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CAP/CPC Accomplishments

 January – March of 2017 

1) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • In January we sent a letter to the Planning Commission in support of adding a Valley Springs section to the Community Planning element of the Draft General Plan.  This is part of our ongoing effort to include the unique voice and the unique needs of each unincorporated community in the general plan.
  • Also in January, CPC volunteers received a flash drive including the documents they could use to prepare scoping comments in response to Calaveras County’s notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact report on the Draft General Plan.
  • In February, CAP/CPC volunteers and staff wrote, edited, printed, and delivered an 80-page general plan scoping document to the Calaveras County Planning Department.  The document included a 20-page guide to CEQA compliance, along with specific direction for the analysis impacts to agricultural lands, land use planning, greenhouse gas emissions, circulation, recreation, noise, and growth inducement.  The comment also included 15 folders of documents demonstrating how other counties have evaluated and mitigated impacts to agricultural lands, air quality, biological resources, child care, open space, fire safety, climate change, economic development, historic resources, and watersheds. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions)
  • Also in February, the CPC sent a memo to Board of Supervisors regarding the need for CEQA environmental review for any commercial cannabis growing ban that the Board may approve. This memo was followed with a letter to the editors of the local papers.
  • Finally, in February we invited land use activist from three neighboring foothill counties to meet in March to inspire each other with recent accomplishments, and to exchange useful advocacy advice.
  • In March, CAP/CPC Prepared tabled at Irish Days in Murphys from 9am to 4 pm.  We conveyed to people the current status of the County’s General Plan Update. We collected 85 signatures and 29 photos in support of including community specific policies in the General Plan for the towns along the Highway 4 corridor and for Valley Spring
  • Also in March, land use activists from four foothill counties gathered in San Andreas for a day to exchange inspirational stories of recent victories, and to get advice to assist in ongoing efforts.

October-December 2016

CAP/CPC Accomplishments October – December 2016

Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • In October the CPC approved and posted a position paper on commercial cannabis cultivation in Calaveras County. The CPC supported the County’s proposal to evaluate the options in an environmental impact report before making a decision.  The CPC outlined the types of issues and alternatives that should be considered in such an EIR.   (See September 2016 at the Testimony, Comments and Opinions section of this site.)
  • Also in October, the CPC submitted our concerns regarding the draft general plan project description approved by the Board of Supervisors. Our letter listed the need to include community plans for Copperopolis and Valley Springs, the need to fill the fiscal holes in the plan, the need for an open space action plan, the need for more clarity in plan language, and the need to add more measures to reduce the harm from new development under the plan. (See October 2016 at the Testimony, Comments and Opinions section of this site.)

Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning 

  • In November, the CPC sent in a comment on the DEIR for the Tassajara Parks Project in Contra Costa County. This project proposed purchasing water from the Calaveras Public Utility District to serve the distant development project.  The terms of the purchase agreement were negotiated in closed session with CPUD, and the agreement was never made public in Calaveras County, nor discussed in a public meeting at CPUD.   (See link at end of Tassajara Parks story in the Planning Updates section of this site.)

July – September 2016

CAP/CPC Accomplishments 

Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • In July, the Planning Commission included in the Draft General Plan the text for Community Plans for District 2 communities and San Andreas. These plans were developed by the communities early in the general plan process, but were to be eliminated in 2014. The extensive community advocacy aimed at including these plans was successful.  However, this is a mixed victory, as community plans for Copperopolis, Valley Springs, and the Highway 4 corridor are still to be excluded from the proposed general plan.
  • Also in July, we assisted MyValleySprings.com as it completed merging the competing draft community plan texts into one draft compromise community plan for Valley Springs.
  • In August, Calaveras County formally disapproved the application for a permit to operate an asphalt plant adjacent to a neighborhood in Valley Springs. The rejection was on the grounds that the applicant did not respond to the County’s requests to prepare an EIR and to sign an indemnification agreement. This was the culmination of a year of activism organizing the community, advising community leaders, helping citizens communicate effectively with County government, and participating in appeal hearings.
  • In August and September, we opposed site specific land use designation requests before the Planning Commission to change the draft general plan map. These changes would have allowed the conversion of thousands of acres of natural resource and working lands to residential and commercial uses.  Many of these lands are in areas not served by public water and without regional road funding mechanisms.  These requests would have created the capacity for many times the amount of development needed during the life of the proposed general plan.  (See August 2016 at the Testimony, Comments and Opinions section of this site.)  Ultimately, approximately 13,000 acres of the approximately 18,000 acres of requests were denied.

April-June 2016

Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • In April, we assisted people preparing an initial study for submission to Calaveras County to highlight the potentially significant impacts of the proposed asphalt plant in Valley Springs. These potentially significant impacts should be evaluated in an environmental impact report.
  • In May, we advised local community groups regarding their proposed community plans, while the latest Planning Director met with some of them to discuss these plans.
  • In June, we sorted through archived documents and public comments to identify useful topics to address in a general plan alternative. Many of the topics raised by people in public comments have been left out of the County’s draft general plan.

January – March of 2016 

1) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • In January we emailed a letter to County Counsel explaining the importance of administrative hearings to respect the constitutionally protected due process rights of Calaveras County citizens, and asking for such a hearing before the Board of Supervisors. (See January 2016 at the Calaveras County General Plan section of this site.)  There was no
  • CPC volunteers continued to participate in the Planning Commission’s review of the General Plan
  • In February we facilitated another community meeting in Valley Springs regarding the proposed asphalt plant, and sent in comments urging the Board of Supervisors to require a conditional use permit to protect the community from hazardous substances to be used at the plant. (See February 2016 at the Testimony, Comments & Opinions section of this site.) The Board of Supervisors refused to require a conditional use
  • In March CPC members continued to appear before the Board of Supervisors, and continue to write letters to the Editor calling for the release of the Mintier General Plan. (See March 2016 at the Calaveras County General Plan Documents section of this )

2) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  • In February, We provided a memo to CCWD staff explaining the benefits of improving their public interest profile as they update their Urban Water Management Plan update. (See February 2016 at the Testimony, Comments and Opinions section of this )

CAP/CPC Accomplishments October – Dec of 2015

 1) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • In November we sent the Planning Director a 17-page Public Record Act Request for the Mintier General Plan. The plan was produced in 2010 and then shelved in 2012. The request included a detailed legal analysis explaining the County’s duty to release the document. (See November 2015 at the Calaveras County General Plan section of this )
  • In December, the County denied the CPC’s request for the Mintier General Plan, as well as similar requests from local media. We spoke to the BOS to refute the arguments against the release of the Mintier General Plan. (See December 2015 at the Calaveras County General Plan Documents section of this site.) We next filed an appeal with the Planning Commission, challenging the Planning Director’s rejection of our Public Record Act Request. The Planning Director rejected that appeal without a hearing, on the ground that it was not the type of decision that the Planning Commission reviews.

 

CAP/CPC Accomplishments July – September of 2015

Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

1) General Plan

  • July began months of CPC efforts to get the Planning Commission to add to the weak draft general plan, and to keep its essential parts. (See July 2015 at the Calaveras County General Plan Documents section of this )
  • Despite broad public support for the balanced 2008 vision statement, and our efforts to find a middle ground, the Planning Commission gutted public interest provisions of the General Plan Vision Statement in favor a statement focused on promoting free markets and private property rights. The Board of Supervisors would later support this new unbalanced
  • Despite our explanation of the benefits of having quantified objectives, and the need for the general plan provisions to have sufficient specificity to qualify as mitigation measures, the Planning Commission was adamant that the general plan should remain general. However, Commissioners would also delete general plan provisions they feared, for not having sufficient specificity to prevent the harm that could occur from the most extreme application of the “general”
  • In August, we offered the new Planning Commissioners more planning educational materials and general plan background documents to help get them get caught up with the previous eight years of the general plan update process.

2)    The proposed asphalt plant in Valley Springs.

  • In April of 2015, the Planning Director was pressured by two Supervisors to expedite approval of a proposed asphalt plant in Valley Springs. In a private letter to the plant applicant, and without notice to the public, the Director ruled that the plant needed no conditional use permit to operate at the existing quarry. When the cover up was exposed, it triggered several rounds of appeals, to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, by both project applicants and project opponents. This appeals process would not be completed until February of 2016.
  • The CPC got involved in the asphalt plant by commenting on the appeals starting in June, and by facilitating a community workshop in Valley Springs regarding the proposed asphalt plant in July. (See “CPC Letter re Asphalt Plant Appeal” at the Testimony, Comments & Opinions section of this site

3) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

CAP/CPC Accomplishments April to June of 2015

1) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • In May we emailed the Planning Director and spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting to support adoption of the Housing Element. Despite objections by some Board members, the element was approved by a vote of 3 to 0.
  • In June we continued our “Let’s Talk” series. This time we discussed how the General Plan can protect property rights. (See “Good Planning can enhance Property Rights, Property Values, & Property Interests” at the Testimony, Comments and Opinions section of this site) We also got an opinion piece published in the Calaveras Enterprise to publicize the June 30 BOS hearing on General Plan. To help folks advocate for their community plan, we analyzed the Avery/Hathaway Pines and Valley Springs Community Plans. The analyses showed how the plans were both consistent with the Draft General Plan, and also necessary to specify unique standards and implementation programs for these two communities. We sent letters to the BOS and spoke at the hearing regarding the importance of Community Plans, the value of the 2008 General Plan Vision, and the need to include all the plan components. (See June 2015 at the Calaveras County General Plan Documents section of this site.) Ultimately the Board decided to include the community plans for San Andreas, Rancho Calaveras, and District

2)  Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  • The CPC representative attended the MokeWISE Collaborative Group (MCG) meeting in April. CPC and MVS.com were the lone objectors to an AWA capital improvement feasibility study that refused to address long-term financial planning for the agency. Ultimately, the AWA agreed to the fiscal planning provision.
  • The CPC representative worked hard during April, through emails and conference calls, to negotiate the scope of work for the most controversial MokeWISE projects. The CPC pushed to get projects designed to be economically, socially, and environmentally acceptable. We pushed to get water agencies to address Wild and Scenic Designation for the Mokelumne River. We pushed to get upcountry water agencies to address long-term financial planning, and transparent government processes. We pushed to get groundwater accountability into groundwater
  • The CPC was diligent at its May meeting to review both the MokeWISE projects and the resolution of support. At the MCG meeting, Project 5a (Agricultural Water Conservation) was sent to List 2 (supported by a majority but not consensus) by the MCG, because the interest statements from Environmental Caucus participants were deleted from the project description and scope of
  • In June we went to the final MCG meeting of MokeWISE!

 

COMMUNITY OUTREACH ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR CAP 2014-15

Build CAP’s name recognition and base of support in Calaveras County

  1. Maintained CAP website weekly to increase traffic by providing updated and relevant content to the website:
  • Posted as requested by CAP Governing Committee and CAP Facilitator action alerts to increase citizen participation:
  • Key Planning Meetings for Calaveras County General Plan Update including Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisor meetings hearings on Housing Element, review of draft general plan (noise element, vision statement)
  • Updated and posted letters, editorials, comments, and other written contributions on CAP’s work: General Plan Update, local land use issues, water and rivers.
  • Posted information on CAP Benefit Brunch, and Love the Forest (benefitting CAP) Concert.
  1. Work with the Calaveras Planning Coalition (CPC) Facilitator to coordinate public education and outreach activities that will engage service clubs, students and the public in planning and quality of life issues in the county.
  • Provided support and assistance to publicize the “Let’s Talk Series” (2 events) for the community to learn about key planning issues and concerns, and building an advocacy effort for a balanced and legal general plan update.
  1. Work with the CAP Board to develop and disseminate public relations materials such as: press releases, editorial pieces, letters to the editor and visual materials and flyers for:
  • Draft General Plan Update
  • Land Use Controversy’s: Asphalt Plan
  • Mokelumne River Wild & Scenic Designation
  • Local water and land management: Supervisor Edson’ forest management plan for water conservation.
  1. Build CAP’s email distribution list and improve its social media presence.
    • Updated CAP’s email list for distribution of citizen alerts, fund raising, event announcements.
    • Monitored CAP’s Facebook page for posting and sharing relevant postings supporting CAP work. There has been significant increase viewing on CAP’s FB page and Website.
    • Monitored CAP’s e-mail each week for announcements or communications from funders, local groups, and agencies supporting CAP’s work, and communications from CAP members and member groups.
    • Produced and disseminated CAP 2014 Winter Newsletter and 2015 Summer Newsletter.
  1. Strengthen and build local alliances in support of the General Plan Update Proposals
  • Coordinated with Calaveras County’s Behavioral Health to meet with CAP’s Facilitator Tom Infusion for advocacy training on how to get housing policies favorable to increasing affordable housing for people with disabilities.
  • Posted and published information (events, meetings, letters, opinions, drafted comments to County) from Calaveras Planning Coalition’s advocacy efforts in support of the general plan update,
  1. Seek support from non-member groups for CPC planning proposals.
  • Maintained CAP’s relationship with Calaveras Unified School District’s Resilient Schools Design and Communities Resiliency Project: The project is a group process that supports communities to live in place by designing and managing human settlements that can adapt to changed and changing ecological and social conditions over This process enables groups to better address their social, cultural, ecological and economic needs by:
  1. Deepening the knowledge and skilled application of critical earth system science;
  2. Strengthening practices of self-governance through  effective collaborative decision-making  through  a design process;
  3. Increasing social cohesion and personal welfare through collective
These three pillars: eco-literacy, self-governance skills, and social/personal well-being – enhance a community’s overall resilience.
  • Attended two (2) stakeholder meetings (over 20 different stakeholders in attendance)
  • Selected to participate on two working groups: Economic and Environmental Health.

January – March 2015

1) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

March 2015 was a busy month of work on the General Plan Update.  It began with meetings with people from San Andreas, Wilseyville, and Railroad Flat who were distressed because the 2014 Draft General Plan did not include the community plans they had worked so hard on to chart the future of their communities. Following those meetings our guest opinion piece in the Calaveras Enterprise alerted communities throughout Calaveras County of the need to speak out to save their community plans.  (See Planning Updates “Save the Community Plans”.)  In response to the County’s call for comments on the 2014 Draft General Plan, the CPC submitted over 100 pages of comments and dozens of attached reference documents covering each section of the draft plan on March 20.  (See Planning Updates “1000+ Comment Pages on Calaveras Draft General Plan.”)  Our comments were newsworthy.  (See Planning Updates “County General Plan Gets Low Marks.”)

In February our focus continued to be on providing people with the tools they needed to comment on the 2014 Draft General Plan by the March 20 deadline.  CPC staff posted on our website useful reference documents and a guide for people to use to comment on the plan.  (See Calaveras County General Plan “How to Comment on the General Plan Update by March 18, 2015.”)  In addition, we shared our concerns regarding the new version of the Resource Production Element with the Agricultural Coalition that was responsible for drafting the original version of the element.  We continue to share a great deal of concerns in common, as we both favor the detail included in the Agricultural Coalition’s earlier version of the element.

In January 2015, the CPC turned its attention to preparing concerned citizens to comment on the Draft General Plan released in December 2014.  CPC members received a comment training from Tom Infusino, as well as a flash drive with useful reference documents to facilitate review of the plan.  CPC members volunteered to evaluate each section of the Draft General Plan.  Later in January about 50 people attended our public training “Let’s Talk About – Why the Draft General Plan Matters” at Mokelumne Hill.  Attendees were walked through a handout on how to comment on the Draft General Plan, and were directed to the CAP/CPC website for additional useful information.  The video of the training was posted on the CAP/CPC website for those unable to make it to the meeting.

2) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

Despite the bad feelings from the February meeting, the CPC agreed to stay in the MokeWISE process and to try continue to pursue its interests if that was at all possible. In March we worked hard through emails and conference calls with Environmental Caucus members to try to salvage something from the process that degenerated so badly at the last MCG meeting.  Ultimately our input helped Chris Shutes to prepare a presentation for the MCG on ways to move forward to meet both the purpose of MokeWISE and the interests of the Environmental Caucus to develop the least harm and most beneficial projects.  Efforts were made to restore important projects to the list.  Lots of work was delegated to self-selected project review groups for completion prior to the next meeting to try to resolve differences over the proposed projects.

February began with a marathon of reviewing and commenting on multiple documents to prepare for the MCG meeting. It did not matter one bit.  The MCG meeting was satisfying to some, but not productive for all.  The project review process resulted in some of the environmentally best projects getting booted off the preferred list, and some of the environmentally worst projects getting retained.   The spirit of collaboration had ebbed.  Later that month the CPC blocked the proposed MokeWISE Policy calling for “local control” of the San Joaquin Groundwater Basin by a group that would not include upcountry representation. The MokeWISE Environmental Caucus shared emails and a conference call to try to regroup.

January began with reviewing the proposed MokeWISE projects and comparing notes over conference calls with the MokeWISE environmental caucus.  These concerns were shared with the MokeWISE consultants, and then with the MokeWISE Collaborative Group (MCG) as we discussed projects at the January meeting.  In addition, we redrafted the long and detailed description of the Public Interest Profile Enhancement Project into a 1-page policy proposal in accord with direction from the MokeWISE Policy and Initiatives Working Group.  Four MokeWISE participants spoke on water recycling and collaboration on a panel at the 11th Annual Water Law Symposium in San Francisco.

June-December 2014

1)     Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • The December CPC meeting was part one of a two part training on how to evaluate the adequacy of a general plan.  First, the CPC facilitator described the remaining steps in the General Plan Update process.  Next, he reviewed the topics that should be included in the County’s general plan update text.  The workshop continued with an explanation of how to use the general plan report card.  The report card is tool for reviewing the general plan using the recommendations in the 2003 General Plan Guidelines, as well as planning statues and relevant case law.  The workshop will conclude in January.  The general plan report card is available on the CAP webpage.  We hope that it will assist more people to constructively review the adequacy of the General Plan using valid standards.  The 2014 Draft GPU can be reviewed on the CAP webpage , or at Calaveras County Planning.

2) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning   

  •  In October, CPC representatives participated in the MokeWISE MCG meeting, and provided comments on the problems with the water availability analysis.  Also in October, a CPC representative participated in the meeting of the Policy and Initiatives Working Group of MokeWISE.  The CPC agreed to discuss its Public Interest Profile Enhancement Project proposal with local officials to gage their willingness to participate.
  •  In October and November, CPC representatives met with Calaveras County officials to determine their willingness to participate in the proposed Public Interest Profile Enhancement Project.  The project would involve implementing public interest programs at the County level to better achieve the public interest standards considered in state water permit proceedings.  This would in turn, reduce the likelihood and extent of future water permit protests, and reduce the time needed to process water permit applications.
  • In November, the CPC Brown Bag presentation was an explanation by Supervisor Cliff Edson of his proposed countywide program of watershed management for increased water yield.  Although skeptical of the economic and environmental efficacy of landscape management for increased water yield, a CPC representative volunteered to serve on the steering committee for the program.  Supervisor Edson’s presentation to the Board of Supervisors can be seen on CAP’s webpage videos.     

1) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

  • In July, the CPC assisted the Economic Development Company by reviewing its proposed economic development element for the Calaveras County General Plan.   Although the CPC had previously submitted a less detailed list of economic development policies to include in the plan, we provided help so that the EDC could make constructive suggestions.
  •  In August, the CPC encouraged the Planning Commission to mine nuggets of useful information from the Mintier Draft General Plan text, or to release it to the CPC so that we could do so.  This was a follow up to our prior request of the Planning Director to allow people to review the Mintier Draft General Plan.  The Planning Commission, like the Planning Director, declined our request.  Nevertheless, we completed the next step up the chain of command to seek the release of this document, and to further the transparency of the general plan update process.             

2) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  •  CPC Facilitator Tom Infusino, along with member group representatives from the Foothill Conservancy and MyValleySpings.com, participated in the ongoing monthly meetings of the MokeWISE Collaborative Group (MCG).  That group is helping consultants to craft a water availability analysis for use in evaluating project proposals on the Mokelumne River.  At the July meeting, the CPC representative made a half-hour presentation describing the CPC, its members, its mission, its beliefs, its interests in MokeWISE, and its policy proposals.  The CPC facilitator also participated in a meeting of the MokeWISE Policy and Initiatives Working Group, which is struggling to address the policy issues raised by the MCG.
  • In early July, the CPC held a Brown Bag discussion with Pat McGreevy on the Calaveras Public Utility District water system, and possible improvements to it to address drought preparedness. This was a follow up to his earlier field trip that visited selected parts of the water system.
  • In late July, the CPC facilitator and some member group representatives submitted pre-meeting emails, attended the BOS study session, and testified before the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors to encourage their continued support for Mokelumne River Wild & Scenic Designation.  The CPC members provided important rebuttals to comments from the local water district and from government representatives from neighboring Amador County.  The Calaveras BOS voted to continue to support wild and scenic designation.
  • About 50 people attended the CPC community workshop entitled “Let’s Talk About Water” on September 15.  CPC facilitator and attorney Tom Infusino provided an overview of California water rights law.  County Environmental Health Director Brian  Moss spoke about county groundwater resources.  CCWD spokesperson Joel Metzger provided practical water conservation tips.

 

April – June 2014

A) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

        1) The General Plan Update     

  • In May we held a public workshop entitled, Why Community Plans Matter.  The three presenters Joyce Techel, Fawn McLaughlin, and Jim Kavanaugh each gave their perspectives as people who participated in the community planning efforts in Valley Springs, Mokelumne Hill, and San Andreas.   Moderator, Tom Infusino, provided insight on the history of the community plan updates, the importance of community plans, and how such plans can be successfully incorporated into the General Plan Update.
  • In June we went with Economic Development Company representatives to meet with Planning Director Peter Maurer regarding the Economic Development Element.  The CPC provided Mr. Maurer with our previous recommendations to include seven of the policies from the draft Economic Development Element in the General Plan Update.  We are working with the EDC as they provide additional input to the County by July 12.

       2) Sustainable Economic Development

  • In April, the CPC facilitator and Calaveras County Economic Development Company members met with Larry Cope of Central Sierra Economic Development to identify market areas to study in the ALLIES project.  In our June meeting, we decided to test the database inquiries on some of the mapped market areas this month.

      3) Project Review

  • In June we reviewed the appropriateness of extending the Saddle Creek Development  Agreement without first updating the environmental impact report from 1994.  (See this website; Testimony, Comments & Opinions, June 2014, To P.C. by email on Saddle Creek DA fin.)  Our review indicated that the EIR was outdated and in need of a             supplement.  We proposed to the Planning Commission procedures to promote public participation in project monitoring and in the use of old EIRs for new project approvals.  

 B) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  • In April, we sent in 40 pages of comments on DWR’s review of the MAC IRWMP. (See at this website; Testimony, Comments & Opinions; April 2014, Written Comments to DWR)  Unfortunately, DWR ignored our comments. DWR gave the MAC IRWMP a clean bill of health. In June we attended the MAC IRWMP follow-up meeting.  Since DWR had given the plan a clean review, the water agencies would not change any aspect of the plan over which we had disagreements.  We put the agencies on notice that the CPC would seek other forums to address these issues.  We expressed our disappointment that the agencies were passing up a collaborative opportunity to resolve the issues.
  • Also in April, we prepared for and went to the MokeWISE project review focus group to provide a preliminary screening of proposed projects. At that time, we noticed that there were no projects to address many of the interests and objectives we had identified for the MokeWISE process. We identified two projects for review.  The Public Interest Profile Enhancement (PIPE) Project, and the Calaveras Mixed Use Project.
  • The PIPE Project is designed to achieve public interest objectives and thereby improve water agency applications to the State Water Board. This project would identify the public interest criteria that the State Water Board may consider when reviewing a water right permit.  Then it would evaluate each water agency’s ability to meet these criteria.   Agencies would share their successes on in various efforts, so that they could learn from each other. Then each agency would     develop a list of action items it could pursue to improve its performance on these criteria.  In this way, public interest groups would get             the water agency and land use reforms they seek, and the water agencies would have a better chance of a smooth regulatory approval of future water permits from the State Water Board.
  •  The Calaveras Mixed Use Project would assist CCWD in seeking an assignment of the state filings for its area of origin water rights by using the water not only for limited domestic use, but also for fishery enhancement and recreation.            
  • In May and June, we attended the MokeWISE meetings.  We put CPC down as sponsor for two projects: the Public Interest Profile Enhancement Project and the Land Use and Water Agency Coordination Project. The latter would develop procedures for regular meetings of water agency and land use planners to coordinate their efforts.
  • In April, May, and June we sent comments to CCWD, EBMUD, and UMRWA regarding state wild and scenic designation for the Mokelumne River.

January-March 2014

A) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning

        1) The General Plan Update     

  • Presented the chart of 17 general plan issues (State Approval Requirements AKA Stars) to the Board of Supervisors during their General Plan Update Workshop.  (1/28/14)
  • Over 50 people including community leaders in government and education attended the CPC lecture on the Who, What, Why and How of Planning.  (See this site: Testimony, Comments and Opinions; “Who What Why Planning.”)  The presentation included a walk though of the STARS Project, as well as questions and answers.  The event got good press coverage before and after. (2/3/14)
  • Attended the District 2 Supervisor’s cabinet meetings in January and February and generated a list of quality of life issues of concern to the area residents.   Provided suggestions on planning related items. Invited participants to the CPC meetings, MokeWISE public meeting, and the Wild & Scenic designation public hearing. (2/17/14)
  • Walked Economic Development students at Calaveras High through a systems analysis of the local economy. They identified problems with the economy and ways to improve the economy.  After spring break, they will do more research on those problems and solutions and prepare written reports. (2/20/14-3/20/14)
  • Met with new Planning Director Peter Maurer, to provide a history lesson on the General Plan Update from 2006-2014. (3/19/14)

2) Sustainable Economic Development

  •  In January we met with the Calaveras County Economic Development Company.  Based on our prior discussion, the CPC identified 3 planning projects on which the groups could  collaborate.  The CCEDC agreed that they would like to begin by working with us on the  ALLIES project and the STARS project.  After they get more established, they would like to  work on the other project.  In March, the CPC facilitator and the  Calaveras County Economic Development Company members and Larry Cope of Central Sierra Economic Development to discussed the next steps in the Inventory of ALLIES Project. Larry encouraged the CCEDC to focus on business retention and expansion in the first four years of economic development work.  This will give us time to repair the broken project review process.  This will allow us to improve the economy without extensive investments in new infrastructure.

B) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  • In January we learned that the Department of Water Resources responded favorably to some of our comments on the IRWM Plan Review Procedures.  (See this site, Testimony, Comments and Opinions, “Please Amend the IRWMP Plan Review Procedures.”) The public comment period on DWR’s plan reviews was extended from 10 days to 30 days.  DWR identified which plan review standards would be substantively applied. DWR specifically identified the plan contents that were statutorily mandated.  Plans that do not have these contents will not qualify to support a   grant submission.
  • In January we continued to meet with MAC IRWMP implementation team.  The MAC IRWMP was submitted to DWR for review.  We identified two new projects with   the potential to add to the IRWMP list: Shads Reservoir and the Valley Springs Flood Control/Sports Complex.
  • In January, CPC staff and member group representatives prepared for and attended the  CCWD workshop on Forestry & Water. (1/23/14)  In March we had follow up communications with CCWD and with County officials to consider financing options for source watershed protection work.
  • Alerted folks to the Board of Supervisors hearing on State Wild & Scenic designation for the Mokelumne River.  Volunteers submitted direct and rebuttal testimony, including members of the Earth Club General Plan Team.  The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported Wild & Scenic designation for the Mokelumne River. (2/25/14) (See this site, Videos, Calaveras Board of Supervisors.)
  • Sent urgent comments to CCWD regarding Mokelumne Wild & Scenic designation.  The CCWD Board decided to table the matter for a month or so to learn more about it before making a decision.  (3/11/14)
  • CPC staff and member group representatives attended MokeWISE MCG meetings in January, February and March; as well as the public outreach meeting. The Mokewise Consensus Group (MCG) reviewed the environmental conditions technical memorandum, and the proposed water availability methodology, and began to propose  and evaluate projects. (See www.mokewise.org )

October – December 2013

A) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning   

1. The General Plan Update     

  •  On October 29, the Calaveras High School Earth Club’s General Plan Team gave their presentations to the Board of Supervisors.
  •  On November 13, we met with Calaveras County Economic Development Company to discuss work on the General  Plan         Update.   At the EDC meeting we identified three tasks on which the CPC would be willing to collaborate with the EDC:
  • Inventorying community-specific assets, development capacities, limiting factors, and next steps.
  • Including in the General Plan the provisions necessary for the County to develop the policies, programs, and ordinances to help project applicants comply with specific plan law, the Subdivision Map Act, and CEQA.
  • Helping to gather the existing long-term plans regarding water supply, wastewater treatment, regional roads, public transportation, schools, libraries, hospitals, etc. for review, comparison, and assessment.

B) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  • We consulted CPC  member group the Foothill Conservancy regarding EBMUD’s Camanche Water Permit Extension DEIR, and spoke at the public hearing in San Andreas on October 21.
  • We prepared for and attended MokeWise meetings in October, November, and December.  We commented on draft documents.
  • We submitted comments to the Department of Water Resources on the IRWMP Draft Plan Review Procedures on October 18.
  • We distributed water conservation devices and information at the Moke River Cleanup on October 19.
  • We participated in an IRWMP implementation meeting with AWA, FHC and Rob Alcott from UMRWA on November 19.  We came to agreement on the  schedule for the next steps.  We agreed on the need for more conservation and environmental projects.

C)  Support for CAP/CPC

  •  We prepared for and facilitated CPC meetings in September, October, and November.

July – September 2013

A) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning     

1)  The General Plan Update

  • In July, after receiving Calaveras County’s request for suggested General Plan Update topics and text, we circulated that notice our to our member groups with suggestions on how they could reply to the County.  In early August we helped the Earth Club General Plan Team as they filled out their policy  input forms for the General Plan Update.  Next, we held a house party in Murphys and inspired some of those in attendance to fill out the policy input forms.  By August 16 deadline, we sent in our topics and text suggestions.  (See Testimony, Comments, and Opinions, August 2013)
  • First, we  summarized the topics that had been identified over the prior 7 years of the General Plan Update process.  These included topics we raised in our previous comments, and topics raised by people in public workshops.  Next, we noted the need to include county-wide mitigation programs for development impacts.  The third section of our comments included the policy input sheets filled out by the Earth Club.  The fourth section of our comments made recommendations for properly incorporating the text of the community plans.  Our final section identified selected policies from draft optional elements for inclusion in  the mandatory elements of the General Plan Update text.
  • The attachments to our comments included over 60 letters of support for general plan update topics.  The body of our comments included photos of some  of those supporters.
  • In August, we  prepared written comments and spoke at the Planning Commission in support  of planning staff recommendations regarding denial of Crazy Horse Estates.  The proposed subdivision was for more parcels than allowed by the 1996 General Plan Circulation Element.  The Planning Commission denied the project on a 5 –0 vote.  In September, we prepared  additional written comments and spoke at the Board of Supervisor’s appeal hearing in support of the Planning Commission’s denial of Crazy Horse Estates. (See Testimony, Comments, and Opinions, September 2013, CPC to BOS on Crazy Horse.)  The Board denied the appeal and the project on a 5-0 vote.  For people to continue to support the General Plan Update,  it was important for people to realize that they could depend on the County to respect the balance of interests struck in the existing General Plan.

B) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  • In July we agreed to participate in the MokeWISE watershed planning process.  This 24 month stakeholder process includes federal agencies, regional water agencies, and non-government organizations seeking consensus on  management of the resources in the Mokelumne River Watershed.  In August, we were interviewed by the MokeWISE facilitator.  In early      September, we actively participated in the first meeting of the MokeWISE group, and agreed to outreach to key stakeholders not yet involved.  In Mid-September we provided a general statement of interests and a      detailed statement of hoped for outcomes.  (See Testimony, Comments, and Opinions, MokeWISE Statement of Interests and Outcomes.)  In late September we reviewed the groups meeting protocol
  • In late August we reviewed the IRWMP Draft Plan Review procedures, and circulated a strategy email to our member groups.  In  mid-September, we met with members of the MAC IRWMP Regional Participants Committee to chart the next steps for getting the plan reviewed by DWR, for doing more outreach to interested stakeholders, and for getting additional project proposals that deal with plan provisions not well covered by the current project list.
  • Starting in July we purchased water 44 conservation devices, burned water conservation information disks, and packaged them for distribution at the Amador County Fair and at Green Day in Calaveras County.  So far we have  distributed 26 packages. 

April – June 2013

A) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning        

1) The General Plan Update     

  • Drafted and  sent the Planning Department a letter asking that the General Plan Update text be drafted before scoping and before the EIR is prepared (4/12/13).  (See this site: Planning Documents, Testimony, Comments and Opinions; GPU Scoping before      Policies). Received a thank you call from  the Planning Director for the heads up.  Attended BOS meeting and  spoke regarding the need to produce a Public Review Draft General Plan Update text prior to scoping and completing an EIR for the General Plan Update.  The BOS gave direction to the Planning Department to do so.  Supervisor  Callaway publicly thanked CAP for the letter advising the County on this issue (5/14/13).
  • Drafted and sent a letter to the Planning Department on the General Plan Update growth      projection and its implications (6/27/13).  (See this site: Planning Documents, Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Final Growth Numbers letter.)
  • Helped MyValleySprings.com to prepare an excellent comment letter on the Draft 2 General Plan Map (3/28/13).
  • Attended BOS meeting and spoke in favor of providing public sur-rebuttal during appeal hearings before the Board of Supervisors.  The BOS approved  public sur-rebuttal on a 4 to 1 vote (5/14).  (See this site: Planning Documents, Testimony, Comments  and Opinions; Sur-Rebuttal at Appeal Hearings.)
  • Participated in  MVS.com filed trip of through the Valley Springs area with      Supervisor Edson. (5/22/13)

2) Habitat Conservation 

  • Attended the  Northern Sierra Nevada Foothills Connectivity Project workshop in Sacramento (4/5/13).  Agreed to provide input on habitat connectivity  in Amador and Calaveras counties.  Followed up with habitat mapping meetings with representatives of the Mother Lode Land Trust, the American  River Conservancy,  and the Foothill Conservancy.
  • Completed a wildlife habitat and  connectivity map and supporting  documentation.  Submitted same to  California Department of Fish and Wildlife (5/10/13).

B) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  • Attended Calaveras County BOS meeting and spoke in support of a Water Element for  the General Plan Update (5/14)

January – March 2013

A) Promoting Public Participation in Land Use Planning   

1)  The General Plan Update     

  • Participated in an all-day meeting with Calaveras High School Earth Club General Plan Team.  They did dry runs of their speeches on county needs as seen by youth: Wild & Scenic designation for the Mokelumne River,  economic development, childcare, a mental health center, an  after-school center, a skateboard park, and a performing arts center.  (3/7/13)
  • Completed and handed in the 36-page CPC comments on the draft environmental setting sections of the GPU EIR, along with a disk of additional background  materials (3/12/13).  (See this site:  Planning Documents;  Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Comments on the Preliminary Setting Sections of the General Plan Update DEIR.)
  • Sent an  email to County Counsel and to the Planning Department to get them to  clarify/correct their view on the content of the administrative record for the general plan update.  The Planning Department  clarified/corrected their view at the BOS hearing on 3/19/13.
  • Sent out  an action alert to get folks to comment on the GPU Draft 2  Map (3/15/13).
  • Testified at the BOS hearing regarding the Draft 2 Map (3/19/13).  Appreciated the staff review of comments on the Draft 1 map,  acknowledged inclusion of community plan maps, supported community centered development, supported reducing the impacts of development on resource production lands, and explained the need to substantiate buildout estimates with evidence in the record.  (See this site: Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; CPC General Comments on the Draft 2 Map.)
  • Sent out an alert encouraging groups to participate in the BOS      Economic Development Workshop (3/20/13).
  • Participated in the BOS Economic Development Workshop on 3/20/13.  (See this      site: Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Economic Development Workshop Comments.)
  • Testified  at  the Sawmill Project hearing (2/26/13).  The BOS denied the project without prejudice by a unanimous vote. (See this      site: Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; to BOS on Sawmill.)

B) Promoting Public Participation in Water Planning

  • Presented the  RPC with a list of tasks to complete to improve the MAC IRWMP  over  the next couple of years.  The RPC agreed to continue to meet quarterly to improve the MAC IRWMP. (1/23/13)
  • Presented the UMRWA Board with a letter encouraging their support to fund MAC IRWMP implementation and improvement.  The UMRWA Board gave their staff direction to provide support for ongoing RPC work improving the MAC IRWMP,  and to present a budget proposal in March/April 2013 reflecting the costs for MAC  IRWMP implementation.  (1/25/13)  (See this site, Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Letter to UMRWA on  MAC IRWMP.)
  • Sent an  email supporting Calaveras BOS endorsement of the  MAC  IRWMP.   (3/11/13)  The BOS endorsed the MAC IRWMP.

July – September 2013

LAND USE PLANNING

   A)  The General Plan Update

  1. In July, after receiving Calaveras County’s request for suggested General Plan Update topics and text, we circulated that notice our to our member groups with suggestions on how they could reply to the County.  In early August we helped the Earth Club General Plan Team as they filled out their policy input forms for the General Plan Update.  Next, we held a house party in Murphys and inspired some of those in attendance to fill out the policy input forms.  By August 16 deadline, we sent in our topics and text suggestions.  (See Testimony, Comments, and Opinions, August 2013)
  2. First, we summarized the topics that had been identified over the prior 7 years of the General Plan Update process.  These included topics we raised in our previous comments, and topics raised by people in public workshops.  Next, we noted the need to include county-wide mitigation programs for development impacts.  The third section of our comments included the policy input sheets filled out by the Earth Club.  The fourth section of our comments made recommendations for properly incorporating the text of the community plans.  Our final section identified selected policies from draft optional elements for inclusion in the mandatory elements of the General Plan Update text.   The attachments to our comments included over 60 letters of support for general plan update topics.  The body of our comments included photos of some of those supporters.

 SUPPORT FOR CAP/CPC

  1. In August, we prepared written comments and spoke at the Planning Commission in support of planning staff recommendations regarding denial of Crazy Horse Estates.  The proposed subdivision was for more parcels than allowed by the 1996 General Plan Circulation Element.  The Planning Commission denied the project on a 5 –0 vote.  In September, we prepared additional written comments and spoke at the Board of Supervisor’s appeal hearing in support of the Planning Commission’s denial of Crazy Horse Estates. (See Testimony, Comments, and Opinions, September 2013, CPC to BOS on Crazy Horse.)  The Board denied the appeal and the project on a 5-0 vote.  For people to continue to support the General Plan Update, it was important for people to realize that they could depend on the County to respect the balance of interests struck in the existing General Plan.

RIVERS & WATER

  1. In July we agreed to participate in the MokeWISE watershed planning process.  This 24 month stakeholder process includes federal agencies, regional water agencies, and non-government organizations seeking consensus on management of the resources in the Mokelumne River Watershed.  In August, we were interviewed by the MokeWISE facilitator.  In early September, we actively participated in the first meeting of the MokeWISE group, and agreed to outreach to key stakeholders not yet involved.  In Mid-September we provided a general statement of interests and a detailed statement of hoped for outcomes.  (See Testimony, Comments, and Opinions, MokeWISE Statement of Interests and Outcomes.)  In late September we reviewed the groups meeting protocol
  2. In late August we reviewed the IRWMP Draft Plan Review procedures, and circulated a strategy email to our member groups.  In mid-September, we met with members of the MAC IRWMP Regional Participants Committee to chart the next steps for getting the plan reviewed by DWR, for doing more outreach to interested stakeholders, and for getting additional project proposals that deal with plan provisions not well covered by the current project list.
  3. Starting in July we purchased water 44 conservation devices, burned water conservation information disks, and packaged them for distribution at the Amador County Fair and at Green Day in Calaveras County.  So far we have distributed 26 packages.

April – June 2013

LAND USE PLANNING

   A)  The General Plan Update     

  1. Drafted and sent the Planning Department a letter asking that the General Plan Update text be drafted before scoping and before the EIR is prepared (4/12/13).  (See this site: Planning Documents, Testimony, Comments and Opinions; GPU Scoping before Policies). Received a thank you call from the Planning Director for the heads up.  Attended BOS meeting and spoke regarding the need to produce a Public Review Draft General Plan Update text prior to scoping and completing an EIR for the General Plan Update.  The BOS gave direction to the Planning Department to do so.  Supervisor Callaway publicly thanked CAP for the letter advising the County on this issue (5/14/13).  
  2. Drafted and sent a letter to the Planning Department on the General Plan Update growth projection and its implications (6/27/13).  (See this site: Planning Documents, Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Final Growth Numbers letter.)

SUPPORT FOR CAP/CPC 

  1. Helped MyValleySprings.com to prepare an excellent comment letter on the Draft 2 General Plan Map (3/28/13).
  2. Attended BOS meeting and spoke in favor of providing public sur-rebuttal during appeal hearings before the Board of Supervisors.  The BOS approved public sur-rebuttal on a 4 to 1 vote (5/14).  (See this site: Planning Documents, Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Sur-Rebuttal at Appeal Hearings.)
  3. Participated in MVS.com filed trip of through the Valley Springs area with Supervisor Edson. (5/22/13)

HABITAT CONSERVATION

  1. Attended the Northern Sierra Nevada Foothills Connectivity Project workshop in Sacramento (4/5/13).  Agreed to provide input on habitat connectivity in Amador and Calaveras counties.  Followed up with habitat mapping meetings with representatives of the Mother Lode Land Trust, the American River Conservancy, and the Foothill Conservancy.
  2. Completed a wildlife habitat and connectivity map and supporting documentation.  Submitted same to California Department of Fish and Wildlife (5/10/13).

RIVERS & WATER

  1. Attended Calaveras County BOS meeting and spoke in support of a Water Element for the General Plan Update (5/14)

January – March 2013

LAND USE PLANNING

   A)  The General Plan Update     

  1. Participated in an all-day meeting with Calaveras High School Earth Club General Plan Team.  They did dry runs of their speeches on county needs as seen by youth: Wild & Scenic designation for the Mokelumne River, economic development, childcare, a mental health center, an after-school center, a skateboard park, and a performing arts center.  (3/7/13)
  2. Completed and handed in the 36-page CPC comments on the draft environmental setting sections of the GPU EIR, along with a disk of additional background materials (3/12/13).  (See this site:  Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Comments on the Preliminary Setting Sections of the General Plan Update DEIR.)
  3. Sent an email to County Counsel and to the Planning Department to get them to clarify/correct their view on the content of the administrative record for the general plan update.  The Planning Department clarified/corrected their view at the BOS hearing on 3/19/13.
  4. Sent out an action alert to get folks to comment on the GPU Draft 2 Map (3/15/13).
  5. Testified at the BOS hearing regarding the Draft 2 Map (3/19/13).  Appreciated the staff review of comments on the Draft 1 map, acknowledged inclusion of community plan maps, supported community centered development, supported reducing the impacts of development on resource production lands, and explained the need to substantiate buildout estimates with evidence in the record.  (See this site: Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; CPC General Comments on the Draft 2 Map.)
  6. Sent out an alert encouraging groups to participate in the BOS Economic Development Workshop (3/20/13).
  7. Participated in the BOS Economic Development Workshop on 3/20/13.  (See this site: Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Economic Development Workshop Comments.)

SUPPORT FOR CAP/CPC

  1. Testified at the Sawmill Project hearing (2/26/13).  The BOS denied the project without prejudice by a unanimous vote. (See this site: Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; to BOS on Sawmill.)

RIVERS & WATER

  1. Presented the RPC with a list of tasks to complete to improve the MAC IRWMP over the next couple of years.  The RPC agreed to continue to meet quarterly to improve the MAC IRWMP.  (1/23/13)
  2. Presented the UMRWA Board with a letter encouraging their support to fund MAC IRWMP implementation and improvement.  The UMRWA Board gave their staff direction to provide support for ongoing RPC work improving the MAC IRWMP, and to present a budget proposal in March/April 2013 reflecting the costs for MAC IRWMP implementation.  (1/25/13)  (See this site, Planning Documents; Testimony, Comments and Opinions; Letter to UMRWA on MAC IRWMP.)
  3. Sent an email supporting Calaveras BOS endorsement of the MAC IRWMP.   (3/11/13)  The BOS endorsed the MAC IRWMP.

 January 2012

RIVERS & WATER

  1. CPC staff testified at the EBMUD hearing on the Draft EIR for the revised 2040 WSMP, and gave a thank you card to staff for their recommendation to remove Pardee Expansion from the plan. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions.
  2. CPC staff sent in a critique of EBMUD’s EIR, to insure against any EBMUD backsliding on the proposal to remove Pardee Expansion from the 2040 WSMP.

February 2012

LAND USE PLANNING

A)  General Plan Update

  1. CPC participants and MyValleySprings.com members sent information to the Planning Department regarding the availability of grant funding to help with general plan and community planning efforts.
  2. CPC staff worked with MyValleySprings.com members to craft a proposal to modify the Preferred Alternative Map for Valley Springs, to try to incorporate more of the planning principles expressed by the diverse interest groups in the area.
  3. CPC staff and members testified at the BOS Study Session and sent in preliminary written comments regarding the Draft 1 General Plan Maps. We also spoke in opposition to a proposal for an anti-planning Agenda 21 Resolution. Our comments included a sample of a more balanced and accurate statement for the general plan text regarding real estate property rights, the public interest, and government authority. (See BOS videotape for 2/14/12.)

B)  Other Land Use Updates

  1. After the court decision issued a scathing rebuke of the Trinitas project (see NEWS “Trinitas Bankruptcy Court…”, November 2011), the Board of Supervisors met to consider settlement of the related cases. CPC staff and member groups testified prior to the Board of Supervisor’s closed session, to encourage any such settlement to include protection for the environment and enforcement of the County’s zoning code.
  2. CPC participant and KIRC member Lew Mayhew submitted a briefing to the County on the age of groundwater in parts of the west county, and its limited potential for recharge. This technical information supports the efforts by the County to limit future residential reliance on limited groundwater.

RIVERS & WATER

  1. CPC staff got UMRWA to make the MAC IRWMP water project proposals public, and sent out emails to concerned citizens who may want to review them. 
  2. As part of his activity on the IRWMP RPC, CPC staff contacted water quality agencies regarding current activities, annually reportable outcomes, and future funding availability for inclusion in the IRWMP Update.
  3. CPC staff made written suggestions to the Mokelumne Forum IRCUP Grant Subcommittee for incorporation into the draft “Mokelumne WISE” grant request. These suggestions promoted integrating environmental protection and public participation into the water planning process.

March 2012

LAND USE PLANNING

  1. As part of our continuing effort to promote the effectiveness of the Planning Commission, we sent information packets to the new Planning Commissioner with information on the Commission’s role in CEQA, specific plans, public notice, variances, Native American consultation, and public hearings.
  2. CPC staff expressed conditional support for the County applying for a grant to implement the Copperopolis Community Plan. After one supervisor’s airing of objections, the BOS gave unanimous support for the funding effort. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions; see also BOS Video for 3/13/12) CPC staff also sent out emails to encourage people to sign up for the new Copperopolis Community Plan Committee.

OUTREACH & COLLABORATION

  1. CPC and Foothill Conservancy staff developed water conservation handouts (paper and DVD) for distribution at events and posting on our websites. We handed them out at EPFW’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Murphys, and later at the Earth Day celebrations in Angels.

RIVERS & WATER

  1. CPC staff prepared for and attended the MAC IRWMP Update meeting. Some of our language was adopted to retain and to strengthen the water quality policies. We helped staff by identifying easy data collection opportunities for monitoring and reporting. We sent out the IRWMP project proposal form to Calaveras County Environmental Management and encouraged them to collaborate with CCWD in proposals for the Barney Way sewer project, to prevent flawed septic systems from polluting the Mokelumne River.

April 2012

LAND USE PLANNING

   A)  General Plan Update

  1. The CPC and MyValleySprings.com sent in detailed, parcel specific, comments on the Draft 1 General Plan Map. These comments expressed concerns regarding fragmentation of natural resource lands and the need to reduce the impacts of future development on riparian corridors. They also identified other low impact development principles that would need to be included in the general plan text. CPC community groups in Supervisor District 2 sent in concerns regarding the incorporation of their community plan maps into the general plan map.
  2. The CPC sent in comments to EBMUD regarding the final EIR, and encouraging the EBMUD Board not to include Pardee Expansion in the revised 2040 WSMP. The EBMUD Board unanimously approved a revised 2040 WSMP that does not include Pardee Expansion.

May 2012

RIVERS & WATER

  1. CPC facilitator Tom Infusino, working with CPC member group Foothill Conservancy, helped put fiscal and environmental screens on projects proposed for the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan for the Calaveras and Amador region.  In addition, as part of our outreach work, we helped public interest groups in Amador and Calaveras Counties to review and comment on the projects proposed for inclusion in the plan.  This continues both our work on the IRWMP, and our work in collaborating with Amador County activists.

LAND USE PLANNING

  1. CPC facilitator Tom Infusino spoke at the May 24 Planning Commission meeting in support of the support of including the Paloma and the Mountain Ranch Community Plans in the Calaveras County General Plan Update.  These local plans were hashed out by the local residents, at well attended local public meetings, and were approved by near unanimous agreement of the residents.  The Planning Commission supported these plans and the planning process.  This helped to dispel the misconception being promoted in Calaveras County that planning is always a “top down” exercise manipulated by the   government to take away freedom and property rights.

June 2012

LAND USE PLANNING

  1. Work with neighbors in Ione resulted in an agreement with the developer of the proposed mineral processing facility to seek approval of the environmentally preferred alternative that would locate the facility farther from the residences.  This showed that by working out issues together we can find win-win solutions for jobs and the environment.  This helps to dispel the misconception being promoted in Amador County that one must choose between jobs and the environment.  This was part of our effort to collaborate with groups in Amador County.

EVENTS

  1. Our June 30th fundraising party was a big success, and gave another opportunity for planning activists from Amador and Calaveras to get to know each other better.

July 2012

LAND USE PLANNING

  1. The CPC Facilitator spoke in support of a draft County Noise Ordinance at the July 24 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.  He noted that ordinance is the missing enforcement piece of a larger system of use permits and environmental review designed to protect one’s right to the quiet enjoyment of one’s land.  This helps to dispel the misconception, promoted by others in Calaveras County, that the goal of environmental regulation is to take away people’s property rights.

August 2012

LAND USE PLANNING

  1. Prepared for and met with Citizens for San Andreas to explain options for integrating the Community Plan and the Mobility Plan. (8/9/12) These meetings continued over the months to come leading to a very successful December meeting with the Planning Director and the General Plan Coordinator identifying steps toward adoption of the San Andreas Community Plan and the San Andreas Mobility Plan.

RIVERS & WATER:

  1. Blocked consensus on the Regional Participants Committee to approve the MAC IRWMP project list without first addressing the detailed public comments presented by the Foothill Conservancy, the Ratepayers Protection Alliance, and Muriel Zeller of the Calaveras Planning Coalition. Successfully invited the Amador Water Agency and Calaveras County Water District staff to meet to discuss those project comments. This led to three months of CPC staff facilitating meetings to discuss the projects of concern with the commenters and the agencies, from August through October. As a result we identified nine projects that did not raise concerns among the commenters. In November, the RPC recommended two projects from that list for submission as part of the next grant package. This effort at successfully working toward consensus on future water projects was in sharp contrast to the 2006 MAC IRWMP process; that included no such effort, and promptly led to lawsuits over two of the projects.
  2.  Wrote to the BLM is support of the Commercial Boating Study and pilot program on the Mokelumne River. Sent the BLM notes of the public comments from their July meeting in Jackson. Sent comments to the Calaveras BOS as they prepared to write their letter of support for the project. (8/13/12)

September 2012

RIVERS & WATER

  1. In anticipation of the release of the MAC IRWMP for public review, we posted an article on the CAP website to assist people in reviewing and commenting on an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. When the MAC IRWMP was released for public review, we sent out notices to potentially concerned groups, and posted notice on our website. Began facilitating meetings between the Amador Water Agency and the Ratepayer Protection Alliance to resolve issues regarding projects proposed for state funding in the draft IRWMP.

LAND USE PLANNING

  1. Submitted comments to the Planning Commission in support of the Planning Department’s staff report recommendation to deny the Sawmill Project without prejudice, on the grounds that the project was not consistent the current general plan, and the CEQA documentation was incomplete. The Planning Commission delayed their decision for 90 days to see if County Planning, local citizens’ groups, and the developer could resolve the project’s problems. (9/12/12)

OUTREACH

  1. CAP and CPC staff led the Calaveras High School Earth Club on a hike in alaveras Big Trees North Grove. During the hike, the students learned how Giant Sequoias grow, life lessons we can learn from how redwoods grow, and about the Calaveras County General Plan Update. After the hike and lunch, the Earth Club planned its activities for the coming year. The Club chose to form a General Plan Team to provide input on the Calaveras County General Plan Update. (9/13/12) The 15 member team has working groups preparing input on many topics including: historical preservation, fire safety, childcare facilities, bike lanes, parks and recreation, public facilities and utilities, agriculture, energy conservation, economic development, cultural services, and San Andreas downtown revitalization. CAP and CPC staff members assist the team members during their Thursday afternoon study breaks at school.
  2. CAP and CPC staff and volunteers prepared for and attended Green Days in Murphys; a two day celebration of the environment. (9/29 & 9/30) Over 50 people signed letters to fix the MAC IRWMP, and over 90 people signed letters to thank the BLM for studying the feasibility of commercial rafting on the Mokelumne River. We sent the IRWMP letters to the MAC IRWMP staff during the public comment period on the draft plan in October. We delivered the thank you letters to the BLM Field Office during the holidays in December.

October 2012

RIVERS & WATER

  1. Sent in a 60-page comment letter on the draft IRWMP, complete with detailed recommendations to improve the document’s conformance with the 2010 IRWMP Guidelines. (10/16/12) Many of the recommendations were later accepted by staff and the RPC to improve the sections on governance, regional description, impact and benefit analysis, plan performance and monitoring, climate change, and land use and water planning coordination. Other recommendations regarding governance and stakeholder participation will be implemented when the IRWMP is next revised. Unfortunately, the failure to incorporate many of our other recommendations leaves much of the plan substandard.

November 2012

RIVERS & WATER

  1. Submitted a list of 9 unopposed projects as candidates for Round 2 Grants for the MAC Region. In November, the RPC recommended that two of these be included in the grant package for the next round of funding. (10/26/12)

December 2012

LAND USE PLANNING:

  1. CPC staff reviewed the County’s proposed land use map with the Citizens for San Andreas (CSA). (12/3/12) CPC staff assisted the CSA during its meeting to discuss the map with the Planning Department. (12/10/12) The Planning Director and the General Plan Coordinator identified steps toward adoption of the San Andreas Community Plan and the San Andreas Mobility Plan.
  2. CPC staff, member groups, and volunteers sent in detailed letters to the Planning Commission regarding the Sawmill Project, and spoke at the Planning Commission hearing that had been continued from September. (12/13/12) After an over four hour hearing, the Commission voted 3 to 2 to send the project to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for denial without prejudice. This was a vote of support for the Planning Director, a vote to preserve the integrity of the General Plan Update process, and a vote to prevent harm to the Copperopolis community and its environment.

2011

January – March, 2011

  • Emblematic of how far the community has come in respectfully and collaboratively addressing threats to resource conservation is the reaction to a recent County Planning Staff recommendation that the Planning Commission approve an amendment to the zoning code to open up over 100,000 acres in the General Agriculture Zone to golf-course centered development under a generic conditional use permit.  This urban invasion threatened to abort the agricultural land protections of the proposed General Plan Update.  Staff also recommended approval of a negative declaration for the zoning code amendment, rather than completing an EIR.
  • CAP/CPC, and its member group Keep it Rural Calaveras, activated their citizens’ network.  Dozens of people sent letters to the Planning Commission in opposition to the proposal.  Piles of evidence on the significant impacts of golf courses poured into the Planning Department, including useful reports from the state Department of Conservation and CalFire.  Legal opinions on the invalidity of the proposed actions were sent to County officials.  Conditions on golf course developments from other counties demonstrated the inadequacy of the County’s draft proposal.
  • CAP/CPC staff was integral in gathering, organizing, presenting, and distributing this information to the public for their use.  Action alerts went out by email.  Both useful information and video of the Planning Commission hearing were posted on the CAP/CPC website.  Information shared with the media inspired thorough newspaper coverage of the issue.  Over 20 people, from across the political spectrum, and from every corner of the County, spoke in opposition to the proposal at both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors hearings.  Ultimately, a majority of the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors rejected the zoning code amendment.  Both the Chair of the Planning Commission and the Chair of the Board of Supervisors commended those who testified on their respectful behavior and fine testimony.  In addition to the victory for resource conservation, people re-learned that they did not have to scream to be heard, and people were comforted by the notion that their government shared their concerns.  These days, a little comfort goes a long way.

April – December 2011

April 2011:

  •  CPC volunteers reviewed the Amador County Draft General Plan. They identified policies and programs that could be jointly implemented across both counties to increase the likelihood of securing state and federal funding, and to reduce government overhead costs. This was one of the activities done to promote collaboration among the land use groups in the two counties. The comments were submitted to Amador County on 6/29/12. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions)

May 2011:

  • CPC staff and volunteers had a booth at Green Days in Murphys. We told people of the success of their general plan map efforts the previous year, and encouraged them to sign letters of support for the development of sound policies in the coming year. We collected over 60 letters of support, while dozens of people posed for photos with their favorite policy reforms. CPC staff also gave a presentation on why we do planning. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions)

June 2011:

  • The CPC assisted MVS.com and Valley Springs area neighbors in commenting on the Coe Shooting Center proposal to develop an outdoor shooting range adjacent to a residential area. The proposal sought to allow shooting ranges on any industrial lands in the county without a conditional use permit to protect public health, public safety, and the environment. We provided a workshop to concerned citizens on how to make comments. We also submitted written comments to the Planning Commission, alerted the local media, testified at the Planning Commission, and provided a briefing packet to the supervisors. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions) Ultimately the Board of Supervisors agreed with the concerned neighbors, and suggested that the shooting Center seek a site-specific use permit with enforceable conditions.
  • The CPC sent comments on the CCWD Urban Water Management Plan, and presented its concerns to the CCWD Board. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions) Our newsletter helped local activists to review CCWD’s Draft UWMP. Our action alert announced the later release of the weak agricultural water study that was the basis of the plan. We met with CCWD management to discuss these concerns. We identified both areas of common ground and areas where we continued to have concerns regarding CCWD’s water planning. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions) These CAP efforts had two spin-offs. First, our comments on the CCWD UWMP were then used as the basis for review and comment on the EBMUD UWMP by the Foothill Conservancy. Their follow up conversations with DWR and EBMUD resulted in agreement on some ways to improve EBMUD’s next UWMP. Second, our comments became the basis for follow up conversations with interest groups to discuss the Mokelumne River Water for Wildlife proposal to help fish and to secure Calaveras County’s area of origin water rights.

July 2011:

  • CAP launched an updated website to provide easier access to important planning information. We made corrections to the site suggested by foundations who reviewed the site as part of the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s 2010 annual meeting grant workshop.
  • CPC staff and volunteers attended and testified at the CCWD Board meeting, and got CCWD to remove explicit references to support for Pardee Expansion from its scoping letter to EBMUD.
  • CPC sent out an alert to people who might want to testify at the EBMUD scoping hearing. CPC staff and many people in attendance presented scoping comments to EBMUD encouraging them to drop Pardee Expansion from their revised 2040 WSMP. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions) These comments were widely reference in the press, and were included in the scoping report produced by EBMUD staff in September. In December, the revised EIR included a staff recommendation to remove Pardee Expansion from the 2040 WSMP.

August 2011:

  • In another step in our efforts to promote collaboration among land use groups in Amador and Calaveras, we provided a scoping comment training for residents in Ione who are concerned about a proposal to construct a mineral processing facility nearby. They submitted written and oral scoping comments, and began a constructive dialogue with the project proponent and the Planning Department. Ultimately, Amador County and the project proponent agreed to include in the EIR a full and equal analysis of development of the facility on another site with fewer impacts on the community. A follow up workshop we provided in September provided the group with a list of tasks to complete while the County is working on the EIR.

September 2011:

  •  In another effort to promote collaboration among grass roots groups in Amador and Calaveras counties, activists from both counties met to discuss water issues. This included a discussion of issues regarding the Mokelumne River Watershed, which is shared by both counties.

October 2011:

  • CPC staff and members spoke at the Planning Commission in support of the Planning Department’s proposal to implement the Housing Element. (See Planning Commission Video 10/6/11.
  • CPC staff attended MAC IRWMP workshop, and received an appointment to Regional Participants Committee in charge of drafting the IRWMP update.
  • As part of our continuing effort to promote the effectiveness of the Planning Commission, we sent information packets to the two new Planning Commissioners with information on the Commission’s role in CEQA, specific plans, public notice, variances, Native American consultation, and public hearings.
  • We provided an update to the public on the progress of the General Plan, and rallied support for the work to come at a gathering in Mokelumne Hill

November 2011:

  • CPC staff met with the latest Planning Director, Rebecca Willis, to provide her with the history of the General Plan Update over the five years prior to her arrival.
  • We sent out an action alert regarding the Board of Supervisors’ Study Session on the General Plan Update. CPC Staff and volunteers testified at the Board of Supervisors in support of the Planning Department’s recommendations to draft a general plan map that reduces the build-out capacity of the General Plan, that integrates the community plan maps, that promotes clustering of the residual development capacity on agricultural lands, and that embraces citizen input. (See Testimony, Comments & Opinions; see also 11/22/11 BOS Video) The Board of Supervisors approved all of these recommendations.

December 2011:

  • We secured release of the Draft Economic Development Element. We wrote to BOS, and spoke at BOS General Plan Study Session on the Water Element and the Economic Development Element. The BOS retained water element. Useful parts of Economic Development Element may be added to other elements.

Past Accomplishments:

Sept. 2009 through December 2010

September 2009:

• CAP/CPC members attended the Central Sierra Convening of Land Use Groups.

• Members made a presentation to LAFCO on new community plans.

October 2009:

• CAP/CPC facilitator testified before the Board of Supervisors on behalf of the Housing Element in the General Plan and indicated the importance of housing for the county’s economic future.

November 2009:

• CPC member group The Foothill Conservancy gave notice that they will be filing a lawsuit over the decision to raise the level of the Pardee Reservoir.

December 2009:

• Members promoted a Dark Sky Ordinance at the Planning Commission.

January 2010:

• CPC water activists had their first meeting with Amador County water activists to discuss future efforts regarding regional water projects.

• CPC staff sent in a letter to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors in support of proposals to implement AB811 to help finance residential energy conservation and generation projects.

• In response to inaccurate and heated anti-planning rhetoric in recent weeks, CPC staff and members testified before the Board of Supervisors in support of the community planning process in Valley Springs.

February 2010:

• A CPC delegation met with Planning Director White and GPU Coordinator Gillarde to give them the background on the GPU process that preceded their employment with the County.

March 2010:

• CPC member organizations organized people to participate in the GPU Alternative Workshops. Many CPC participants attended GPU Alternatives Community Workshops and supported reasonably paced and community-centered growth (Alternative B). Over half the tables at the workshops supported this alternative.

• The BOS supported AB811 implementation.

• Progress was made at the Economic Summit II implementation team meeting where the CPC works cooperatively with the Chamber of Commerce and other local business organizations.

• Over 70 people signed letters, and many had their pictures taken, in support of GPU Alternative B at our booth at Green Days in Murphys. These were turned into the Planning Department, the Planning Commission, and the BOS.

• The CPC submitted detailed written comments on the GPU Alternatives Report to the Planning Department, the Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors.

April 2010:

• The Community Workshops Report reflected our input and involvement in the GPU Alternatives Workshops.

• We had a good display, good speakers, and good press coverage at the BOS hearing on the GPU Alternatives.

• A unanimous vote of the BOS supported the general plan preferred alternative which will support community-centered growth, and would change over 130,000 acres (200 square miles) of land from Residential -Agriculture (5-acre minimum parcel size) to Agricultural Lands (40-80 acre minimum parcel size)

May 2010:

• Members of the CPC supported CCOG and Valley Springs Community Planning efforts at the May 4, 2010 Board of Supervisor’s meeting.

• Following up on the April 20 BOS decision on the GPU Alternatives, the CPC discouraged Planning from applying the Alternative C Growth Rate to District 2, San Andreas, and Valley Springs.

June 2010:

• On June 1, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors agreed to include the Valley Springs Community Plan, developed through a year of public stakeholder meetings, as an alternative for analysis in the EIR for the General Plan Update.

July 2010:

• CAP organized a “Passions and Priorities” workshop for CAP/CPC members.

August 2010:

• Members submitted comments on an alternative community plan for Valley Springs.

September 2010:

• CAP/CPC facilitator’s General Plan update opinion piece was printed in the Calaveras Enterprise.

• CAP/CPC facilitator submitted an Alternatives Analysis memo to the Planning Department and Board of Supervisors.

October 2010:

• CAP/CPC facilitator made a General Plan presentation to the Mokelumne Hill Town Hall meeting.

• The transcript of CPC/CAP members testimony against EBMUD’s dam proposal was included in the administrative record for the case.

November 2010:

• The brief for the Save the Mokelumne case against the proposal to raise the level of the Pardee Reservoir was filed.

December 2010:

• CAP/CPC facilitator asked the Planning Department for a General Plan Policy Outline and Scoping meeting. A scoping is mandatory for a planning process with regional implications.

• CAP/CPC facilitator drafted the general CEQA guidance section of the General Plan Update scoping comments.

• CAP/CPC commented before the Board of Supervisors concerning the Water Issues Study Session.

January – March, 2011

• Emblematic of how far the community has come in respectfully and collaboratively addressing threats to resource conservation is the reaction to a recent County Planning Staff recommendation that the Planning Commission approve an amendment to the zoning code to open up over 100,000 acres in the General Agriculture Zone to golf-course centered development under a generic conditional use permit.  This urban invasion threatened to abort the agricultural land protections of the proposed General Plan Update.  Staff also recommended approval of a negative declaration for the zoning code amendment, rather than completing an EIR.

• CAP/CPC, and its member group Keep it Rural Calaveras, activated their citizens’ network.  Dozens of people sent letters to the Planning Commission in opposition to the proposal.  Piles of evidence on the significant impacts of golf courses poured into the Planning Department, including useful reports from the state Department of Conservation and CalFire.  Legal opinions on the invalidity of the proposed actions were sent to County officials.  Conditions on golf course developments from other counties demonstrated the inadequacy of the County’s draft proposal.

• CAP/CPC staff was integral in gathering, organizing, presenting, and distributing this information to the public for their use.  Action alerts went out by email.  Both useful information and video of the Planning Commission hearing were posted on the CAP/CPC website.  Information shared with the media inspired thorough newspaper coverage of the issue.  Over 20 people, from across the political spectrum, and from every corner of the County, spoke in opposition to the proposal at both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors hearings.  Ultimately, a majority of the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors rejected the zoning code amendment.  Both the Chair of the Planning Commission and the Chair of the Board of Supervisors commended those who testified on their respectful behavior and fine testimony.  In addition to the victory for resource conservation, people re-learned that they did not have to scream to be heard, and people were comforted by the notion that their government shared their concerns.  These days, a little comfort goes a long way.

June 2007 through June 2009







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