In a stunning reversal of recent trends, the Humboldt County Planning Commission voted 4-1 in favor of language that would allow homes on land zoned TPZ at it’s GPU meeting in Eureka Thursday April 15th.veroxybd.com
The vote came at the end of a night filled with public testimony in favor of rural rights and after much wrangling over other language in the Forest Section (4.6) of the Land Use Element.
In fact, the issue of residential construction on timberlands was deemed so controversial that commissioners first thought it would have to be put over to the next meeting since there were only 10 minutes left on the clock by the time they got to that policy.
But it appears our voices were heard after all and a quick straw poll resulted in the 4-1 vote.
Specifically, the commissioners voted to adopt language provided by the Humboldt County Resource Lands Working Group which is comprised of The Buckeye Conservancy, the Humboldt County Farm Bureau, Humboldt Del Norte Cattlemen Association, Large Timberland Owners Group and the Forest Landowners of California (Humboldt Co. Representatives).
The language is very similar to that provided by the Forestry Review Committee and we at HumCPR have been very vocal in our support.
The Policy As Approved:
“Residential Construction on TPZ Zoned Parcels: Recognize the right to construct a residence under a ministerial permitting process subject to physical standards set by the County. Second units; may be allowed on TPZ parcels greater than 160 acres; And, may be allowed on TPZ parcels less than 160 acres as a conditional use only in the area already converted, intended to be converted, or that does not meet the definition of timberlands. Second units may be allowed on TPZ parcels less than 40 acres within Community Planning Areas.”
[To underline the significance of this vote it’s worth taking a look at the policy proposed under Alternative A, which language had just been revised. It read as follows: “FR-P9. Residential Construction on TPZ Zoned Parcels: Preserve continued viability of timber production on TPZ zoned parcels by requiring demonstration of active management for timber production prior to issuance on new residential permits and by mitigating the impacts of residences on water resources, biological resources, wildland fire potential and public services. . Residential uses shall be limited to individuals employed on the premises for lands planned Industrial Timber (IT) or necessary for the management of timberlands on lands planned Timber Production (T)“. ]
This is a clear victory for rural rights and it’s important to note that we must continue to speak out! There is still a lot to be discussed and clarified. And it will be the Supervisors who decide in the end!
A Big Thanks to all who showed up at the meetings so far! Let’s keep up the good work!