By: CABPRO Staff
At two separate Board of Supervisor's (BOS) meetings this year, the BOS gave specific instructions for editing and updating the unacceptable draft of the Nevada County Fire Plan (NCFP) dated 12/21/07. Approval of the NCFP was to be contingent on follow-through of those instructions. Part of those specific instructions included removing certain contents (parts of Appendix B and all of Appendix C) and clearly distinguishing, under separate headings, regulatory versus recommended fire safety and fuels management information sprinkled throughout the document. Despite these instructions, the unedited 12/21/07 version of the NCFP has been subsumed into the updated Safety Element, and currently is being submitted for approval through a proposed action item before the Planning Commission.
On August 14, 2008, the Nevada County Planning Commission was scheduled to hear public comment and rule on the following:
GP08-001; MI05-006 Proposed amendments to the Nevada County General Plan Safety Element to incorporate setting and policy components of the December 21, 2007, Nevada County Fire Plan and to make structural and formatting changes. LOCATION: All unincorporated areas of Nevada County ENVIRONMENTAL RECOMMENDATION Negative Declaration PLANNER: Jessica Hankins
Approval of the above would subsequently approve the unedited 12/21/07 version of the NCFP. While Kathleen Edwards from CAL Fire explained to CABPRO staff, Lauren Lund, the above motion was mostly about approving a Negative Declaration, Edwards also confirmed the NCFP version included in the updated Safety Element was "just as it stood [unedited] from 12/21/07."
Even though the NCFP is now designated as an educational document, it still contains policy elements that will be recognized as policy. This was confirmed in a subsequent phone conversation with one Nevada County Supervisor. The big problem is those policy elements remain highly intermingled with and mostly indistinguishable from extreme environmentalist recommendations that are reminiscent of the former NH-2020 proposal that created a strong community-wide outcry.
CABPRO is concerned that the BOS clear directives NOT be set aside, and that the highly consequential, unedited fire plan document NOT be positioned for approval, tucked away in a proposed Planning Commission action to approve a Negative Declaration.
The next Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, 8/28/08, will provide further opportunity for public comment, and may then entertain a motion to approve the Negative Declaration along with the updated Safety Element of the General Plan (which still subsumes the unedited, highly problematic NCFP of 12/21/07).
In the meantime, CABPRO has respectfully requested the BOS be vigilant now to see their instructions followed through, and to not allow the problematic unedited 12/21/07 version of the NCFP be approved in any form or degree, or as called by any other name.
- End –
Post Script: A Negative Declaration is a document that states upon completion of an initial study, that there is no substantial evidence that the project may have a significant effect on the environment, and thus an EIR is declared as not needed.