Spring 2012 pg6

Critical County Election – 2012

Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor Candidates

A) CLIF CLENDENEN


1. Under the current General plan, families have the right to build a home on their legal parcel as long as it meets reasonable safety, environmental, and building requirements. Do you support the reduction or elimination of this right?
– Yes, I support the right for people to build on their legal parcels in compliance with zoning regulations, and I also support the tax-incentive programs we have in place like TPZ and the Williamson Act that have further conditions connected to their preferential property taxation.


2. If you own more than one legal parcel of land, should the county be allowed to combine them into a single parcel without your permission?
– I support the continued merger provision of the Williamson Act from 1986 that merges parcels substandard to the zoning, again as a part of a voluntary tax-incentive program.


3. Why do you think there has been so much public concern expressed about the lack of citizen participation in the General Plan Update?
– With over 200 meetings, mail and email input, there has been a wealth of public process in our General Plan Update.


4. Nearly 50% of all the land in Humboldt County is currently owned by public agencies or controlled by owners who will never develop it. How much is enough?
– Yes we have a large amount of public and undeveloped private lands, and they provide many benefits like open space, clean air and water that increase the value and liveability of our developed private property. I encourage the use of tools like conservation easements to protect working landscapes, yet keep those lands as private property.


5. Do you believe that outside monied entities that do not own property in Humboldt County have a place in influencing the elections or public policy decisions of Humboldt County?
– I don’t believe that money – in or out of Humboldt County – should be influencing elections or public policy decisions.

 

B) ESTELLE FENNELL


1. Under the current General plan, families have the right to build a home on their legal parcel as long as it meets reasonable safety, environmental, and building requirements. Do you support the reduction or elimination of this right?
– No, I do not support any further erosion of our right to build a home on our property. I disagree strongly with those who advocate for removing that right from TPZ landowners.


2. If you own more than one legal parcel of land, should the county be allowed to combine them into a single parcel without your permission?
– No, by doing so the County would in effect, be reducing the value of my property without fair compensation. The merging of privately owned properties in single ownership should be a decision left up to the owner of those properties.


3. Why do you think there has been so much public concern expressed about the lack of citizen participation in the General Plan Update?
– When the Planning Commission finally began a review of the proposed GPU it became increasingly clear that the document before them did not reflect the reality on the ground. This is due in large part to the fact that the county did not follow the prescribed method for updating the plan per section 1500 of the Framework Plan, which calls for citizen participation in the form of advisory committees. In my view, had this very democratic tool for public participation been employed from the beginning, the plan update would have been a far superior, more realistic document that more nearly addressed the needs and goals of our very unique and beautiful county. The chances are, it would also have been completed years ago. Those who defend this lack of process make reference to the “hundreds” of meetings that were held by staff over the years. But those meetings were poorly advertised, poorly attended and input was poorly recorded. The concern raised by many, including the cities of Fortuna and Rio Dell, the Garberville and Fortuna Chambers of Commerce, the Garberville Sanitary District and numerous other Second District citizens was that those meetings could not replace the proven effectiveness of Citizen Advisory Committees.

What was even more troublesome was that the staff-recommended proposal removed section 1500 from the GPU. I am proud to say that due to the tireless efforts of the Public Participation Working Group, of which I was an active member, the Planning Commission voted to retain Section 1500 in the Update.


4. Nearly 50% of all the land in Humboldt County is currently owned by public agencies or controlled by owners who will never develop it. How much is enough?
– In my view, the underlying question here is – what is the best and most beneficial use of the Humboldt County land base? First and foremost, public acquisition of private land by public entities must be on a strictly voluntary basis. It seems that government is already unable to manage the lands it has already acquired – State Parks are closing down, government employees are being laid off – because the private sector is not producing enough taxable income and there is not a strong enough tax base to support them. Right now it seems that we cannot afford to manage or staff those lands already in the public domain. In my view, the reason we have such a special land base is that it has in large part, been well-managed privately for generations.


5. Do you believe that outside monied entities that do not own property in Humboldt County have a place in influencing the elections or public policy decisions of Humboldt County?
– No, I do not.

 

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