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Huge loss to ag neighbors

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Tuesday, March 26 signaled a huge loss for many civic-minded residents of Placer County and a blow to the agricultural community. The County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to uphold the Gold Hill Gardens Event Center appeal allowing construction and operation of a large-scale, non-agricultural business in a farm zoned area.

Despite public and government opposition from the Save Placer Farmlands, Rural Neighborhood Rescue, Public Interest Coalition, the Sierra Club, the county Agricultural Commission, the county Planning Commission and director, the Lincoln Area MAC, and petitions and letters from 200-plus neighbors, the 5,200-square-foot commercial event center was voted in.

    This decision empowers the poorly-defined community center provision to be exploited by developers, allowing relatively inexpensive agriculturally-zoned land to be used for a commercial operation, without requiring a primary agricultural component.

Conversely, bravo to Supervisors Jennifer Montgomery and Robert Weygandt for reflecting the concerns of their constituency with their votes opposing the appeal.

Supervisor Montgomery recommended a two-year trial permit period. Supervisor Weygandt recommended the Gold Hill Gardens proposal be shelved until the Community Center provision is revisited and reworked. Reasonable, collaborative suggestions.

   Giant thanks to these supervisors for validating the efforts and issues of the neighbors and concerned groups.

Teresa Chaney, Newcastle