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Supervisors to Consider Changes to Conservation Plan

January 11, 2010

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting, board members will consider expanding the boundaries of the draft Placer County Conservation Plan (PCCP) to include part of the 5th District.

The conservation plan would provide a comprehensive framework for protecting vernal pools, endangered wildlife, their habitats, and other natural resources. The county’s goal is to develop a plan that will comply with the federal and state endangered species acts, as well as the federal Clean Water Act’s rules for preserving wetlands. In November, Board members approved a map that will serve as the foundation for the plan’s conservation strategy.

About two years ago, the 5th District was removed from the plan at the request of past Supervisor Bruce Kranz. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, the current 5th District’s representative on the Board of Supervisors, asked the board to take a look at putting the western part of the district back into the plan.

On Nov. 3, the entire board agreed to have staff evaluate Supervisor Montgomery’s proposal. A public meeting was held for Fifth District landowners during the Dec. 8 meeting of the North Auburn Municipal Advisory Council, where property owners voiced support for the proposed changes to the map.

While District 5 stretches from North Auburn to North Lake Tahoe, the portions proposed for inclusion in the plan are rural residential parcels relatively near the Hidden Falls Regional Park and other properties already set aside for conservation.

During Tuesday’s meeting, 5th District landowners will have another opportunity to comment on the proposed change before the board deliberations. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at the Placer County Administrative Center, 175 Fulweiler Ave., in Auburn. The public hearing on the PCCP is scheduled to begin at 9:50 a.m.

“It is my goal to make sure your voice is heard, your questions are fully answered and you understand all the benefits the PCCP has to offer landowners like you,” Supervisor Montgomery said in a recent letter to 5th District landowners whose properties would likely fall in the reserve area slated for potential conservation.

She emphasizes that property owners in the reserve area would retain their current property rights, as well as land use and zoning designations. They would have the option of selling or donating land or conservation easements under the PCCP, but would not be required to do so. Property owners in the reserve area would still be able to develop their property consistent with underlying zoning and land use designations.

Likewise, property owners in the “future development area” would retain their existing rights; current land uses and zoning would not change.

However if a PCCP is adopted, landowners in either zone would benefit from streamlined permitting from the county and city of Lincoln rather than from one or several state or federal agencies.

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