Friday, May 01, 2009

Humboldt County Planning Commission. Musings from the peanut gallery.

The topic for the night was on the Land Use Element concerning Growth Planning, Urban Lands, Rural Lands, Agricultural Resources, Forest Resources, Public Lands and the Land Use Classifications. This chapter in the County General Plan is 57 pages. Robin and I were there to get a better understanding on the issues. The BOS chambers was not big enough for this subject matter and there were people having to listen from out in the hall.

So let us cut to the chase. Why not a bigger venue? This was ridiculous. Packed like sardines. At the break, Robin and I went home and watched on public access. Why replace the speaker podium with a pass around the microphone process? This took too much time away! And why didn't they limit the speakers time to 3 minutes? My goodness, people rambled on without direction even though they were reading their own written statements. There is only so many ways you can frame, "We don't want urban sprawl." It sounded like people most in attendance preferred plan "A" or a modified "A" or "B". I feel we need to "promote orderly development." The debate will ramble forth on how to get there.

Some things you might not know:

54% of our county population live in unincorporated areas.

County cows are worth 20 million and produce 43 million dollars of dairy products!

27% of Humboldt County land is agricultural.

80% of the County is Forested Land. About 80% of that is Timber Production Zoned (TPZ) and of that, 67% is owned by timber companies.

Humboldt County produces 20% of the timber production in the state! The most of any county.

The county has a "Village Center" designation element in the plan. Samoa maybe?

For the last 40 years the annual population growth of the County is less than 1%.

Dairy farm lands are considered polluters.

Some consider "Sun Valley Farms" as a "Big Box" entity.

But now you know.


Heraldo said...

Richard, it was a "Town Hall" format which people responded positively to when it was first tried a couple months ago. People get upset at the 3-minute limit after they drive all that way to attend the meeting.

samoasoftball said...

Heraldo: The "Town Hall" format did not work for me. After soemone has talked for 3 minutes, they start repeating themselves or just ramble incoherently. If you can not make your point in 3 minutes it becomes counterproductive.But it is true that many were from Southern Humboldt and needed to be heard, but how many tuned out?

Heraldo said...

Tuned out? From SoHum? Funny.

I agree generally with your 3-minute observation. But people strongly requested this style of meeting so there you have it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe speakers were allowed more comment time because the State has said there has not been enough public comment on the General Plan update especially the housing element. Someone told me that HCOAG has to have their housing figures in a long time before any housing element can be adopted I seem to remember over a year. I don't think this has been done yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Larry Glass is the
main person who thinks that Sun
Valley is "Big Box". He will do
anything he can to stop Arkley &
the Marina Center.

Anonymous said...

You forgot one more very important fact. It takes three hours to hard boil and ostrich egg.