MyValleySprings.com advocates for sustainable housing development in appropriate locations, with sufficient planning for adequate services and infrastructure, and without reducing current levels of service to existing residents or increasing their financial burden.
What is our housing NEED?
Based on housing and growth projections, are there already sufficient homes permitted or constructed in the moderate to upper price ranges to meet those needs? Is “demand” being created by building and advertising new subdivisions for everybody who wants to leave the city?
Not much progress has been made towards reaching projected needs for workforce or low-income housing. Additionally, opportunities for senior independent- and assisted-living housing, clustered housing, and conservation subdivisions need to be explored and developed.
An update of the General Plan and Housing Element, clear goals and policies, oversight and implementation, and changes in the Zoning Ordinance are some ways to address Calaveras County housing NEEDS.
What is the cost of Rural Residential Development?
“Without a doubt, development adds to county income, but income is rarely clear and free. It is true that with residential development there will be new fees and new taxes coming into the county. But the new people living in those new houses will create added costs. An increase in cars and traffic places demands on our roads. That requires more maintenance and often even new roads. A growing county population puts demands on all our services: fire and emergency services, law enforcement, courts and jails, schools, water supply, sewage treatment, health care, animal services, etc. All of these cost the county money...” –M. Williamson, August 2007
“Parcelization” is the subdivision of large areas of open space and agricultural or forest land into smaller parcels (usually for development). There are thousands of undeveloped, potential residential parcels in the greater Valley Springs area. Under existing zoning and land use entitlements 9,995 new housing units are already legally allowed*. Should the county be considering and approving development applications for rezoning or land use changes in rural areas that would create even more residential lots?
*based on Calaveras County Assessor’s data and existing zoning; see page 32 of the ‘Valley Springs Community Workshop’ presentation on Calaveras Council of Government website under ‘8/27/09 Outcomes from Aug. 27th Community Plan meeting’ (caution, slow download)
Current Board of Supervisors Discretionary Development Policy
1. All divisions of land will be served by public surface water and public sewer with the exception of those projects where: (a) all parcels to be created are in excess of 40 acres; or (b) only one additional parcel is being created. Remainder parcels shall be counted as an additional parcel; and
(**Board of Supervisors, County of Calaveras, State of California, RESOLUTION ADOPTING POLICY REGARDING CRITERIA FOR DISCRETIONARY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED PENDING COMPLETION OF THE GENERAL PLAN UPDATE WORK PROGRAM AND ASSOCIATED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT, Resolution No. 07-242, November 27, 2007)
While this policy is laudable, it is currently an advisory policy only and enforceable at the supervisors’ discretion.
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