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CITIZEN'S COMPLAINTS

LAND USE AGENCY / PLANNING COMMISSION

RANDOLPH STREET COMPLAINT

REASON FOR REVIEW

The Grand Jury received a citizen's complaint against the Land Use Agency and the Planning Commission. The complainants alleged:

BACKGROUND

In December, 1997, the parcel of land at the intersection of Randolph Street and Highway 49, on the outskirts of Plymouth, was purchased to relocate an established business.

On January 29, 1998, a TAC meeting was held to review the request for a rezoning for that parcel from "Light Manufacturing" (LM) to "Heavy Commercial" (C2).

On February 17, 1998, notices for a public hearing from the Amador County Planning Commission were mailed out to all neighboring property owners. On February 18, 1998, the complainants received the notice of the Planning Commission hearing.

The TAC recommended, and the Planning Commission approved, the rezoning. On March 31, 1998, the Board of Supervisors approved the zoning change.

On August 11, 1998, the Planning Commission conducted another hearing for a request for a "Substantially the Same" finding to make minor changes. This hearing was to review the request to relocate the entrance to the parcel and to move the structure from one end of the parcel to the other. This addressed the concerns expressed at the March 10th hearing. The proposed changes were approved by the Planning Commission, and later by the Board of Supervisors.

METHODOLOGY

Persons interviewed:

  1. Complainants
  2. Deputy County Counsel
  3. County Planner

Documents examined:

  1. Minutes of the TAC meeting of January 29, 1998.
  2. Minutes of the Planning Commission meeting of March 31, 1998.
  3. Minutes of the Board of Supervisors meting of March 31, 1998.
  4. Minutes of the Planning Commission meeting of August 11, 1998.
  5. Initial request for zoning change, January 13, 1998.
  6. Mailing lists for the Planning Commission meetings.

FACTS

  1. The TAC is strictly an advisory body. The members of this committee represent organizations such as the Air Pollution Control District, Caltrans, Public Works Agency, Amador Fire Protection District, and the County Counsel.
  2. The Amador County Planning Commission has five members who are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Each Board member appoints one commissioner from his or her district.
  3. The notices for the Planning Commission are mailed out to all involved citizens in advance in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  4. Mailings are not required for TAC meetings. Notices for TAC meetings are posted outside the County Administration Building.
  5. The complainants were reasonably satisfied with the changes.

CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based on the letters received, and records of attendance at the Planning Commission meeting, it appears that the property owners were notified.
  2. The TAC considered all technical aspects of the project.
  3. By stipulating several conditions for the developers, the Planning Commission appears to have addressed the resident's concerns.
  4. The developer has adequately addressed the concerns of the complainants.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. On zoning change matters, the Planning Commission should extend the lead time of notices sent out to affected property owners.
  2. When zoning change matters are referred to the TAC, the affected property owners should be notified in advance by mail.

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