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2011 Archive

Land conservation benefits from economic downturn
The bargain prices from land investors and developers trying to get out of failed housing projects and real estate deals are among the very few positives in a debt-ridden state... Click here for article—SF Chronicle, December 30, 2011

12/26 Intersection Improvement workshop Jan. 11
The County of Calaveras is developing a project to improve the intersection of State Route 12 and State Route 26 in Valley Springs to alleviate peak-period congestion. The County will be hosting a public workshop Wednesday, January 11, 2012 from 6 PM to 8 PM at Valley Springs Elementary to provide an update on the project, provide an opportunity for public comments and opportunity to review the environmental document for the project. Public circulation of the environmental document has begun. Project comment deadline is January 27, 2012. –Click here for Project Information, Schedule, and Public Meeting Flyer, Dokken Engineering, December 29, 2011

Click here for IS/MND Environmental Document, Calaveras County Dept. of Public Works, December 27, 2011

More patrols, road work set to improve deadly Highway 26
Highway 26 has seen four of the county's nine traffic fatalities this year. It is unusual for such a large portion of motor vehicle deaths to occur on one road, according to CHP... Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 28, 2011

Lode ranch OK'd for ag preserve
A rare request to place a 100-acre ranch near San Andreas into an agricultural preserve sparked debate last week within the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, December 18, 2011

Sacramento-area housing shift seen as suburban spreads lose appeal
...Sacramento and other California metropolitan areas are about to discover they have an "oversupply" of classic subdivision housing, thanks to a sea change in what buyers want and can afford.—Click here for article—Sacramento Bee, December 13, 2011

Supervisors say no to proposed economic plan
In what was described as a "very regrettable" outcome, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors directed staff to stop working on the addition of an economic element to the 2035 general plan at the board meeting Monday.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, December 16, 2011

Board says no to econ element
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors Tuesday directed staff...to forgo an economic development element in the final draft of the plan. The economic development element once championed by business interests did not live up to expectations... Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 14, 2011

County leaders eye land use plan
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors will consider Tuesday how to finalize proposed water and economic development elements of its general plan... Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 12, 2011

Trinitas resolution won't come before Feb.
A federal bankruptcy court judge Wednesday continued until Feb. 9 a hearing that would have allowed a foreclosure sale to proceed on the Trinitas golf course near Wallace.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, December 8, 2011

EBMUD backs off Pardee expansion
Mother Lode leaders who fought a proposal to enlarge Pardee Reservoir cheered Monday when the East Bay Municipal Utility District announced it was backing off the controversial plan.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, December 6, 2011

EBMUD drops plans for new reservoir
Thankfully for the Mokelumne River environment, EBMUD has decided to work with CCWD [Contra Costa Water District] and possibly invest in an enlarged Los Vaqueros Reservoir...—Click here for editorial—Contra Costa Times, December 6, 2011

East Bay MUD EIR to drop Pardee Reservoir expansion from long-range water plan
On Monday, December 5, the East Bay Municipal Utility District announced that the soon-to-be released revised draft environmental impact report for its long-range water plan recommends that the utility not include the controversial expansion of Pardee Reservoir.—Click here for Foothill Conservancy News Release, December 6, 2011

EBMUD to issue draft revised environmental impact study on issues raised by court on water supply plan
New document outlines plan to provide sufficient water for the District's East Bay customers over next 30 years without an Enlarge Pardee Reservoir alternative.—Click here for EBMUD Press Release, December 5, 2011

News never stops in the Mother Lode
These are newsy times... some long-running Calaveras County news stories are finally coming to a head, among them the fate of The Ridge at Trinitas.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 29, 2011

Calaveras grapples with plan for growth, land use
Calaveras County already has enough vacant lots for houses that potentially could put roofs over the heads of a population of more than 200,000 people, and possibly as many as 400,000, county Planning Director Rebecca Willis said this week.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 26, 2011

Countywide land-use plan returns to board next year
County planning staff will bring back a long-range land use plan Jan. 10 for the Board of Supervisors to pore over in greater detail.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 23, 2011

Trinitas owners assailed in Modesto judge's ruling
A 65-page ruling posted this week by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Ronald Sargis pulls no punches in rejecting a suit by owners of the Trinitas golf course near Wallace... The written ruling is highly critical of the Nemees.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 25, 2011

Federal judge rules Trinitas out of bounds—Golf course ordered to close by late January
The 65-page opinion by Judge Ronald Sargis criticized Trinitas owners Michael and Michelle Nemee for being "sophisticated" business professionals who spent millions on a scheme to illegally build a golf course on ranch land in Calaveras County zoned for agriculture and then seek permission later.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 25, 2011

Is this the end for Trinitas?
In a scathing opinion, a federal bankruptcy court judge portrays Michael and Michelle Nemee and some of their associates as liars who tried to game the system from the start in their dealings with Calaveras County.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 23, 2011

CCWD: Higher water rates on the horizon
Calaveras County Water District ratepayers are likely to see their water bills go up within the next year, according to General Manager Joone Lopez.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 25, 2011

Chaotic Angels meeting ends in compromise
"Our intention was to get it in our SOI," Hanham said. "That's what we paid $250,000 to $300,000 for... It's not the best outcome. The best outcome would have been for us to get what we asked for. It could have been a lot worse."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 25, 2011

Board punts Forest Meadows vote to Feb.
A decision on the future of a proposal to build 134 new homes in the Forest Meadows subdivision will wait at least until Feb. 28. The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors wrestled with access-road issues...—Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 23, 2011

Tri-county road deal collapses
A tri-county agreement designed to bring $100 million to Alpine, Amador and Calaveras counties broke down last week when the Amador County Transportation Commission voted to back out of a Tri-County Memorandum of Understanding.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 22, 2011

Mother Lode road deal falls apart
Funding for a $56 million straightening of the Wagon Trail section of Highway 4 between Copperopolis and Angels Camp is in jeopardy after a three-county agreement to cooperate on highway funding collapsed this week.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 19, 2011

Revision to controversial water plan set for release
The East Bay Municipal Utility District next month will release a revised draft of its controversial 2040 water plan... The earlier plan called for expansion of Pardee Reservoir...—Click here to read article—The Valley Springs News, November 18, 2011

Rural areas to pay $150 state fire fee
About 25,000 housing units in Calaveras County fall in the State Responsibility Area and residents may have to pay a $150 fee to fund Cal Fire's efforts to protect state resources.—Click here to read article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 18, 2011

Mountain Springs development in rocky territory
Mountain Springs Community Limited Partnership is in default under a deed of trust, owing Umpqua Bank more than $2.5 million. Three parcels totaling 437.54 acres will go up for public auction on Dec. 1...—Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 11, 2011

Bank asks judge to seize Trinitas
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Ronald Sargis is scheduled to consider the request on Dec. 7 in Modesto. If granted, it would likely mean the end of operation for Trinitas...—Click here for article—Stockton Record, November 11, 2011

Rural homeowners get hit with higher fire fee
California homeowners who rely on the state for all, or even part of their fire protection, are going to be billed for the service... The bills are scheduled to be mailed out early next year... A lawsuit, though, can't be filed until the first rural resident receives his bill.—Click here for article—KGO-TV, November 10, 2011

Fire board OKs $150 fee for rural properties
It will apply to about 850,000 properties where the state provides wildfire prevention and protection, including properties in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties within Cal Fire's "State Responsibility Area."—Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 10, 2011

Federal money goes to repair bridges here
New bridges will be built at low-water crossings in the county, like those on Hogan Dam Road and Single Tree Road/Stagecoach Road.—Click here to read article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 4, 2011

Calaveras County wins case over controversial golf course
In a setback for operators of the controversial Trinitas golf course, a federal bankruptcy court judge ruled late last week that golf is not agritourism and Calaveras County can prohibit it on agricultural zoned lands.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, November 1, 2011

Trinitas golf course loses another round
A federal judge has ruled against a Wallace couple's claim that a Calaveras County ordinance permits a commercial golf course on lands zoned for agriculture... —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, November 1, 2011

Realtors optimistic housing collapse is nearing its end
The housing market collapse...has led to a steady decline in home values over the past six years. That is until now. Some realtors in the county believe that the slide in values is...about to be over. —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 28, 2011

Road Impact Mitigation fee increased
Development in Calaveras County got a little more expensive Tuesday after the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to increase the Road Impact Mitigation fee 5.92 percent. —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 28, 2011

Septic system rules return after hiatus
State regulators have reinvigorated a decade-old plan to monitor many of the state's 1.3 million septic tanks in an effort to prevent sewage from leaching into waterways... "The problems aren't going away and the water is only getting worse"—Click here for article—Union Democrat, October 28, 2011

For more information on the proposed septic rules, visit the Water Board website . Public comment letters on draft policy documents must be received by 12:00 noon on Monday, November 14, 2011.

SR12/26 intersection improvement project moving ahead slowly
Rush hour traffic woes have returned at the State Route 12/26 intersection in downtown Valley Springs with the resumption of Calaveras Unified School District classes...—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 21, 2011

County, Trinitas await judge's ruling
"If it's unlimited, why can't there be a whorehouse on the property? ... You could have anything on the property that provides financial support, and that's clearly not the intent." —Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 21, 2011

Trinitas golf course hearing arguments wrap up
Golf, Elliot argued, differs from horseback riding or other allowed uses because it involves a permanent removal of land from potential agricultural production...—Click here for article—Union Democrat, October 18, 2011

Timing of civil suit questioned as Trinitas trial reaches first tee
A long-awaited trial on whether commercial golf is legal on farmland in Calaveras County opened with fireworks Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Modesto.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, October 14, 2011

Trinitas case goes to court
A federal judge will hear arguments Thursday and possibly Friday that could go a long way in determining the fate of the embattled Ridge at Trinitas golf course.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, October 12, 2011

EPA puts Tuolumne, Stanislaus on list of polluted waterways
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced the rivers' inclusion on its list of "California Impaired Waters,"* making the determination based on high water temperatures, an indication of poor water quality.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, October 12, 2011
* For a full list of impacted waterways in the region, visit the EPA website.

Viewpoints: New Delta plan is not a responsible solution
Water is a critically important resource that has played a vital role in California history... Now our state's demand for water is outstripping supplies and, as a result, the health of our economy and environment is threatened.—Click here for article—Sacramento Bee, October 11, 2011

Lode water officials critical of Delta restoration proposals
"What it means for Calaveras County and our community is higher water rates, less water available and ultimately our economy will be destroyed. And that's not an exaggeration,"... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, October 4, 2011

Jenny Lind Fire goes 24/7 paid staffing next month
The district's Board of Directors last month approved a plan by Fire Chief Kim Olson to have at least one firefighter at the main station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, October 5, 2011

FEMA flood restrictions eased
...the Planning Department is ready to help property owners with the paperwork to contest their inclusion in the new maps and is compiling a list of properties that need a second look.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, October 7, 2011

FEMA loosens insurance rules
Hundreds of Calaveras County homeowners who are being forced to buy flood insurance they don't need can now get relief thanks to an agreement between federal and county officials. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, October 4, 2011

Boat ramp ready for use at Big Bar
A new parking area for boaters is finished and open for use at Big Bar, where Highway 49 crosses the Mokelumne River, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, September 27, 2011

Work begins on dangerous stretch of State Route 26
A much-anticipated State Route 26 construction project that will improve vehicular safety at the intersection with Burson Road is under way.—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, September 23, 2011

Del Verde project can move ahead
As unanimous approvals go, the one granted to the most recent phase of the Del Verde Estates subdivision project in Valley Springs was rather lukewarm...it only received a new breath of life due to the lack of a sunset clause for languishing applications in county code.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, September 28, 2011

On-again, off-again Lode subdivision is on again
A 91-home subdivision proposed near Valley Springs that had been declared dead just a few months ago by the Calaveras County Planning Commission came back to life Tuesday... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, September 28, 2011

Languishing lode project may be back on
The proposed 91-lot Del Verde Estates housing development near Valley Springs has come back to life for a second time... "What really sticks with me is it went dormant," Supervisor Gary Tofanelli said. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, September 17, 2011

Study finds rural roads far more dangerous
While it may not surprise many commuters in the foothills, a nationwide study found that rural roads are the most treacherous and least maintained part of the U.S. transportation system.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, September 9, 2011

District 5 names new planning commissioner
Hopefully the third time is the charm for District 5's Planning Commission representative...—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, September 9, 2011

Projects to push fish back to where they once belonged
From Stockton to Valley Springs, the Calaveras River is crossed by no fewer than 97 man-made structures...a 38-mile-long obstacle course for migratory salmon and steelhead as they attempt to swim home to spawn.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, September 8, 2011

Officials oppose fire fees
Local officials are already publicly opposing the newest proposal to charge new fees for state fire services to many landowners in unincorporated areas only days after they were released.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, September 7, 2011

Elderberry beetle may be removed from endangered list
A federal agency is seeking public comment in relation to possible removal from the endangered species list of the valley elderberry longhorn beetle — an insect whose protection has been a thorn in the side of numerous Mother Lode projects.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, August 31, 2011

Mokelumne River parking, access now open at county line
A new Mokelumne River access point along Highway 49 is open for business. The Big Bar "put-in/take-out" facility for boaters opened to the public Sept. 5...—Click here for news release—BLM, September 1, 2011

Video interview: Moke River, Pardee, & Foothill Conservancy

East Bay MUD chief talks Pardee expansion
"At EBMUD, we care about the river too. But we are a public utility and ...we need to consider everybody else's concerns." Coate said that just because the Pardee expansion is in the plan doesn't mean it's going to happen.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 25, 2011

Shooting center hits a roadblock
Planners recommended the project seek a zoning change to the portion of Coe's property that would house the shooting center, and keep the more valuable industrial zoning for the rest of the property.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 26, 2011

Shooting range will need use permit
A proposed shooting range on Watertown Road will require a use permit, Calaveras County supervisors decided Tuesday... Supervisor Darren Spellman abstained from the vote...—Click here for article—Union Democrat, August 24, 2011

La Contenta's Gustafson Named To County Planning Commission
La Contenta resident Gregory Gustafson has been named to the Calaveras County Planning Commission for District 5... He was nominated for the position by District 5 Supervisor Darren Spellman.—Click here for article—TLSN, August 23, 2011

CAL Fire Approves New Fire Fee
Rural homeowners living in fire districts serviced by CAL FIRE can expect to pay up to $90 in fire prevention fees. The state fire board passed emergency regulation on Monday...—Click here for article—MyMotherLode.com, August 23, 2011

Click here for state fire area map and Emergency Regulation

$1.2 Million Safe Route For Jenny Lind Elementary Draws Interest
"Basically, this project is a sidewalk improvement project adding curb gutter and sidewalk so we can provide a safer route for kids to get to school."—Click here for article—TLSN, August 18, 2011

Why Cleaned Wastewater Stays Dirty In Our Minds
Our psychological relationship to water and our beliefs about contagion have an enormous impact on water policy in this country. We spend millions and millions of dollars for water that is cognitively...free of contamination.—Click here for article—NPR, August 16, 2011

Calaveras planners pass on home lots decision
The Calaveras County Planning Commission decided Thursday not to decide whether it would be wise to allow more home lots in Forest Meadows, an upscale Murphys subdivision that is prone to major wildfires but has only one public road in and out to nearby Highway 4.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 19, 2011

Fire-prevention fee has its share of critics
Homeowners in fire-prone California foothills who don't like the idea of paying as much as $150 a year extra for wildfire prevention now can do something about it.—Click here for article*—Stockton Record, August 12, 2011
*Click here for State Responsibility Area map and Draft BOF Emergency Regulation

Supes nix first-time homebuyer grant app
In a 3-2 vote Tuesday, Calaveras County supervisors chose not to include a first-time homebuyer assistance program in a $500,000 grant application to the state Department of Housing and Community Development.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, August 10, 2011

Wastewater 101: What 'recycled' water really means
"I don't know if we'll see potable use of recycled water in our lifetime," said General Manager Joone Lopez. "But in other countries, it is drinking water."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, August 8, 2011

Willis begins new job amid frog controversy
Rebecca Willis didn't know that frogs are controversial in Calaveras County. But she's finding out, now that she's scheduled to start work today as director of Calaveras County's Planning Department.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, August 1, 2011

Coe shooting center could be shot down
For more than five hours Tuesday, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors heard six appeals to the Planning Commission's decision to make Coe's proposed shooting center an allowed use on his industrial-zoned property.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 29, 2011

Critics take aim at proposed shooting
"I'm glad to see nobody's anti-gun," he said. "But we want it done properly." Tryon suggested a development agreement for a larger project Coe has proposed, which may also include a two-year college campus and a hotel...—Click here for article—Union Democrat, July 27, 2011

Willis new planning chief for Calaveras
Calaveras County named former Oakley Community Development Director Rebecca Willis as its new planning director this week. Willis, who resides on rural property north of Lodi...—Click here for article—Union Democrat, July 28, 2011

CCWD supports EBMUD planning for Pardee
"We're not supporting raising Pardee Reservoir," Davidson added. He said the water storage on the Mokelumne is probably best added downstream but the 2040 plan deserves further study.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, July 28, 2011

Hard-hit Calaveras cuts back
People looking to do pretty much anything involving Calaveras County government - whether adopting a cat, getting a vaccination, or checking a property record - will soon have fewer times and places to take care of that business.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 28, 2011

California Counties Reel From Tax Hit
The toll is evident here in Calaveras County, a largely rural area about 100 miles east of San Francisco. Over the past three years, it has seen among the biggest property-tax roll declines of any California county...—Click here for article—The Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2011

Court denies La Contenta claim to Hogan water
The ruling comes on the heels of a California Regional Water Quality Control Board letter...calling for the course to avoid using potable water from New Hogan.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, July 26, 2011

La Contenta denied New Hogan water
A judge has denied a request by La Contenta Golf Course to force Calaveras County Water District to supply the course with raw water from New Hogan Lake... "Why can't the golf course lengthen its irrigation cycle to maximize use of the recycled water?"—Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 26, 2011

Regional Water Board Threatens La Contenta Investors With Fines
This has not been a good week for the owners of La Contenta Golf Club... "Only if recycled water is no longer available may LCI use water suitable for domestic potable use."—Click here for article—TheLocalScoopNews.com, July 22, 2011

La Contenta, CCWD take battle to court
In the wastewater dispute between La Contenta Golf Club and Calaveras County Water District, both sides say the case is simple. The other side just has it backward.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 22, 2011

Lode planners reject subdivision application (Del Verde)
The Calaveras County Planning Commission... denied an application for a 91-home subdivision in the heart of suburban Valley Springs because proponents hadn't made any progress on the project in four years.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, July 22, 2011

Public unites against raising Pardee dam
"On behalf of OARS... I would like to urge the board of directors to seek and choose other water alternatives," Wendt said. "We sincerely ask you, leave the Mokelumne River alone."—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 20, 2011

Defunct planning council faces bankruptcy
The Central Sierra Planning Council closed its doors June 30, but leaves a slew of problems... [It] used to oversee planning and implementation assistance for member counties and cities for Section 8, low-income and subsidized housing...administration of community development block grants, job training, county housing programs, rental assistance programs and upgrades to area food banks.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 18, 2011

BOS Notices of Public Hearing for Coe Appeals
The public hearing for this project will be conducted at 9:00 A.M. or as soon there-after on July 26, 2011, in the Board of Supervisors Chambers.  Seven (7) Notices of Public Hearing and Appeal of the Planning Commission Decision of the Coe Shooting Center published—Click here to read Notices—Calaveras Enterprise, July 15, 2011

Critics pan East Bay MUD Pardee plan
A wide range of voices Thursday night blasted East Bay Municipal Utility District’s plans to raise Pardee Dam and expand Pardee Reservoir. Business owners, neighboring property owners, environmentalists, recreationists and even two oft-divided members of the county Board of Supervisors repeated the same chorus time and again: Leave Pardee alone.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, July 15, 2011

East Bay MUD Meeting Draws A Crowd Of Opposition To Middle Bar Flooding
At the San Andreas meeting, a parade of people spoke against East Bay MUD’s proposed plan to flood the Middle Bar area along the Mokelumne River. Both supervisors pointed to the loss of tourism dollars the county will incur if the area is flooded. Pat Guttmann, Mokelumne Hill, based her opposition to the flooding on safety reasons. “Flooding the Middle Bar Bridge would cut the community off with only one way in and one way out should there be a catastrophic firestorm”—Click here for article—RelyDailyNews, July 15, 2011

Animal Services officer spared
The Calaveras Humane Society saved more than animals this week – its donation saved an Animal Services officer’s job as a part-time position. At least until the final budget in September.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 15, 2011

La Contenta t’d off over CCWD water deliveries
La Contenta Golf Club and the Calaveras County Water District cannot agree...prompting a suit in Calaveras County Superior Court. The 2008 agreement calls on La Contenta to accept a minimum 145 acre-feet of treated water annually and make its best effort to take 100 acre-feet more each year in exchange for up to $1.8 million in sewer credits for future development.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, July 14, 2011

Golf course, water district square off
La Contenta Golf Club and Calaveras County Water District have worked together on wastewater disposal since 1991, but lately they can’t seem to agree on anything. The golf course uses the district’s treated wastewater on its greens and fairways.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 12, 2011

Animal Services cuts back hours
One Calaveras County Animal Services officer is losing her job today and the office will now be closed to the public Tuesdays. “Basically, this is going to reduce me to one field officer for the entire county.”...more responsibilities will be passed on to patrol deputies.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, July 8, 2011

Retirement costs could bankrupt CSP council
The shuttered Central Sierra Planning Council faces an estimated $1.6 million in unfunded pension liabilities...board members are looking at the possibility of municipal bankruptcy for the agency.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, July 8, 2011

Judge to Trinitas: Keep it simple
The bankruptcy trial of The Ridge at Trinitas owners Michael and Michelle Nemee has been delayed once again, this time by an overly complicated and opinionated disclosure statement.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 28, 2011

County leaders approve Burson-area housing development
A 15-home subdivision near Burson will move ahead with the same voluntary provisions for downcast shielded lighting accepted by another developer two weeks ago. Supervisor Tom Tryon begrudgingly voted to approve the development, noting the lack of density at the rural site is likely to cause more burden on government services than it will pay for.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, June 27, 2011

Grand jury report: Service cuts too steep
Calaveras panel recommends restoration of some staff

Calaveras County's 2010-11 grand jury issued a final report Thursday calling for increased staffing in several government agencies. In particular, the grand jury found that operations at the Calaveras County Jail, the Calaveras County Animal Shelter ... are all negatively affected by staffing cuts that happened over the past few years.—Click here for article—Stockton Record June 27, 2011

New Way of Governing: Steve Wilensky proposes county restructuring
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on the latest in a series of painful budgets. Sheriff's deputies are being laid off, Animal Services may no longer be able to respond to calls and throughout the county, administrators will have less to administer.—Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 24, 2011

Shooting center neighbor plans to file an appeal
At least one neighbor plans to file an appeal to last week's decision by the Calaveras County Planning Commission approving a sports shooting center near Valley Springs. "Mostly, all we asked was that if the range was approved, they at least make it conditional, and that we be given time to see what all of Tom Coe's plan was, how he was going to handle sound suppression..."—Click here for article—The Valley Springs News, June 22, 2011

New ranchette development in Calaveras County moves ahead
Las Tres Marias may be one of the last housing subdivisions of its kind in Calaveras County. The planned development west of Burson on Highway 12 consists of 15 lots, most of them five acres, each to have its own well and septic system.—Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 23, 2011

Seven Years, 15 Environmental Studies And $300,000 Later...
Denise and Luis San Bartolome finally received approval from the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors...for their Las Tres Marias Estates...."I complied with everything and I worked it out in such a way that it was friendly. This is going to be a pilot [project] for anyone in Calaveras..."—Click here for article—RelyDailyNews.com, June 21, 2011

Calaveras River Estates Map Gets Board Approval
After nearly six years of submitting paper work, attending meetings and hearings, property owner Mike Gurev of Stockton finally had his Calaveras River Estates map unanimously approved by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors yesterday. –Click here for article—RelyDailyNews.com, June 15, 2011

Planning Commission OKs shooting center
It was hard to tell which side had more supporters during a two-and-half hour hearing on a proposed shooting center outside Valley Springs...The commissioners cautiously concluded that the action was appropriate and made their votes. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 17, 2011

4-home Rancho Calaveras project will include vast walkable preserve
A small housing subdivision...on the edge of Rancho Calaveras will give public hiking access to the Calaveras River and also preserve more than 300 acres of habitat in the river canyon..."The quality of this project serves as an example of responsible development," said Colleen Platt of MyValleySprings.com...—Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 17, 2011

Calaveras River Estates to include public river access
A subdivision plan including more than 350 acres that will be conserved and opened for public access to the Calaveras River received unanimous approval Tuesday... MyValleySprings.com ... supported the project with the caveat that provisions be made for shielded downcast lighting. Project neighbor Scott McBrian agreed with the lighting requirement...—Click here for article—Union Democrat, June 15, 2011

Population changes shift Lode landscape
Realigning Calaveras County

Calaveras County Supervisors appear to be leaning toward a redistricting plan that would for the first time in many decades create three supervisorial districts along the north side of the county and only two along Highway 4 on the south side. –Click here for article and map link—Stockton Record, June 11, 2011

Mountain counties rising: How state redistricting will affect the Sierra
The Mother Lode's political map is being redrawn...With marching orders from voters, the California Redistricting Commission today is issuing the maps for State Assembly, Senate and U.S. Congressional districts in an effort to solicit local input. –Click here for article and map link—Union Democrat, June 10, 2011

Man aims to build shooting center near Valley Springs
The Calaveras County Planning Commission gave its informal blessing Tuesday to a proposed recreational shooting center to be located just north of Valley Springs off Watertown Road. Businessman Tom Coe had proposed creating a clay target-shooting facility as well as ranges for handguns and rifles on 131 acres...part of a larger industrial and educational complex...—Click here for article—Stockton Record, June 3, 2011

Rodden Ranch moves closer to conservation easement
The California Department of Transportation has awarded $350,000 toward acquiring a conservation easement on the 6,198-acre Rodden Ranch near Copperopolis, which would protect the land from development in perpetuity. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, June 7, 2011

Caltrans funds would preserve 6,198 acre Copperopolis-area ranch
Rodden Ranch is located in an area undergoing increasing development pressure, with several golf course communities located nearby, including the adjacent Copper Valley Ranch, according to Trust officials.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, May 17, 2011

EBMUD will not appeal conservationists' court victory
On May 24, the EBMUD board of directors voted unanimously to not appeal the court's decision. The utility also announced plans to begin new meetings and hearings on its water plan very soon.—Click here for news release—Foothill Conservancy, May 24, 2011

More refining for district lines
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors had its last study session to refine new maps for its districts Tuesday. Now residents get to sound off on how the new maps affect them...District 5...became the smallest district in land area... The next study session will gather public comment on the new proposals and is scheduled for June 7. –Click here to read article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 20, 2011

County older, more diverse
The latest information released from the decennial U.S. Census count shows an aging Mother Lode population with growing ethnic diversity...The median age in California as a whole was 35 in 2010. In Tuolumne County, it was 47 and in Calaveras County 49... –Click here to read article—Union Democrat, May 19, 2011

Projects going up without permits
In Calaveras County, building officials first contact property owners and ask them to come into compliance voluntarily by submitting plans, paying fees and getting inspections. Only years later...are property owners who don't comply ever fined. –Click here for article—Stockton Record, May 15, 2011

Board agendas to be posted online only
For those who like to kick back with the legal ads and look over Calaveras County Board of Supervisors agendas and meeting summaries, the board handed down some bad news Tuesday: They will now only be posted online and at the Government Center.  –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 13, 2011

Supervisor districts in line for big shake-ups
What do Copperopolis and Angels Camp have in common? Based on preliminary maps, a supervisor. ...The preliminary map presented to the board had Copperopolis shifted from Supervisor Darren Spellman in District 5 to Supervisor Tom Tryon in District 4, and Murphys from Tryon to Supervisor Merita Callaway... –Click here for article and map—Calaveras Enterprise, May 13, 2011

County leaders talk Board of Supervisors district realignments
Substantial shifts will have to occur in district boundaries prior to the next Calaveras County Board of Supervisors election in 2012...The biggest changes to the preliminary maps will likely come at the county’s west end.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, May 11, 2011

Riverbank sues Tuolumne County over Cooperstown
The City of Riverbank filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing Tuolumne County of failing to adequately study a proposed west-county rock quarry before approving its development... Critics say the county should have required an Environmental Impact Report be completed before approving it.—Click here for article—Union Democrat, May 9, 2011

District lines will change in Calaveras
Supervisors hold ‘first of many’ redistricting sessions Tuesday
Calaveras County grew between the 2000 and 2010 census, but it may have been a bit lopsided... Rancho Calaveras became the most populous area in the county after growing 21.46 percent since the 2000 census to 5,325 people. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, May 6, 2011

Rolling on the river
Rafting trips may return to Calaveras County
One of the largest rafting outfitters in the United States is based in Calaveras County, yet there are no commercial rafting trips on any of the county's rivers. That may soon change as the federal Bureau of Land Management considers an experimental three-year program that would grant limited commercial permits to raft the Mokelumne River...Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 29, 2100

EBMUD set back by Pardee Reservoir ruling
Officials with a Bay Area water utility will meet today to plot their next step after a Sacramento judge found that the agency's contentious plan to expand its mainstay reservoir in the Sierra Nevada foothills ignored the impacts to a picturesque kayak run, a historic bridge and sacred American Indian sites. –Click here for article—San Francisco Chronicle, April 19, 2011

Students spark more 'sustainability' debate
It wasn't exactly how Kati Giblin imagined her first visit to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors would go... The girls were stunned as the discussion turned from Earth Day to an hour-long debate on socialism and the United Nations. –Click here for article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 15, 2011

Big Victory for the Mokelumne Conservation groups win EBMUD lawsuit
"This is a big victory for protecting the Mokelumne River from EBMUD's proposed Pardee Reservoir expansion, which would destroy nearly two miles of beautiful, free-flowing river eligible for National Wild and Scenic River designation," said Chris Wright...—Click here for article—Foothill Conservancy News, April 14, 2011

Teens' Earth Day request spurs supervisors' debate
Two teenage girls Tuesday triggered an hour of debate on everything from climate change to economic sustainability when they asked Calaveras County supervisors to designate April 15-22 as Earth Week... "We think sustainability is preserving the present quality of life," said Giblin... –Click here for article—Stockton Record, April 13, 2011

New exec for CCOG
Wednesday evening's meeting of the Calaveras Council of Governments featured the return of a familiar face and the start of the county's involvement with a controversial project. Melissa Eads was unanimously appointed the CCOG's new executive director... It wasn't long before the Wagon Trail project came up... –Click here to read article—Calaveras Enterprise, April 8, 2011

Click here to watch April 6, 2011 CCOG meeting video

Supervisors OK west county rock quarry
The controversial Cooperstown Quarry won unanimous approval from the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Already, one lawyer for project opponents has vowed to sue the county... supervisors rejected a number of additional conditions that the county Planning Commission had recommended, including measures to mitigate noise by limiting hours of operation. –Click here to read article—Union Democrat, April 6, 2011

Is sustainability un-American?
The board was considering whether to hire Stantec Consulting Services...“recognized as a world-class leader and innovator in the delivery of sustainable solutions.” ...Supervisor Darren Spellman said he wants to avoid hiring firms with anti-American principles, and he’d like to have some kind of “litmus test”... Supervisor Merita Callaway disagreed vigorously. —Click here to read article—The Record’s Calaveras & Lode Blog, March 29, 2011

CCWD surplus will go back to residents
Bringing the Da Lee/Cassidy neighborhood of Rancho Calaveras into the Calaveras County Water District system turned out to be much cheaper than expected, and that surplus is headed back to the residents in refunds to the tune of $86,000... “Going into it, we’ve said all along that if there are any cost savings, we will give them back to the property owners.” –Click here to read article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 29, 2011

Trinitas owners ordered to make bank payments
A federal bankruptcy judge ordered Trinitas...to begin paying $6,360 a month to Community Bank of San Joaquin to compensate for the harm the protracted legal battle over the golf course is doing to the bank. The bank had hoped to persuade Judge Ronald H. Sargis to allow the bank to seize the 280-acre property... –Click here to read article—Stockton Record, March 24, 2011

Board orders staff layoffs on 3-2 vote
In a move its chairman called the “first salvo of the 2011-2012 budget process,” the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors split 3-2 in favor of a staff recommendation to lay off two Building Department employees...the cuts also included a reduction from 40 to 32 hours per week for six other department staffers, and service and supply cost cuts. --Click here to read article-- Union Democrat, March 23, 2011

Going with the flow: Following the Calaveras River's rain-swollen path
Water is rising behind the big dams that protect Stockton and Lodi from flooding, and dam operators Monday moved to boost releases in order to make room for more rain and snowmelt still to come. "We really have to stay on top of it..." Lake levels behind New Hogan Dam on the Calaveras River...are higher than they should be for current conditions --Click here to read article—Stockton Record, March 22, 2011

Cosgrove Creek fix eases worries
A steady diet of rain can cause indigestion for those who live and work along Cosgrove Creek. The creek has been the source of some of the most serious floods in recent memory in Calaveras County, prompting calls for a deepening of the creek to reduce the overspilling of its banks... --Click here to read article-- Union Democrat, March 22, 2011

NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY, SAWMILL LAKE SPECIFIC PLAN
RECIRCULATION OF DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
...a lead agency is required to recirculate an EIR when significant new information is added...Transportation & Traffic.  Written comments are limited to only those sections included in the recirculation. A 45 day public review period for the Draft EIR will end on May 12, 2011 [Planning update 3/29/11]. – Click here to read Notice —Calaveras Enterprise, March 18, 2011. Note: The RDEIR is posted under ‘Sawmill’ on the Planning Department page

County project money a concern
The Calaveras Council of Governments will need a best-case funding scenario using federal transportation-enhancement funds...to complete four projects under way...The council also delayed an expected decision on hiring a permanent executive director. A special meeting has tentatively been scheduled for March 25 with a site to be announced.Click here to read article—Union Democrat, March 18, 2011

Ag golf a no-go; Supervisors quash proposed zoning amendment in 3-2 vote
It seems The Ridge at Trinitas was visited by the ghost of board hearings past...In a 3-2 vote, the board rejected a zoning amendment that might have offered the troubled Wallace resort a path to legalization... In his first Trinitas-related vote, Supervisor Darren Spellman voted in favor of the amendment... –Click here to read article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 18, 2011

Calaveras rejects golf zoning change
A stalled court battle over the Trinitas golf course south of Wallace will likely resume after Calaveras County Supervisors on Tuesday rejected a zoning amendment that might have offered a resolution. The golf course was built in an agricultural preserve without permits. In 2009, supervisors twice voted against proposals to legalize the course. –Click here to read article—Stockton Record, March 16, 2011

County leaders sink ag-reg change for golf courses
A proposed zoning code amendment to allow golf on agricultural lands failed 3-2 Tuesday on a Calaveras County Board of Supervisors vote.  The change would have allowed more than 100,000 acres zoned A-1 in the county to host golf courses with the approval of a conditional use permit. –Click here to read article—Union Democrat, March 16, 2011

Quarry plan gets rocky reception
Officials from Stanislaus County, and the communities of Oakdale and Riverbank, were among a large contingent that jammed into the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors chambers Tuesday to weigh in on a proposed west-county rock quarry....controversial since public hearings began on it last month. –Click here to read article—Union Democrat, March 16, 2011

Population is growing, diversifying
Calaveras County has led the Mother Lode in population growth in the 21st century, according to data from the 2010 census. At 12.39 percent, it also grew proportionately more than California as a whole, which climbed by only 10 percent. Tuolumne County remains the most populous county in the Mother Lode, but gained only a modest 1.58 percent, bringing its total to 55,365. Amador County grew by 8.52 percent to 38,091, and Calaveras’ gains brought its total to 45,578. –Click here to read article—Calaveras Enterprise, March 15, 2011

Calaveras to vote on legalizing golf land
The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on legalizing golf resort development on agricultural lands during a public hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.  If approved, it would allow the owners of more than 100,000 acres within the county to apply for conditional use permits if they want to build golf courses.  – Click here to read article – Stockton Record, March 11, 2011

Commission sends mixed messages on golf regs
The Calaveras County Planning Commission sent a mixed message to the Board of Supervisors on whether golf should be a conditionally permitted use on agricultural lands...attorney for Trinitas indicated recently in federal bankruptcy court that the course owners...would apply for such a permit, and court transcripts have shown the zoning ordinance change could lead to settlement of the Nemees’ lawsuit against the county. – Click here to read article – Union Democrat, February 18, 2011

Planning Commission recommends against ag golf
It was clear from the way Chairwoman Suzanne Kuehl opened the Planning Commission meeting Thursday that the commissioners knew how the zoning amendment they were about to review was seen by much of the public. “We are not a courtroom...We’re here to consider a county zoning amendment...not the Ridge at Trinitas golf resort in Wallace.” – Click here to read article – Calaveras Enterprise, February 28, 2011

Planners vote no to golf on ag land. Ruling will likely figure in Trinitas bankruptcy case
A divided Calaveras County Planning Commission on Thursday narrowly voted against making golf courses legal on agricultural land. The commission's vote now goes as a recommendation to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors... – Click here to read article – Stockton Record, February 18, 2011

Wallace named new county planning commissioner
The appointment of Copperopolis resident Lyle Wallace to the Calaveras County Planning Commission filled out the panel’s roster two days before a crucial vote.  Wallace is the nominee of District 5 Supervisor Darren Spellman, who previously selected Nick Salemme... Colleen Platt, representing MyValleySprings.com...questioned whether any appointee could have enough time ...when selected just two days prior. “In less than 48 hours, will this commissioner be able to get up to speed?” – Click here to read article – Union Democrat, February 17, 2011

Boyer to temp as Council of Governments director
The Calaveras Council of Governments has hired Folsom consultant Matthew Boyer to fill its vacant executive director’s post at least through March 2.... “We believe the council made a bad decision in letting Mr. McSorley go,” Techel said, adding that the decision had been “based on bad information” and hopes it does not impact project funding. – Click here to read article – Union Democrat, February 14, 2011

Official opts out of Lode planning position
Nick Salemme of Valley Springs will not serve as a Calaveras County planning commissioner, Salemme announced this week via a message sent on Facebook... "Spellman and I were under the impression that the board meeting took place once a month and was in the evening hours," Salemme said. – Click here to read article – Stockton Record, February 12, 2011

County transportation agency dismisses McSorley
The controversy-laden Calaveras Council of Governments will soon be under new management. Executive Director Tim McSorley, who has headed the transportation agency since 2006, is out after the CCOG board voted 5-2 to dismiss him in a special closed-session meeting Monday in San Andreas. – Click here to read article – Union Democrat, February 9, 2011

No change to board’s public comment policy
After public outcry Tuesday, a proposed change to public comment policy for the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors failed...“Some people might call this bellyaching,” said MyValleySprings.com member Colleen Platt, “but others call it free speech.” – Click here to read article – Calaveras Enterprise, January 28, 2011

Calaveras looks to legalize golf on agricultural land
Calaveras County this week launched its public review of a plan to legalize golf on agricultural land, and a federal bankruptcy judge noted that fact Wednesday as he delayed for a month any decision on whether to allow Community Bank of San Joaquin to foreclose on the troubled Trinitas golf course. – Click here to read article – Stockton Record, January 20, 2011

Golf Course Zoning Amendment: Initial Study/ Neg Dec Report
Here is the ‘Initial Study & Negative Declaration’ (means no environmental impacts) on the proposed 2010-031 County-initiated zoning code amendment to allow Golf Course as a conditional use in the A1 zone.  20-day public review period: Jan. 18 through Feb. 7, 2011. Planning Commission hearing February 17, 2011. – Click here to read IS/Neg Dec report (large file) – County of Calaveras Planning Dept., January 18, 2011

Golf Course Zoning Amendment: CEQA/Planning Notice
Here is the ‘Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration & Notice of Public Hearing’ for the proposed County-initiated zoning code amendment to allow Golf Course as a conditional use in the A1 zone.  The 20-day review period for the Neg Dec ends Feb. 7/8; written comments must be submitted by the deadline.  Comments made during the Planning Commission hearing February 17, 2011, may or may not be considered for CEQA purposes. – Click here to read complete Notice – County of Calaveras Planning Dept., January 18, 2011

Wallace utility hopes for merger with county
The financially ailing Wallace Community Services District is asking to be annexed into Calaveras County Water District. Officials with both districts say that with only about 100 homes connected to water and sewer systems, the Wallace district has too few customers to efficiently operate on its own. – Click here to read article – Stockton Record, January 13, 2011

Fire safety group plans meetings
The Calaveras Foothills Fire Safe Council has obtained grant funding to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan for Calaveras County... There will be four public meetings throughout Calaveras County to kick off this project. – Click here for meeting dates and to read article – Calaveras Enterprise, January 13, 2011

Planning director White resigns
Calaveras County Planning Director George White has resigned after just under two years on the job. – Click here to read article – Calaveras Enterprise, January 6, 2011

Combative start for new Lode lawmaker
Newly seated Calaveras County Supervisor Darren Spellman wore hip waders to his first board meeting Tuesday... Spellman proved he wasn't simply joking by immediately demonstrating that he and Supervisors Tom Tryon and Gary Tofanelli will form a new board majority on some issues... – Click here to read article – Stockton Record, January 5, 2011

Rural Calaveras land could be rezoned for golf recreation
More than a third of Calaveras County that is now farm and ranchland could be potential terrain for golf under a zoning amendment county leaders will consider this year.  That proposal is virtually guaranteed to provoke debate between those who seek to preserve the county's rural character and those who see golf...as a way to subsidize struggling farm operations. – Click here to read article – Stockton Record, January 1, 2011

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