Callaway Discusses Calaveras Supes’ Priorities This Year
San Andreas, CA – While General Plan priorities were the main topic for Calaveras supes this week, Board Chair Merita Callaway is also sharing highlights of the board’s 2020 shortlist.
As reported here, Tuesday’s Calaveras County Supervisors’ meeting was largely a study session enabling them to provide Planning Director Peter Maurer, CAO Al Alt and other key staff with direction on which General Plan Update mitigation measures to focus on first.
Maurer came equipped with an extensive, color-coded list of mitigation measures from each of the General Plan Update elements that Callaway lauded to Clarke Broadcasting, adding that the board largely went with his recommendations and requested a status update in six months.
She adds that the board directed staff to work on mitigation measured for the impacts caused by conversion of Resource Production (RP) lands, update county code pertaining to vacation rentals, direct more intense development to communities ready for it like Copperopolis and Valley Springs, and prioritize rewriting zoning codes, a task that could take some years and require an outside consultant with expertise in that area.
Keeping Up With ‘Housekeeping’, Adult-Use Cannabis
As for other priorities in the year ahead, Callaway says dryly, “Now we are starting to do things that have been on the consistent back burner, such as an office for the DA who’s been operating out of a trailer that sinks occasionally, the animal shelter, taking down the old jail, [replacing] the HVAC system. Some of it is housekeeping.” She acknowledged that all these items are slated for discussion at next Tuesday’s meeting, adding, “It’s not a ‘sexy’ item, an HVAC system, and an animal shelter might not be a ‘sexy’ item but it is a definite, controversial, emotionally charged item.”
Pointing to the Grand Jury Report, which was deeply critical of the county’s long inadequate Animal Services facilities, Callaway comments, “We gave the standard 20-year answer on Animal Services. I said we are not doing that anymore — we know we have a problem. We need to make a commitment to fixing it. It doesn’t have to be [completed] within a year but we have to stand up and make the commitment and not just talk about it.”
Matter-of-factly, she says, “They are all going to cost money. While a general obligation bond measure might work for the animals, it won’t for an HVAC system. So, do we borrow the money and how…we [have] to set up that it is a priority.”
Too, beginning next month, “We will also be updating our cannabis medical dispensaries to meet state code and possibly add adult-use sales to the dispensaries,” Callaway adds. “The state allows it and we have to update our code anyway to meet state regulations plus add adult-use sales because people are buying it either on the black market…or they go to Modesto, or Stockton, or wherever they go to get it.”
To add recreational adult-use marijuana retail sales into local law would require a three-fifths majority of the board, although Callaway says ahead of such a vote the supervisors will seek and no doubt hear plenty of public input.