Thursday, March 13, 2014

Restore the General Plan Update

We believe meaningful public participation is the foundation of good government. There are several requirements to empower and support meaningful public participation. The recent special review by the planning commission did not meet these requirements. The changes made are not reflective of our goals for the future of Humboldt County.

Today we are asking you to take steps to restore the role of public input in the General Plan Update process. We are asking that you do four specific things:



  • Protect our supply of clean water by restoring reasonable protections for streams and wetlands. Protecting clean water is critical to our quality of life, the health of our economies, and critical to the goal of recovering local salmon runs.

  • Honor our communities intent to build a regional (county-wide) trail system. Restore the language in CO-G4 to read:

    "Parks and Recreation. Well maintained and accessible parks offering a range of popular recreation opportunities and a countywide trail system that meets future recreational and non-motorized transportation demands."



  • Prioritize acquisition of land for community forests. Restore the language of OS-P1xx to read:

    "Open Space Acquisition. The County shall seek opportunities to acquire high value open space lands, including community forests, and open space conservation easements. Full-fee acquisitions shall only be from willing sellers."


  • Do not direct the Planning Commission to re-review any more of the General Plan at this time.



The last several weeks have been divisive, wasteful, and ineffective. We are asking you—our elected representatives—to take responsibility for this unfortunate situation. In order to participate effectively we require:



advance notice of meetings

clear agendas and a clear understanding of the process

time to review changes made between meetings

In order to honor and respect the public input received over the last decade we request that you clearly focus your attention—and the work of the planning commission—on only the “shortlist.”



Now is not an appropriate time in this update process to be be rewriting or making dramatic changes to the existing draft. Please restore the General Plan process by honoring and protecting public input from the past, in present decision making, and in all future deliberations.



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