A.

    Also, complaining about “the threat of rural trophy homes”, while our county and cities are already saturated in them, will surely promote the in-fill preferences of Alternative A.

    The elderly, working poor, college graduates, returning vets, retiring poor, the disabled, ill, ie, the majority of citizens….require affordable shelter near dwindling transportation, jobs, and services.

    They thank you.

  21. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm


    (1) If you think corporate clear-cuts aren’t, in fact, the likely alternative if Big Timber gets its hands on these lands, then you need to look at some of those Google Earth pictures of corporate timberlands in Humboldt. It’s virtually all one big checkerboard of clear-cuts.

    (2) You can “demand strict low-impact ordinances” before a small TPZ owner builds a house on their property, but the problem is that if those regulations involve a discretionary permit processs that is too costly, time-consuming, county-staff-discretion-reliant, and uncertain in outcome for small TPZ owners who do not have the deep pockets needed to engage in such a process, then many of them will end up selling out to Big Timber, see (1) or wealthy “trophy home” developers, see (3). (And many others, of course, will just decline to comply with the permit process and will go ahead and build their place without permits, resulting in an enforcement nightmare for a County government which can’t even enfore it’s existing rules).

    (3) If many of our “land-rich but cash-poor” TPZ owners are prevented from living on their own land, many of them will have to sell their land so that the can afford to live somewhere else. Besides Big Timber, who else do you think will be buying that land, if not wealthy individuals looking to build trophy homes?

    (4) If warning people of the potential consequences of an Option-A-type approach to TPZ, (including the gentrification of many parcels, and the industrialization of others) leads to more support for those Option-A-type approaches, that will certainly be an ironic outcome, with those concerned about environmental and social justice issues essentially shooting themselves in the foot.

    I wouldn’t doubt that’s a possibility, but I hope instead that more people actually think through the likely outcomes of their proposed policies, rather than just blithely assuming that “strict low-impact ordinances” will magically yield the benefits their supporters hope for, and without creating harmful and counterproductive unintended (?) consequences in the meantime.

  22. Lodgepole
    April 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    And the HCDCC will continue to support candidates that lose to opponents with ridiculous slogans such as “Hooked on Bass” and “The Brady Bunch”.

  23. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm


    I do agree with you about the desirability of creating more (and better) affordable housing options in our already-developed areas. I’m all in favor of actual urban infill, including allowing homeowners to add Mother-in-Law units to existing single-family homes, and building more multi-family housing, and more small single family houses. In fact, my hope is that if we can improve the housing options in our urban communities, more people will choose to live in those settings voluntarily with less demand for residential growth in either suburban or rural areas.

    (I would note, however, that in some cases the definitions of “infill” and “smart growth” and so on are being stretched beyond the bounds of credibility in order to justify support for certain favored developers. For example, in my opinion Forster-Gill’s massive suburban development project 10 miles outside the city on prime timberland in Ridgewood doesn’t qualify as “urban infill” nor is it “smart” — except for the big developer who stands to make a mint on it.)

  24. Random Guy
    April 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    wheel, I agree with everything you wrote. Problem is infill never stays put either. NEVER. And comes with a serious time bomb of problems. The status quo always catches up. Look at every “infilled” (established) area in the nation RIGHT NOW. It was all new at one time…full of promises and dreams of eternal prosperity. And they’re ALL spreading outward. Open space is disappearing. Cycles of build ups and tear downs, with new economic tiers established each time. People don’t recognize now as both history and the future. History is repeating itself.

    Really, what is “development”? “Growth”? LITERALLY? As it stands, it means building new infrastructure for new population. We don’t need it in humboldt right now at all. There’s more than enough places to live of every calibre, for every level of income. They can all be fixed up, if anything. I totally agree with you that there’s no demand for REAL low impact “growth”…and there’s even less for NO growth, because mass media isn’t educating people about it, because money owns the machine that just keeps squeezing us all more and more over time.

    I think we should reinvent the wheel…secure what we’ve got for the REAL LONG TERM, and screw the new. Completely screw the new. Totally and completely screw the new. Imagine we’re on an island that’s been maxed out. Already one of the nicest in the world at that! Build parks, build bike lanes…boost libraries, boost schools, boost public services…BOOST EVERYBODY’S COMFORT OF LIVING.

    We don’t need more malls, retail outlets, subdivisions, apartments, McMansionvilles or roads. That’s all this GP crap is about. Real estate, construction, “development”…keepers of those industries aren’t our lords and masters unless we continue to allow them to be. They’re a tiny fraction of the overall population and workforce.

    Zero growth is totally doable in Humboldt, but big money is trumping all. Follow the money…cattle culture is trying to run Humboldt’s show.

  25. Not an Expert
    April 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    yeah, tra, let’s focus on the Planning Commission recommendations, since that is “what’s being proposed” at this point.

  26. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Careful TRA.

    Although I agree with you on FG, the glaring absence of a county definition of “sprawl” would also favor Alternative A!

    Today’s timber harvests are bad, but nothing like pre-1980’s, albeit, still subject to resurgent public protest.

    The irony is that remote residents are loudly claiming to have low-impact lifestyles, just like the timber Co.’s used to do, and yet, they are unwilling to demand that low-impact technologies be codified…just like the timber Co.’s used to do!

    What a waste of Humcpr’s bullhorn.

  27. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Thirdeye said: The unsolved problem is to tilt the incentive balance for small landowners from development back to production while maintaining the standards expected under the Forest Practices Act.

    And one approach to “tilting that balance” is a mandatory / punitive approach, applied to the small TPZ owner, to make it difficult and expensive to build a house on their parcel. As a result, many of the small owners, stripped of the option of using the parcel for a “dual use” as their residence as well as a timber-producing property, will then sell out to Big Timber and, hey presto, the “problem” of smaller TPZ owners not harvesting frequently enough will be “solved.” Yes, that’s one way to go about it.

    A different approach, and one that in my view will be both less harmful and more likely to succeed, is being promoted by the Mattole Restoration Council. This is the PTEIR process, where a sort of “boilerplate” Environmental Impact Report would be developed for an entire watershed, and then small TPZ owners could adapt it for use with their own Timber Harvest Plan, without the expense of going through the full expense of an entire, expensive EIR on their own — and yet they would still exceed all the standards in the Forest Practices Act and other regulations.

    Now that seems like a win-win-win to me.

    Here’s some info on that pilot program:

    The Mattole Restoration Council is preparing a Program Timberland Environmental Impact Report (PTEIR) that will give landowners streamlined approval for their logging plans, provided they are conducting light-touch harvesting as described in the PTEIR.


    Personally, I think that’s going to be a much fairer and more effective way to go about trying to ensure that our small-ownershop timberlands remain productive (but without being industrialized) and that their value as timberlands is not eclipsed by their potential value for other uses.

  28. Dancing
    April 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Do not mistake the HCDCC as the voice of Democrats in this community. They speak for the furthest left fringe ONLY! The HCDCC wants very much for the community to take their word as the Democratic gospel. The fact is Democrats out number Republicans in Humboldt County but the number who’s views are represented by the HCDCC is minuscule.

    I will leave out my arguments about all that is wrong about the General Plan. And Kirk Girard.

  29. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Not an Expert:

    Well, sure, we can discuss the Planning Commission recommendations, fire away. But no, I’m not going to agree to limit my comments to only that proposal — not as long as there are interest groups and individuals out there pushing for final GPU language that would include policies that I believe would create far more harm than good. I will continue to voice concerns about such policies, and whenever possible I will continue to offer alternative ways of moving toward shared goals.

    As we all know, the Planning Commission recommendations aren’t going to get just an up-or-down vote from the Board of Supervisors. The Board can pick and choose among the options, and they can create entirely new language of their own. Meanwhile, before they even get to that, there is a whole additional round of public input that will be taking place, with “town-hall-style” meetings, hearings before the Board of Supervisors, and so on.

    It was the Board itself that decided, last week, to go forward with a “parallel process” whereby the Board would start taking public comment on the GPU before the PC has wrapped up its work and submitted its final recommendations (supposedly by the end of this year). One of the effects of that decision to go with this “parallel process” is that people are going to be talking about all the options that the Supes will have, not just those included in the PC’s recommendations.

    So the Planning Commission’s recommendations are important, and I’m happy to discuss them with you, but, no, the discussion should not be limited to just those recommendations. I fully expect that those recommendations will be substantially revised, in some ways for better, in some ways for worse, before being voted on by the Board of Supervisors. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to advocate for revisions that will make it “better” (or at least less-worse!) from my point of view. And I fully expect others will continue to do the same, from their points of view.

  30. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    RTW said: The irony is that remote residents are loudly claiming to have low-impact lifestyles, just like the timber Co.’s used to do, and yet, they are unwilling to demand that low-impact technologies be codified…just like the timber Co.’s used to do!

    It ought to go without saying that there are some big differences between most local rural residents and small landowners, on the one hand, and profit-driven corporate Big Timber on the other. I see no “irony” in believing that we should approach different situations differently.

    Local rural residents (including, as you put it, “remote” residents) are part of our community, and most are, indeed, interested in protecting our environment. That makes for a much better chance of success with an approach of removing obstacles to lower-impact living, gaining voluntary compliance with best practices through outreach and education, and in some cases providing resources and incentives to help move toward our shared goals (such as conserving water, improving water quality, restoring forests, preventing erosion, etc.)

    See my comments in this previous thread for more detail:


  31. tra
    April 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm


    Glad to hear you agree on Foster-Gill. I hope you share your concerns with Mark Lovelace, who had such fond things to say about the alleged “smart-growth features” of that project a few years ago.

  32. Random Guy
    April 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    The only thing you can count on logging…er…”renewable resource” companies for is deforestation and subdivided sell-offs…sucking up resources and etc. The proof is all of history including today and tomorrow and next month. Like TRA wrote, have a glance at googlemaps. Really scary to think this land was ruled by lush redwoods right down to the water. Now our forests are essentially pine plantations. It takes 100 years to grow back a 100 year old tree, and waaaayyy longer for our native forest ecosystem to fully establish.

    Private landowners in TPZ’s can be given the banhammer just the same, and looked at individually. I don’t lump people in yurts or small cabins cutting their own firewood to be part of rural decay.

  33. If you don't like it leave
    April 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Top Ten Reasons for Leaving California (Businesses)

    The #10 Reason – Unprecedented Energy Costs: The California Manufacturers and Technology Association states that commercial electrical rates here already are 50% higher than in the rest of the country. However, a law enacted in April 12, 2011 requires utilities to get one-third of their power from renewable sources (e.g., solar panels, windmills) within nine years. Look for costs to increase by another 19% in many places to a whopping 74% in Los Angeles….

    #9 – Severe Tax Treatment: The Tax Foundation in their 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index lists California at No. 49 for tax fairness. CFO Magazine ranked California the worst state for tax treatment. The Council on State Taxation ranks California as the only state to receive a D- grade (the lowest grade)….

    #8 – Worst Regulatory Burden: The consulting firm Bain & Co. constructed a “regulatory hassle index” that found “California is far worse than any other state by a very significant margin.” The finding was echoed by Development Counselors International that found that 72% of surveyed corporate executives listed California as having the “worst business climate” in the entire United States. The newest survey, released in March 2011, found that 87.7% of California executives who also operate in several states say California is a harder place to do business than anywhere else….

    #7 – Dreadful Legal Treatment: The Civil Justice Association of California said the state ranks 44th in legal fairness to business. Los Angeles was again named the least fair and reasonable litigation environment in the entire country.

    #6 – Most Expensive Business Locations: The Rose Institute of State and Local Government reported in its 2010 survey that California cities continue to be some of the most expensive locations to do business in the United States….

    #1 – The ‘Outpouring’ of Poor Rankings Continues: California ranked dead last in the latest Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2010 study. The finding was based on a composite of labor-related factors, business and personal taxes, the litigation environment, demographics, crime rates, school dropout rates, lifestyle and a multitude of other issues. There is little evidence that California’s business environment will improve considering that that the legislature in 2011 has voted down litigation reform, tax-increase plans are underway, and a host of new regulations are to be implemented that will increase costs for literally every business.

    Unhappy California Campers

    Vranich concluded:

    When I speak with business clients I see that the cumulative impact of all this results in unhappiness. I wasn’t surprised when I saw LiveScience.com in 2010 report that California ranks 46th on a national “Happiness” list. The political culture — impacted by a radicalized, powerful, anti-business interest groups — causes many problems for those in California who attempt to attract and retain businesses.

  34. Mark Sailors
    April 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I would prefer that people voluntarily give up their forest land and be fairly compensated for it, and that is not timber prices, forests are priceless. But his would need to be world wide. I am also for re foresting large chunks of rainforest. In the future people are going to have to fill in the current urban centers and let the Earth heal.I would love to see an Earth that was 80% reforested and back to a natural state.

  35. Thirdeye
    April 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Contrary to the myths, owners of small timber holdings are more likely to sell off land for subdivisions than are larger landowners. PTEIRs address one facet of the problem (THP filing costs) and have their own complications from an administrative standpoint. Other issues are the capital costs of maintaining land for timber production, which are much more easily addressed by larger operators, and the lower barriers that larger operators have to marketing timber products. As much as tra loves to harp on “profit-driven corporate Big Timber” (as if smaller landowners aren’t profit-driven as well), it is never stated in any concrete fashion how their impacts per acre, or per board ft of timber produced, are any greater than the smaller landowners.

  36. Mark Sailors
    April 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I know its a pipe dream, but so is finishing the General Plan in a timely manner…..

  37. Bolithio
    April 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    We can not afford, as a species, to cut any more forests.

    *sigh* yet we can afford to use plastic, oil, gas, and all the wonderful chemicals we have invented. Renewable resources are clearly the problem!

    Now our forests are essentially pine plantations.

    Ignorance abound! Look at all them pine trees! wow!

  38. Mark Sailors
    April 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    When did you hear me say anything about wanting to use oil and gas and petroleum based plastic? Old growth forest are not renewable. The rain forests of South America are not renewable.
    Hemp is renewable, and could replace oil, gas, and you can make bio plastics from it. It would also add to the food supply with high protein high fiber seed cake.

    April 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    The problem with infill is: there is no fix for the hole in the bowl. In other words, by trying to “save the planets resources”, human impacts must be contained. Thus far, NO METROPOLIS or CITY has a 100% waste and pollutant containment system. Until then, the bowl affect will still pollute outside the bowl, for which in a confined atmospheric space, those pollutants will come back around after spreading about.

    Then, lets consider that the bowl is not enclosed; and, if it were, the heavy weight of human waste would just create another Metrodome event, collapse.

    So, sigh, for now, it really is human over-population and know apparant economical way to clean-up human wastes and impacts.

    Question: During the so-called “End-Of-Days”, and other past biblical or Greek Mythology tales, etc…. (does not matter by way of culture, it is the story that is key), are the locust that strip the land really a tale about human beings too?

    Just sayin’,


  40. Not an Expert
    April 18, 2011 at 12:26 am

    tra, seems like timber companies are selling land these days, not buying. not clear on your theory that small landowners will sell to the timber companies, seems farfetched.

  41. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 18, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Our “free-press” tells us little about the world’s numerous alternative development models, building materials and lifestyles, or we wouldn’t be reading childish crap like, “there’s no fix for the hole in the bowl” to criticize in-fill growth; Germany plans to close all its landfills by rapidly replacing its plastics with bio-plastic from soybeans. BMW chassis are soybeans, biodegradable in 12 months.

    Focusing growth on in-fill development is a hallmark of civilization that still attracts tourists to the narrow streets of multi-income, multi-use, compact, walkable communities in Europe, Asia, South America, and elsewhere….

    We should distinguish “remote residents” because “homesteaders” and “rural living” describes all of Humboldt County, compared to the rest of the nation.

    It’s rarely mentioned that similar events have repeatedly played-out in countless communities before us. Once Socal industries mined their resources, they subdivided to individuals that proceeded to suck every drop of water from aquifers and rivers that industry had sullied. Generations of these new “back-to-the-lander’s” gathered their lawyers and lobbyists, they stacked the boards and commissions, and funded politicians that protected their “God-given private property rights” to build, expand, excavate and extract…for their Olympic pools, man-made lakes, goldmines, vineyards, orchards, (pot), and livestock that use tributaries like highways and toilets.

    Sound familiar yet? They finished what industry started.

    Since then, many of these communities have been depopulated by attrition for various reasons.

    It’s not simply IRONIC that remote residents fail to rally for codification of the low-impact technologies they claim to be using, (just like their evil industrial predecessors used to claim), or that their demands for self-regulation and less-regulation….are also remarkably similar to industry’s…

    It’s deja-vu all over again!

    Who’s surprised that it took a decayed infrastructure, bankrupt public treasuries, and the 6th largest extinction event in Earth’s history, before our representatives thought, “maybe we should start erring on the side of the environment”?

    Allow Grandfathered rules, but for God’s sake, CHANGE THEM!

    No single drop of water believes it’s responsible for the flood.

  42. tra
    April 18, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Not an Expert,

    You make a good point about the current trend of Big Timber selling off land for residential development rather than buying it for timber production. But the dynamics that underlie that situation could change, both in the form of the changes in the GPU and development rules, falling prices for TPZ lands that will no longer be able to be “dual use” (a residence and some timber), and if the market for timber improves (which is bound to happen sooner or later).

    If the Option A crowd succeeds in changing the rules to make it expensive and difficult (and in many cases impossible) for a small TPZ owner to build a home on their TPZ parcel, this will, without question, drive down the market value of the property, while also making it less useful to the owner. If the owners can’t reside on their property, many will end up selling the property, and selling it cheap, due to the change in its market value caused by the change in the development rules.

    Who will be buying? Well, if it’s cheap enough, and particularly if it’s contiguous with property they already own, then a large timber company might buy it (especially if timber prices have recovered, which they are sure to at some point).

    But it’s also possible the these properties will instead be sold to wealthy individuals, or developers catering to wealthy individuals, who will be happy to get the property at a bargain-basement rate from the beaten-down small TPZ owner, because the wealthy individual or developer catering to wealthy individuals will have the deep pockets needed to take a chance on, and spend the resources on, the discretionary process.

    Maybe their will be other potential buyers for some of the newly-restricted TPZ parcels, beyond Big Timber and the Trophy Home Builders, but those are two distinct possibilities that come to mind. I suppose that state parks, or private land trusts or other conservation organizations are another category of potential buyers, but frankly I doubt there’s going to be enough money coming from those sources to make a dent in the inventory of parcels that would hit the market if strict new rules make it difficult-to-impossible for moderate-income rural landowners to live on their own property.

  43. tra
    April 18, 2011 at 1:39 am


    (1) People aren’t drops of water, they are sentient beings capable of making choices, learning, being persuaded, and so on. Water runs downhill no matter what, unless some force acts to the contrary. So a person, as part of a community, is not in the same situation as a drop of water that’s part of a flood.

    (2) Our “remote residents” are real persons, they aren’t “artificial” corporate persons like the strictly profit-driven Big Timber companies. Taking a different approach to real persons as opposed to artificial persons is not “ironic” at all, it’s quite sensible.

    (3) As far as a BMW with a “soybean chassis” that is “biodegradeable in 12 months,” well I’m going to assume that there must be more to that story. BMWs aren’t cheap and if I bought one I think I’d want the chassis to last a wee bit longer than that…

  44. Anonymous
    April 18, 2011 at 7:30 am

    why does healthy humboldt want people to merge their large parcels? i find this bizarre. if you have two pieces of property next to each other, why should they be joined?

  45. April 18, 2011 at 7:44 am

    What a wonderful discussion Heraldo has sparked with this post! I want to be clear: I’ve been a Heraldo fan for a long time, I simply don’t agree with this one issue.
    From recent back… I like Tra’s analysis of the market. I’m not happy about it, but I think it is accurate. I appreciate many of Tra’s remarks.
    Some comments confuse forested land for timber land. Many people live within their forests, taking some products, generally keeping the forest thinned but these aren’t timber production lands now. Maybe down the road timber prices will increase and owners will age out and the kids will cut the timber and sell the land.
    Some people are “remote rural” to distinguish them from “urban” and “suburban” and “calling Blue Lake rural”. Some people, even if they don’t grow weed, like to have space around them, a feeling of privacy. The truth is, most people can’t take really rural life, with homemade power and a spring that goes funky once in a while. People who can, who want that life, should have it.
    Some posters raise the spector of patchy subdivisions in the hills. Is that even remotely a problem? If that’s what you’re worried about, get McKinnleyville under control, not Whitethorn. None of us want those subdivisions, that isn’t what many people are fighting for.
    Naturally, we should all recycle. Of course, landowners should care for their roads and septic systems.
    Third Eye, everyone uses their land and house as an investment, it’s the capitalist way. People do get old, they do need money. However, limiting the amount of buildable land increases the likelihood that landowners with land that can be developed are pressured to sell by rising prices, and rising taxes.
    Quick Question: I sure do see downsides to that. Folks breed like rabbits; in some instances you could have a subdivision in the forest with everybody named “Herdman”. But, usually that won’t happen, and anything which encourages families to stay together and young rural people to remain rural carries important social benefits. No matter what plan is chosen, there will be downsides.
    Steve at 8:18, under which plan? The masthead issue is Timber Production Zone land. That is land the legislature wanted left in trees. If a landowner doesn’t cut the trees for 50 years, the trees will be bigger, so the intent of the law is met. The law wasn’t intended to reduce the other uses of the land, it was to promote the growing of timber quality trees. The law leaves the counties a lot of room to decide what is necessary or appropriate. Some counties interpret the law as I do: anything that doesn’t impact the growth of trees is OK. When the owner builds a home, the acres around the home are taxed at a higher rate, no longer being used for growing timber. However, in some counties including Humboldt, TPZ is being used as a way to curtail growth in the hills. Any smart forest land owner in Humboldt, especially if the land is under 160 acres, should consider taking their land out of TPZ. General Forest or “woodlands” designations don’t allow much more unpermitted use than TPZ, but from GF it’s easier to get rezoned to something that allows development. Otherwise, if the strictest interpretations of the law are adopted, they’ll have land that they can only use by harvesting timber, and right now, log prices are very low. If there ever is a housing market again, cut the timber, rezone the land and sell it.
    So, a broader interpretation of TPZ allows more active development and also makes more land available keeping prices generally lower. A strict interpretation means more rigid control over land use, and an increase in value for that land which is not effected by development restrictions. That’s not very specific, but there are many recommendations the PC could make and the board adopt.
    Decline to state: “opening remarks” are typically at the very start of the text. Further, it does matter whether you own forest land or not which side of this question you might land on. It’s call the “skin in the game” factor. If you don’t personally own forest land and in particular TPZ, your priorities become general and abstracted, and you say idealized things like “we can’t cut down any more forests.” If you actually own land at issue, it changes your perspective. It isn’t generalized and abstracted when it’s land you’ve worked to pay off, worked to clean up and manage, and have constructed your dreams and your old age on it.
    Frankly, PL in the late days, was such a poor forest manager I think we’d be better off with the land held by large estate holders.
    Finally, we have to cut down timber, and most of all take out biomass and understory if we want to restore the forests. The alternative is let let nature take its course and burn the forests up, and over centuries, rebuild them. Responsible forest land ownership is work.
    And, I was arrested for Headwaters, though I know that doesn’t matter to “carbon footprint environmentalists.”
    Thanks, Heraldo, for providing a place for people to discuss this critical issue.

    April 18, 2011 at 8:23 am


    Your criticism here,

    Our “free-press” tells us little about the world’s numerous alternative development models, building materials and lifestyles, or we wouldn’t be reading childish crap like, “there’s no fix for the hole in the bowl” to criticize in-fill growth

    IS ill founded imo – as if cities and metropolises don’t expand on its wastes as it grows and grows and grows, keeping in mind “human wastes” that are bio-mechanical in nature and function like…sleep deprivation, noise pollutions, crime, toxic air, toxic drain waters, etc…, all those things that somehow a “service” can be provided for either by mandate (force) or the free market system. Now, talk about setting-up tax collections perpetual………..; and, that is before the flood waters need to be drained and the area rebuilt.

    Note: I can understand the response though by someone who appears to support a political agenda rather than human civilized fact. Now, duly noted as well, IF world populations and geographical locations were not so heavily developed (metropolises and smaller cities), then a MASS SOLUTION (this is what we are really talking about, right RTW?) IS attainable by and through human innovations, technology; and, maybe even still basic instinctual human bio-mechanical solutions to having less waste will become popularized again (being less lazy is a start).

    RTW – don’t you think that there really is more waste hiding out there that not many folks know about? Don’t you think that water quality issues around cities and metropolises are what is spurring “big time” the whole “rural attack” for clean water because of the need to dillute that clean water INTO and WITH the cities and metropolises “dirty water wastes”? Don’t you think that the small, but very localized and applicable and important issues of water quality impacts (rural) are not enough on the grand scale of things (urban and rural and virtually unpopulated), but still not acceptible on a human level in a time when standards do exist?

    Just sayin’ that the “pack ’em in like sardines” approach is a failure for those not seeking to gain on the servicized profits and market shares – it is a creating of economics in a way – by way of displacement, shifting if you will tax burdens, of people(tax payers to be). This can’t be denied, but what is being denied is the right of a human to live rural and not be forced into urban living lifestyles – all people are not monolithic in what their body needs to survive with regard to proximities to others.

    The prosthetic part is labeling rural lifestylers as toxic polluters because policy manipulators intentionally misdiagnose the reality that there does exist a “major lack of environmental impact enforcements”, especially when laws are already on the books to use. So, effectually what happens is that those government officials and department heads who willingly don’t enforce environmental laws, end up twisting their harms back into a form of political agendas to hurt a broader base of people who get no judicious representation in the policy ruse.

    Folks who are good to their land or want to have land and will be good stewards should not be kept off it.

    Note: People should be allowed to move freely about to live their lifestyle in America. If not, then why the heck are immigrants stll allowed to cross the border freely? Ah, that is right, to populate the infill population centers (or, that which subsidizes the mass people with food/services) while, in exchange, providing cheaper labor and less tax collections on that cheap labor (illegal labor too) that the rest of legal tax paying americans must re-subsidize to the benefit of urban over rural.


  47. Fence
    April 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Tra, you are believing the lies, Forster-Gill has been planned for housing for decades. It is right next door to the city, surrounded by over 1000 existing homes. The sewer and water systems were planned for developing this property as McMansions a total of almost 1000 brand spanking new McMansions. If you are not careful you will get what you really don’t want. Understand before you write and don’t believe what you hear then repeat the lies. The project is not 10 miles from Eureka you are starting to sound like the Davis’ talk about supporting smart growth and affordable housing exept in there back yard. Hippocrits.

  48. McKinleyvill-ist
    April 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I surely support wrapping up the current process just as quick as can be with a firm deadline. This infinite blathering and stewing is killing the County, and wasting huge amounts of money. A good place to transfer some energy would be to attend to enforcement of what little law we have here. While planners and vocal real estate interests dither about suburban development, the TPZ hills are home to large scale building operations with 10 or so greenhouses, personal earthmovers, etc. County law enforcement is either hamstrung by the “interest groups” or bought off. This is a process???

  49. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Fence, Forster-Gil is 10 miles from downtown Eureka: jobs, services and entertainment…exactly where they’ll be headed! The developers emphasize “car pooling” in the EIR because public transportation is grossly inadequate, just like existing roads and sewers for the current population that utilize half of the exiting freshwater capacity!

    Thanks McKinleyvill-ist 10:36: Just because it took 30 years to finally enforce the law on Titlow Hill doesn’t mean the Planning Department should abandon enforcement, or resist desperately needed ordinances on low-impact living, as TRA suggested.

    The uncomfortable truth is that the public subsidizes remote developments, in effect, it was NEVER free to enjoy the “remote lifestyle”!


    According to recent research at the British Columbia School of Planning, Dr. Alan Arbitise concluded that it costs the public thousands of dollars ANNUALLY for every car and every home added 10 miles outside city-centers. He refers to these costs as “unfunded public subsidies”.

    This county, its cities and residents all have more invested in remote development than they realize. More importantly, how much of this world’s headwaters should dry-up in defense of the indefensible? How many more species must disappear?

    When, exactly, did any sentient being think we had the right to decide that the natural law of “CHANGE TO SURVIVE” no longer apply to us?

    Tra is correct about how Depressions work…they are merely “fire-sales” for the rich that has turned our county into a landlord’s paradise. There used to be one property management business, now, every Realtor in town is one.

    But that doesn’t mean Humboldt County will revert entirely to feudalism, anymore than strict enforcement of low-impact ordinances on land use will turn Humboldt County into a Moonscape.

  50. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Random Guy 2:59…Excellent points! I missed it on my first scan!

  51. Fence
    April 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Reinventing, the project is 4 miles from downtown get a map.

  52. Fence
    April 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Oh and by the way the project’s next door neighbor is Lundbar Hills in the city. So why didn’t you fight Lundbar Hills.

  53. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    The proposed Ridgewood Village subdivision is completely surrounded by fairly dense development; Ridgewood Heights,Lundbar Hills, the Walnut Drive, Westgate and Campton Road neighborhoods with all services available at the property line.

    It appears to me that the opposition to Forster-Gil is driven by economic competition, not environmental concern. Estelle belongs to the rural development faction trying to block Forster-Gil. She says what she’s paid to say, not her own opinions.

  54. tra
    April 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm


    She says what she’s paid to say, not her own opinions.

    That’s pretty cynical. Would you have said the same thing about Lovelace when he worked for Healthy Humboldt? I suspect not.

    In both cases, there’s a less cynical interpretation: Both of these people accepted employment from those advocacy groups because their own views were already in sync with the core missions of those groups.

    That’s not to say that there is no such thing as a paid shill who parrots the lines they are fed by their employers — indeed there are plenty of those, far too many for my liking, in this world.

    But I don’t think either Estelle Fennel or Mark Lovelace fit within that category.

  55. Fence
    April 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    You seem to be against Ridgewood Village which is the most efficient use of property and infrastructure Humboldt has seen you must be a NIMBY.

  56. tra
    April 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    “…you must be a NIMBY.”

    A swing….

    …and a miss.

    Gee, Fence, Larry Glass has expressed opposition to Foster-Gill (AKA Ridgewood “Village”) too. So I guess he also “must be a NIMBY?”

  57. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Come on, Tra. Comparing Lovelace’s work for Healthy Humboldt (which he was instrumental in creating) and Estelle being hired as a spokesperson for a developer created and funded organization is a stretch. She is paid to shill and if she went off message she wouldn’t have a job.

  58. tra
    April 18, 2011 at 6:25 pm


    Like I said, that’s pretty cynical. Apparently you don’t know Estelle, and don’t know much about her, or her many years of involvement in the community. She’s a very competent, talented, and community-minded person who had plenty of other options that she should have pursued, other than working for HumCPR.

    I don’t agree with every postion that HumCPR takes, but the fact is, they are speaking up for rural residents and rural landowners, and nobody else is doing that. And in the process, they seem to be showing a lot more flexibility and pragmatism than Healthy Humboldt is, with its dogmatic (and in my view, counterproductive) position of insisting on discretionary permits for any residence on any TPZ parcel.

    See this comment for more:


  59. Cutten
    April 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    The city and Larry are the biggest NIMBY, Tra. They don’t want any commercial competition. They want all the sales tax revenue to themselves.

  60. Not A Native
    April 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Estelle is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She leveraged simply reading the news on KMUD into the image of a informed, thoughtful, and decisive person. She was only a figurehead. Her performance during the conflict of Reggae on the River was abysmal, obfuscating and saying very little but with lots of words. Sone thought that was clever, others saw it as clueless.

    But her true conservative colors came out in the runoff election, where she and Johanna divvied up the conservatives. Estelle took the KMUD wing and Johanna took the KINS wing. It will be interesting to see if the “unholy alliance” can find a hipneck candidate with Fortuna appeal. Estelle ain’t it.

  61. April 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Estelle took the KMUD wing

    Not true. She got some of the SoHum vote but not all due to the Reggae war.

  62. tra
    April 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    …simply reading the news on KMUD…only a figurehead…

    Way to put your ignorance on display, NAN. Anyone with a little history around here knows better than that.

    Estelle is a very smart and capable person, with a solid understanding of rural Humboldt issues, and she’s doing a fine job of representing the rural residents and rural property owners who make up the actual membership base of HumCPR.

    Estelle’s effectiveness and credibility must be frustrating to those who would seek to marginalize the rural residents she’s speaking for, and apparently that frustration has caused some dyspeptic individuals to feel compelled to attack her integrity, and to try to smear her with the label of “tool of the deveopers” or part of “an unholy alliance.”

    Apparently, it must be easier for some people to attack her integrity and question her qualifications than it is for them to discuss the sensible approach that she was advocating on KMUD today.


  63. Not A Native
    April 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Right you are H. My post is a little unclear, I didn’t intned to imply all KHUM listeners are conservative, they aren’t. But some are(of the Libertarian type). Estelle snagged just that group of KMUD listeners.

    And tra, you can keep up the disinformation and propoganda but the voters don’t believe it. Such blatent dissembling just erodes any credibility you may have had. Estelle is now clearly aligned with a reactionary group that most see as deceptive and self serving, a throwback to a mythic good ole days of HumCo.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:45 am


    H’s Blog/Post/thread snagged me, not the Times Standard, or NCJ, or KRED!


    April 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Fence says:
    April 18, 2011 at 8:25 am
    Tra, you are believing the lies, Forster-Gill has been planned for housing for decades. It is right next door to the city, surrounded by over 1000 existing homes. The sewer and water systems were planned for developing this property as McMansions a total of almost 1000 brand spanking new McMansions. If you are not careful you will get what you really don’t want. Understand before you write and don’t believe what you hear then repeat the lies. The project is not 10 miles from Eureka you are starting to sound like the Davis’ talk about supporting smart growth and affordable housing exept in there back yard. Hippocrits.

    Response: Who are the hippocrits, the one’s that deny that years ago, what is being planned for now in FG WAS being planned for back then, but just not politicized in the same socially masnipulative pungency as today….yep, hippocrits, your right, just which ones though – it is hard to distinguish after the sides have combined forces to deceive, suffice to say. Profit or tax dollars, both.


    April 19, 2011 at 9:18 am

    ….available to the property line (wow, the services stop at the California/Nevada border too, now I want inland service at S.F. Bay)…not to mention, the necessary “reconstruction and upsizing” of existing infastructure that which public tax dollars are threatened again to be used for a development that has been under planning for over 35 years now – is that not a historical argument that other developments have been scrutinized for, ya know, the use of public tax dollars to pay for private business deals. AS well, do explain the rest of the distances and diggings that the services will require ONCE UPON THE ACTUAL SITE :-0 (is this not a legitimate environmental concern due to the pack ’em in approach?).

    Now back to another thought, is this the same infill project (as reported by the Times Standard) that the owner wanted to do less lots on (citing services and the rural setting), but the powers that be demanded more?

    reference the manipulation of “distance” to “service” from below,

    Plain Jane says:
    April 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    The proposed Ridgewood Village subdivision is completely surrounded by fairly dense development; Ridgewood Heights,Lundbar Hills, the Walnut Drive, Westgate and Campton Road neighborhoods with all services available at the property line.

    It appears to me that the opposition to Forster-Gil is driven by economic competition, not environmental concern. Estelle belongs to the rural development faction trying to block Forster-Gil. She says what she’s paid to say, not her own opinions.

    So, which groupees are trying to benefit this go-around? I feel bad for some of the residents who are being harassed to sell some of their land for easements prior to the insider politicians and staff attempting at a later date to emminent domain these residents affected if they don’t sell under political and social pressures NOT THEIR OWN. Ya see, no where on the deed is there anything saying that these affected property owners must be aware and prepare for future impacts by any proposed future development – this is a sticking point, legally. Why? Did the owner receive descriptive pertinent deed paperwork, sign pertinent contracts describing or citing information that leads a reasonably minded and responsible person to an appropriate conclusion prior to taking any action to purchase or sign such contract to purchase such land years ahead of any further developments.

    Maybe years ago, this thing would went through rubber-stamped, but with technology and communication getting better and better, people become aware of stuff much more quickly which helps mold public opinions. More people are starting to get back to understanding “rights” as is clearly evidenced by this social public versus private battle heating-up in a time of age where humankind is mistake prone.


  67. Cutten
    April 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    In the ECP the Board of sups stated that the Board supports removal of density limits on Robinson-Dunn(now FG) if they include a traffic study. (section 2620). They didn’t at the time because they didn’t want to further delay the ECP.

  68. Cutten
    April 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Are you talking about Barnums having(being forced or condemned by the CIty) to sell easements for the Martin Slough?

  69. tra
    April 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Estelle is now clearly aligned with a reactionary group that most see as deceptive and self serving, a throwback to a mythic good ole days of HumCo.

    Saying it’s so doesn’t make it so, though I fully expect some folks to keep on trying. Have fun, y’all.

    Meanwhile, those who are open to pragmatic solutions to real problems (as opposed to dogmatic approaches used to divide us) would be hard-pressed not to notice that Estelle and HumCPR are pointing to a very sensible way through the impasse: Forget about imposing a new, expensive, time-consuming and potentially counterproductive discretionary permit process (which would be a nightmare to try to implement and enforce anyway), and instead focus on what fair, reasonable, and useful environmental rules should be applied in the ministerial permit process.

    It does seem like that’s where the discussion is headed, so people can continue to focus on pointless personal attacks or ideological diatribes (on both sides, I might add) and the hard-liners can cling to their demand for discretionary permits on all TPZ parcels (though they’ve already lost that argument in the Planning Commission process, as the PC recommendation to the BOS will call for continuing a ministerial permit process for those parcels), or we can engage in discussing a way forward that will both protect our watersheds and, as much as possible, preserve the range of choices for rural property owners and rural residents.

  70. tra
    April 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    For those who may be interested, Plain Jane and I (and others) have been having a lively discussion/debate on the issue of rural water use, water conservation, winter water storage, and watershed carrying capacity, and how all that relates to rural housing permit issues. You can check that out and/or join the discussion, over at SoHum Parlance:


  71. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Fence, FG is 4 miles to Old Town Eureka by airplane, not an auto.

    Unable to concede the biggest roadblocks?

    The problem with FG, (besides the huge in-fill potential and existing blight being ignored on Eureka’s downtown vacant lots, buildings and businesses), is that the Elk River sewage treatment plant is already at capacity, one rural road is problematic for existing residents, public transportation is inadequate, and half the fresh water capacity is already being used. The benefits of having more housing for the elderly and working poor is lost in car-ownership and fuel costs, both will become prohibitive with the advancing end of cheap oil.

    The Cutten community is already suffering the effects of sprawl; a funeral procession twice each workday, mazes of cul-de-sacs, ways, lanes, drives and courts, and an outrageous sewer bill that covers a small fraction of what’s needed.

    Nevertheless, many critics would support the project if they funded fresh water and sewer-plant expansion, transportation funding, and an Eastern-exit connecting Ridgewood to 101-South.

    Also, many more people would have joined HumCPR if the primary goals were immediate water carrying-capacity studies and low-impact land use and development ordinances, instead of flooding hundreds of public hearings with concerns over building-rights.

    Once corporate resource extraction slowed and new fortunes were made subdividing Ag and timber lands in Southern California, rural residents moved in, my family included. The cumulative impacts were “death by 1,000 cuts” for the streams, aquifers and wildlife. One community after another was gradually abandoned by the force of nature. After 50 years, none have returned.

    Here we go again.

  72. Plain Jane
    April 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    “an Eastern-exit connecting Ridgewood to 101-South”

    RV is quite a way from 101 with lots of houses in between, RTW. Ridgewood turns into Elk River which ends at Herrick Road – 101. A road from RV onto narrow, winding Westgate to either exit at Elk River Road or Ridgewood would be a nightmare.

  73. Fence
    April 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Ran google maps 5 miles to heart of downtown (City managers office), or 4 miles if using lundblade, but the property is less than 1 inch from city of eureka limits.

    I heard City gave the project a will serve, that the treatment plant has capacity for 5,600 more units split between HCSD and the City about 1/2 each.

  74. Been There
    April 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    RTW isn’t the first to point out the inevitable need for a by-pass!

    If Cutten is to continue to grow, there will eventually need to be another route and there are few developments between FG and Myrtle Avenue @ Old Arcata Road, utilizing the McKay tract.

    Fence needs to get off the computer and drive from Old Town to Ridgewood School via H Street, Campton, Walnut, the route that most will drive and that’s already congested. It’s 8 miles. The Lundblade route does not exist, it would be a little shorter but needs serious reconsideration for increased traffic from non-FG residents.

    Fence is right about one thing.

    We’ve been hearing for decades that there’s excess capacity at the sewer treatment plant, to the benefit of developers that own this town…despite years of overflows, infiltration, and penalties from the water board.

    According to consultants Brown and Caldwell’s “2010 to 2030 Facilities Plan Update” released August 20, 2009, the treatment plant is over capacity in wet weather, and Eureka needs $100 million today just to update its system, not counting the Martin Slough Interceptor delayed for decades.

    It’s very simple. Greed built this rural area beyond capacity, its agents stack local government and public hearings, and will stop at nothing to continue the gravy train on the public’s dime.

    Ask “HiFi” to explain human greed to you again.

  75. Anonymous
    April 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    So, greedy developers are responsible for… what, exactly?

    Eureka is shrinking. Ask CCN Money, which posted that Eureka is one of 8 cities in USA that is a desirable “shrinking” city. Check it out: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/real_estate/1104/gallery.best_shrinking_places_to_live/4.html

    But the fact that Eureka has shrunk in population since 1960 does not stop some people from ignoring the facts, and claiming developers are greedy and building “this rural area beyond capacity.” Simply untrue.

  76. Been There
    April 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Right Einstein, that’s why Forster-Gil is chomping at the bit to build, and why hundreds of GP public hearings are jammed with the same gaggle of realtors, builders, speculators and their Sacramento lobbyists.

    You are ALL about ignoring the facts!

    Eureka lost 500 people since the last census, so we can trust Mr. “Anonymous” to ignore the Brown and Caldwell report!?

    Hell, lets ignore the Ca. Highway Patrol and U.S. Justice Dept. statistics too and lay off some police!

    Ever think about running for Eureka city council?

    You’d fit right in.


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