Last Board of Supervisors General Plan Update of 2013 … Today

1:30 PM again at the Courthouse.

Well today is the big day for the Private, er Public Participation Workgroup.  They have been working closely with Michael Richardson (who is a hard working pubic employee – thanks for your efforts MR) and presumably other county staff members with the Board’s blessing to incorporate most of the public participation section of what is know as the “Framework Plan” into our GPU.  Tom Grover crowed about this on the HumCPR hour last Thursday (2nd Thursday of every month on KMUD at 7pm) and during the last BOS meeting Peter Childs went to the podium to, somewhat ominously imho, proclaim that with these sections on public participation and democracy firmly written into our county’s ordinances (is that the word?),  going forward we shall not have the contention we did over the last 10 years.

I’m wondering why not?  Seems to me the reason is that private property owners will have their chance up front to keep the public sector from trying to plan for growth patterns.  We’ll see.  Hopefully he is partially right, hopefully there will not be contention and 10 year delays, but that will be due to our understanding that we need to start planning for growth patterns that take into account broader societal trends like increasing gas prices, climate change, loss of habitat and loss of resource lands.

So come join us – me and maybe one or two others left of center and a whole bunch of people who either own land or are otherwise employed in the realty/construction/development industry as we make our way through a new private, er public participation section and possibly open space element I believe.

Some good GPU links I ran into these past couple of weeks…

From KMUD’s Radio Archives…

11/12/13  The Environment Show at 7PM: With guests Gordon Leppig and Ali Freeland:  Great great stuff – especially by Gordon.  I’ll make a note to transcribe some of what he said later.

11/19/13  The Environment Show at 7PM: Scott Greacen on the Humboldt Builders Exchange’s letter   (35 min in)  In it, being quite fair and neutral, Scott describes the new members of the Planning Commission as “right wing kooks”.  I’m guessing he means the HumCPR members Bob Morris and Lee Ulansey, probably Alan Bongio (who I’m not familiar with), but they might disagree with such characterizations.  Scott says in three words what I am trying to write in many, many, many words.

Hum CPR Hour – 2nd Thursday of each month at 7PM:  Always fascinating if you can make it through the hour.  It difficult because they have to speak so carefully not to divulge too much.  Sometimes a caller will and then they have to quickly clean up the mess.  It’s really fascinating.

Also this random find which states the divide in Humboldt quite well.

In Humboldt county, the issue has been very contentious, with groups arranged in surprising ways on the issue.  There, the motor force was the rape and then abandonment of Pacific Lumber land, which created the specter of quarter sections of TPZ land sold off as “estates”.  
There, the controversy split communities that had been united against timber harvest excess.  It also pitted young, primarily landless, “carbon footprint” enviros against older enviros who had homestead land. 

I think this encapsulates a very important divide that we either don’t see or don’t understand.  I don’t know if this is intentional or not.  I don’t think it is.  I think many of us truly are in denial about the larger environmental impacts of the policies we are writing.

Thats why the Guiding Principles are so important.  It’s there where the rubber hits the linguistic road.  There is no way to put lipstick on a pig like qualifying our community’s interest in “protecting agriculture and timberland for the long term” – or, for that matter – “honoring landowners”.


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