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Group Suing Supes Over General Plan Sends State Notices

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San Andreas, CA – A Calaveras community advocacy group suing the supervisors and the county over its General Plan Update elevated its concerns another notch.

This week, the Calaveras Planning Coalition (CPC) sent out a notice regarding the county’s recent adoption of the updated plan to 18 state and local agencies. General plans, which are required by law for jurisdictions to have and regularly update, are considered as constitutions and roadmaps for local development.

The notice to the agencies is required when a party files a case under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and a similar required notice was issued to the California Attorney General’s Office back in December when CPC filed its case. The group deemed the General Plan Update unsafe and legally deficient because it does not adequately address various impacts as some other jurisdictions have and fails to provide timelines for dealing with them.

CPC officials say a required settlement conference in the case is scheduled for Jan. 15 but will be limited to a telephone discussion among the litigants’ attorneys.

CPC’s notice argued, “Indefinitely deferring fire safety efforts, delaying emergency response funding, and making fire safety measures optional in new development threatens lives. These threats are all part of the 2019 Calaveras County General Plan Update.” It requested that agencies encourage State Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the interest of public safety to get involved in the case.

CPC is part of the group’s overall Community Action Project (CAP), which promotes its mission to protect and improve the natural and built environments in Calaveras County by empowering people to claim their rights and participate in local government.

CAP Governing Committee member Muriel Zeller comments, “I don’t think enough people recognize the extent to which our local General Plan impacts our lives each and every day.”

She states that as the document directly affects the condition of local roads, community safety, water quality and quantity, and many other environmental and aesthetic concerns, it is critical to the quality of life.

Among the highlighted concerns in the notice was that most families in the county have to live in homes they can afford regardless of the fire risks. The CPC’s position is that it is especially for the health and safety of the families that the county must establish a foundation of fire-safe building and zoning codes upon which all legitimate development is based.

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