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On Heels Of Lawsuit Filing Supes Prioritize General Plan Study Session

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San Andreas, CA – It is no coincidence that the Calaveras supervisors are devoting most of this week’s meeting to a study session geared to guiding staff on General Plan Update implementation priorities.

As reported here, Calaveras Planning Coalition, a community advocacy group, filed suit in early December against the supes and county. Its petition argues that officials “wrongfully refused to include in the plan feasible measures to mitigate the adverse impacts of new development on both the built and natural environments” in order to protect public health and safety. In early January, the group notified 18 local and state agencies, including the State Attorney General’s Office, requesting their involvement, as reported here.

Required by law for jurisdictions to have and regularly update, General Plans are considered as constitutions and roadmaps for local development. Among the group’s criticisms over the recently passed update is that it indefinitely defers critical planning for roads, water, sewer, and emergency services, even though supervisors and residents consistently identified these items as key issues over several years during public general plan workshops.

In the meeting documents outlining the study session, Calaveras County Planning Director Peter Maurer summarizes a wide scope of implementation measures (IMs) listed within each element of the General Plan. He identifies that while the majority of the IMs fall to the Planning Department for implementation, other departments, particularly Building, Public Works, and the Environmental Management Agency also have accountability.

Maurer notes that while all the measures cannot all be dealt with at once, in order for the General Plan to be effective, the county must begin to tackle those designated as having the highest priority, also identifying the resources necessary to get them done.

Of the 213 IMs he lists, not including those contained in the General Plan’s Housing Element, 90 are one-time tasks and 27 require an amendment to the zoning code; the remainder involves ongoing requirements county staff will be referring to when reviewing development or capital improvement projects.

In other business, the board will make annual board members’ assignments to various committees and appoint applicants to serve on various committees, commissions, advisory boards and service areas.

Under recognition and acknowledgments, the board will formally declare January 2020 as National Mentoring Month and Jan. 30 as “Thank Your Mentor Day.”

Tuesday’s meeting in the supervisors’ chambers at the county government center (891 Mountain Ranch Road) will open to the public following an 8 a.m. closed session slated to discuss existing litigation against the county, including the CPC lawsuit over the General Plan.

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