For years the people of Scott Valley have trusted that the Scott Valley Watershed would be protected from untold future development based on the Scott Valley Area Plan which was voted on and approved by the majority of people in Scott Valley, then signed and approved Nov. 13, 1980 as Resolution No. 444, Book 9 by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors.
We have been told over and over how fortunate we are that people in Scott Valley were forward-looking so as to protect us from unwanted development, unlike most other rural areas. Boy were we naive in believing that.
There have been instances where the plan was used to make life difficult for small businesses, but let a monied operation come in and the red carpet is rolled out with nary a word about the Scott Valley Area Plan. The latest being the AgriTourism and MultiSpecies (commercial hog) farm darlings who have been telling the county what they want, even to the point of writing the wording for the zoning amendments.
It is my understanding the county expects the planning commissioners to approve AgriTourism and MultiSpecies Zoning changes as Categorically Exempt from CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act passed in 1970) under the General Rule Exemption which basically translates as: it can be said with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment.
Excuse me, but that it utter hog wash.
It is about time that the county staff, the planning commissioners, and the board of supervisors wake up to the fact that Scott Valley has in place the Scott Valley Area Plan and it is their duty to abide by it.
Maps are a crucial part of the Scott Valley Area Plan: The Composite Map, The Critical Deer Wintering Map, The Excessive Slope Map, The Flood Plain Map, all of which people seem to be ignoring.
I am no map maker but I attempted to approximate where the land parcels would be on these critical maps of two of the big proponents who have been and are currently engaged in AgriTourism and MultiSpecies farming, and who the county appointed as technical advisors.
You can read more and see the maps on this link:
On that page, scroll down past the Barn photo to the article titles and click on AgriTourism and the Scott Valley Area Plan Part Four. From that page you can also read previous postings.
Some of their parcels appear to extend into the Critical Deer Wintering Area, as well as the Flood Plain of the Scott River, and Excessive Slope areas.
Last we checked, what goes in a mouth, comes out the other end and it all flows downhill on a slope, and in a flood it travels to unknown places.
So to say there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment is just not accurate.
These non-permitted AgriTourism and MultiSpecies businesses and any to follow, should be required to submit a full disclosure of their plan and detailed map(s) showing exactly where livestock will be pastured/kept, where activities will take place, where buildings and parking areas will be placed, so that no critical areas will be infringed upon or cause undue health hazards to the surrounding areas or people.
We will leave it to others to address issues of water, traffic, noise, sewage and other waste products. Waste products especially will become an even bigger issue when a proposed butchery (a fancy name for what we used to call a slaughterhouse) begins operation.
It appears the county’s intent is to just zip these Zoning changes through the planning commission at their March 20 meeting on the way to approval by the board of supervisors.
Enough of this catering to the desires of those who have already been conducting AgriTourism events and MultiSpecies farming in non-permitted areas.
This is not acceptable. There needs to be further investigation and discussion into how all this squares with our Scott Valley Area Plan and responsibility taken for the degradation it has and will continue to cause.
We have until March 18 at 5 p.m. to submit our concerns to the county.
Please address letters RE: AgriTourism and Multispecies Zoning amendments to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Agri-Tourism as practiced here in Scott Valley means: Making money by promoting an Instagram idea of rural life, then charging people to flock in and experience it, all the while selling out the Scott Valley Area Plan for the rest of us.
and Eb Whipple