Follow-up public information request aims to clarify “shaded parcel” classifications
Eureka, CA. ..As a follow-up to HumCPR’s August public information request letter -(pdf file) for the Humboldt County Planning Department to release a list of land parcels considered to have questionable legal status (shaded parcels); HumCPR is now asking the County to release additional information regarding how the State of California views many of these parcels.
HumCPR is aware of communication, going back at least 7 years, between the California Department of Transportation (Cal-Trans) and County officials over the County’s position of classifying remnant parcels created by State acquisition in the furtherance of road improvements projects, as “shaded parcels.” In a 2011 letter the State asserts that “a continuation of this practice might create certain implications for the State, and can also expose the County to claims by property owners …”
A February 2004 letter from the State expressed opposition to how the County was handling remnant parcels created by State highway acquisitions. The State cited several Code Sections and court decisions exempting the State from local governmental control over State acquisition activities. These exemptions ranged from “impairing the State’s sovereign powers” to a State Supreme Court decision which states that “municipal governments –which are created by the State – cannot have superior power over the State …”
“The classification of parcels as ‘shaded’ at the new interchange at Alton, as well as various improvement spots along Highway 36, are just some examples of what HumCPR feels is bureaucratic overreach by the Planning Department and the County Counsel’s office,” said HumCPR President Lee Ulansey.
Local title company officials have also voiced their concerns for the process that the County has outlined to address the nearly 2000 “shaded parcels” currently in existence. They believe that the process the County has outlined to address this problem may “lead to a false sense of security, which may have drastic results…” They go on to say that, with respect to the innocent purchasers of bonafide illegal parcels, “due to the length of time that the County has ignored its responsibility … many responsible parties can no longer be held accountable …“.
Mr. Ulansey further stated that the most distressing revelation in this ongoing fiasco is found in the February 2011 letter, when the State says, “we were under the impression that this issue had been resolved when we did not receive a response to our 2004 letter.”
Is it proper for County officials to ignore, and fail to respond to, issues affecting the property rights of hundreds of County citizens?
It is our hope that the release of this information will help answer the following questions:
1) Why is Humboldt County the only county in the State taking this position on “shaded parcels” and 2) Why is the Humboldt County Counsel’s Office always uniquely interpreting so many sections of the law in a manner much different than the rest of the State, and almost always detrimental to the interests of Humboldt County property owners?
HumCPR will make the results of this information request available to the public when received.
HumCPR is dedicated to preserving the rural lifestyle that has been the historic tradition of Humboldt County. We will aggressively pursue the right to allow all members of our community a broad choice of alternatives for living, working and recreating. HumCPR will actively monitor and oppose actions that erode property rights or diminish the economic viability of our community.
October public information request letter – links to a pdf file
HumCPR Press Release_CPRA – pdf file for this post