The Humboldt County Planning Commission is set to consider sweeping zoning changes at its meeting tomorrow for hundreds of thousands of acres of properties throughout the county.
The zoning text amendments and reclassifications are being proposed to implement the county’s general plan update, which the board passed last year. But they are coming before the planning commission tomorrow night along with 30 owner-requested zoning changes, including a couple from Mercer-Fraser Co. that some worry will re-open the door to a controversial proposal to build a cannabis manufacturing facility along the Mad River near where the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District pulls the area’s drinking water.
Humboldt Baykeeper Director Jennifer Kalt said she’s still reviewing the agenda packet for tomorrow’s meeting but indicated the owner-requested zoning changes are of primary concern to her, noting that they include about a dozen requests to rezone gravel queries throughout the county in a way that would accommodate cannabis manufacturing as well.
And Kalt said it’s important to remember that this is essentially the last chance for public input and review for these projects, noting that once zoning changes are adopted some uses become principally permitted, meaning they are not subject to conditional use or environmental review processes. As an example, she pointed to the rezoning of a property on McKinleyville’s Murray Road that is now the future home of a Dollar General store, which despite some widespread neighborhood concerns is now principally permitted.
The primary concern of many looking at tomorrow night’s agenda is the Mercer-Fraser Co. property in Glendale.