In a hearing that included accusations, audience interruptions and cross-talking, county planning commissioners found that implementing the county’s updated General Plan won’t be easy.
At their Nov. 1 meeting, they reviewed the General Plan’s variety of rezonings along with a controversial “matrix” of landowner requests. The less controversial rezonings were recommended for approval, while others were recommended to be set aside for further community input.
The controversy is mostly in the Blue Lake/Glendale and Willow Creek areas. Residents said they’re blindsided by the changes and asked for more public notice and involvement.
A rezoning for the Mercer-Fraser Company’s 13.5 acre Glendale area site bordering the Mad River is one of the high-profile requests. The rezoning was included in the company’s proposal to operate a 5,000-square-foot cannabis manufacturing facility at the site.
Also included in the landowner request matrix are changes to properties owned by the Green Diamond Resource Company.
Speaking as a McKinleyville resident, Jen Kalt of Humboldt Baykeeper said the company’s requested changes include a 400-acre property just east of McKinleyville that’s being considered for use as a community forest.
Changing the zoning to allow five-acre minimum parcels would have “a huge environmental impact that has not been addressed in the General Plan Update process,” she continued.
Many people asked for further public outreach. “What we desire is a forum either with this body or other bodies that will give us a chance to be heard,” said John Corbett, chair of the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee.
Trinidad Councilmember Dwight Miller said there’s concern about zoning designations that could lead to over-use of Luffenholtz Creek, the city’s water source.