Humboldt County’s recently-updated General Plan is more controversial than ever and has hit a wall of opposition as the Board of Supervisors considers its implementation.
At a December 11 hearing, supervisors took up the rezoning of hundreds of thousands of parcels in accordance with the General Plan’s land use maps. The plan’s text and maps direct changes that include increasing residential densities and designating industrial uses.
Last month, the county’s Planning Commission recommended that the board approve most of the rezones and set aside a few controversial ones for community planning processes.
Explaining the commission’s reasoning, Senior Planner Michael Richardson outlined the public process that led to the General Plan’s approval. Between 2000 and 2015, it included 47 community workshops, 111 Planning Commission meetings and 75 Board of Supervisors meetings.
When Richardson said that the Planning Commission believes “the public has been heard,” including in the Glendale and Fieldbrook areas, the audience responded with a round of sarcastic laughter and jeers.
Earlier, Richardson told supervisors that the commission is “comfortable” with the public process. The audience again sounded off, this time with approval, when Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson said that although a majority vote was gained at the commission’s November hearing, it was “anything but comfortable.”
“The entitlements that you would be giving to change the zoning on these parcels today has not been fully addressed in the EIR for the General Plan,” said Jen Kalt of Humboldt Baykeeper.