13 posts / 0 new
Last post
Candy Chand's picture
Joined: 08/15/2007
Posts: 304
Development News

Excellent News!

For those who’ve asked to stay informed about Rancho Murieta development updates, here’s excellent news: Since 4 county supervisors: Peters, Dickinson, Yee and MacGlashan made the jarring decision to certify what many believe is still an inadequate EIR, citizens, state, federal and environmental groups have continued our battle for proper cumulative review at the federal level.

Why? The Corps must release wetland permits before the developers can build a single house. In other words, local (county entitlements) are only part of the approval process.

As mentioned a few months ago, the Corps turned down the developers request for a Nationwide Permit (the least complicated of the permitting process). In essence, the corps informed the developers, due to environmental concerns in Rancho Murieta, there will be no more Nationwide Permits granted for our community. Instead, the Corps will at least initiate "individual permits" which require additional cumulative review.

In the meantime, many of us have continued to ask the Corps for more--a full EIS (this document, though rarely implemented, is similar to an EIR, but under strict federal standards). Please note: As requested, a federal EIS is, now, under consideration for Rancho Murieta, with a final decision to be rendered by Colonel Chapman.

To get this far, the cumulative impacts of the Murieta development projects to endangered wildlife habitat and Waters of the United States--(including wetlands and the Cosumnes River) had to rise to a potential level of National significance.

Just 2 weeks ago, a few members of the RMDCCC, as well as state, federal and environmental groups were invited to meet at the Army Corps office to go over our concerns. After the meeting, a remarkable decision was made by Corps officials to schedule a hearing for Rancho Murieta.

Since Corps hearings are rare, we do not take this decision lightly. A federal regulator recently told me, although "meetings" are not entirely uncommon, in the last 18 years, he does not remember one single "hearing" ever initiated out of the district’s Corps office. Additionally, he referred to the Corps decision to hold a hearing for Murieta as an "extraordinary undertaking."

To accommodate locals, environmentalists, media and federal regulators from across the state who desire to take part in this unique event, we wanted to hold it at the largest room available in our community. In response, the club graciously offered their facilities. Therefore, The Untied States Army Corps of Engineers Murieta hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 8th at 7:00 PM at the County Club. Details to follow.

Again, we are ecstatic to receive this level of federal attention by the granting of such a rare hearing and look forward to sharing our development-related environmental concerns in great detail.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me at PatCan85@aol.com or on my cell at (916) 955 2027. Thank you!

Candy Chand

Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users
Marklin Brown's picture
Joined: 08/12/2007
Posts: 196
Development

I had to to read Candy's comment twice to realize the extraordinary impact this has on the entire development discussion and review. Future development at RM and surrounding communities will reap the benefits from the outcome of this process. Possibly future disasters such as the Reynen & Bardis projects in the South RM will be prevented as well.

Myrna Solomon's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 427
I'm thrilled

Myrna Solomon

This is great news for those of us who want responsible growth here in this beautiful community. Hip...Hip.... Hurray!!!

Myrna Solomon

Candy Chand's picture
Joined: 08/15/2007
Posts: 304
Update

The notification to developers by the Corps was recently distributed, and I was sent a copy.  I want to clarify -- the Tuesday, April 8th, 7:00 PM event I mentioned is noticed by the Corps as a "public meeting" rather than a "public hearing."

In my previously exchanges with the corps, the terms were sometimes used interchangeably. The Corps notice to developers mentions the public meeting was scheduled as a federal response to the RMDCCC's concerns regarding Waters of the United States and the Cosumnes River Watershed.

I checked with the corps today and told the difference is slight. Hearings are more formal, but the public meeting in Murieta will be noticed under the same protocol as a hearing. I was also informed the last, slightly similar, public meeting out of this corps' office was recalled as having occurred only once in the last 5 years.
 
It is important to note, a Corps public meeting is a tremendous opportunity for the community, federal, state as well as environmental volunteers (who have already stated they will be attending) to voice their Murieta development-related concerns to the federal government, specifically about impacts to Waters of the United States, including the Cosumnes River.
 
Thank you for all the emails, calls and positive feedback. Copies of letters sent by citizens, state and federal regulators, as well as multiple environmental groups are part of the Corp's public record, and can be obtained upon request. For additional questions, feel free to email me at PatCan5@aol.com or call me on my cell at 955 2027. Thank you!
Candy

 

 


 

 

Mike Burnett's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 183
USACE Public Hearing are Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Candy, 

I think this is a positive step to have the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) complete their review and seek public input.  However, this is Standard Operating Procedure for the USACE.  Your comments tend to imply that this is an unusual procedure.  The USACE submits Public Notices, such as the one for the proposed Folsom Dam Project, http://www.spk.usace.army.mil/pub/outgoing/co/reg/pn/200701068.pdf.  If you read towards the bottom of the notice you will find the following details contained in all USACE Public notices.  They are of course modified depending on the district issuing them and the specific project.  Please pay attention to the section in bold, whereby anyone (this means an individual or any number or persons) can request a public hearing.  The fact that you have been able to solicit and obtain a Public Hearing is not unique to any project under review by the USACE.  

“SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2007-01068 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before September 17, 2007. Lisa M. Gibson, Project ManagerUS Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento DistrictSacramento Office1325 J Street, Room 1480Sacramento, California 95814 2922Email: lisa.m.gibson@spk01.usace.army.mil The Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment and the secondary and cumulative effects. Anyone may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests shall specifically state, with particularity, the reason(s) for holding a public hearing. If the Corps determines that the information received in response to this notice is inadequate for thorough evaluation, a public hearing may be warranted. If a public hearing is warranted, interested parties will be notified of the time, date, and location. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. If you have questions or need additional information please contact the applicant or the Corps' project manager Lisa M. Gibson, 916-557 5288, lisa.m.gibson@usace.army.mil.”

Candy Chand's picture
Joined: 08/15/2007
Posts: 304
Mr. Burnett,

Mr. Burnett, while I appreciate your going to a website and pulling up generic information about the right to "request," I must remind you, asking for a public meeting and being granted one are two entirely different things. I can ask my neighbor for a million dollars, but I can assure you, I'm not going to get it. :)

Rather than perusing websites, I have had multiple phone and email conversations, as well as face to face meetings, in some cases going on for as long as 2 years. In fact, a rep from the US Army Corps has been to my house, where I was able to turn over documents (about future cumulative build-out--foreseeable projects) and go on tour of Murieta. Ditto for the US EPA.

I was happy to take part in sending comment letters to the Corps (which were submitted by attorneys, citizens as well as federal and state regulators (US EPA being one of the strongest) and environmental groups. The letters are on file at the Department of the Defense, US Army Corps of Engineers and are part of the public record. For the most part, the letters voiced concerns about cumulative Murieta development impacts to Waters of the US and to the Cosumnes River Watershed..

In response, I was invited by the Corps to attend a small meeting of comment writers at their district office, which I attended a couple weeks ago, to decipher if our comments actually rose to the level of warranting a public meeting. A few days later, the corps made the remarkable decision to grant our request.

In all fairness, Michael, this has been an education for me as well. At the time of the Corps notification to me, I did not grasp the significance of their decision either, until several federal regulators began to set me straight. My favorite explanation? This type of public meeting (this is not a scoping meeting) is "as rare as  hair on a frog"  :)

We are well-aware, this is an incredible opportunity to share our development-related environmental impact concerns regarding Waters of the U.S in a public forum at the federal level.  

Since the decision to schedule the public meeting, I've been contacted by government and environmental folks from across the state who are looking forward to attending, because they care about Murieta, the environment, and they choose to take part in what they consider to be a unique and important event.

Your hard-working neighbors,, as well as state, federal and environmental groups have done a remarkable job trying to protect Murieta-- in this case, rising it all the way up the federal flagpole.  Yet, oddly enough, whether it’s receiving a letter from the Attorney General, or a Public Meeting called by the United States government, there are always a few who find pleasure making those accomplishments appear insignificant in nature. Believe me, I understand the motivation, I just find it sad, nonetheless.

As always, if anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at PatCan85@aol.com, or better yet, call me on my cell anytime at 955 2027, and I'll be glad to share what I can. Thank you.

Candy Chand.

Andy Keyes's picture
Joined: 08/22/2007
Posts: 289
Who is representing Rancho Murieta

Is the RMA or CSD  to be representing the interests of the community at this meeting?

Mike Burnett's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 183
Government Processes are Generic, content is specific

Candy,

I applaud your efforts to get the meeting established.  The information I presented is specific to the Folsom Dam project.  The government uses generic processes.

Dealing with Code of Federal Regulations, State code of regulations, and Local municipalities has been my life for more than 30 years.  the fact that you find dealing with them is unusual, interesting or whatever, doesn't surprise me in the least.

I was simply pointing out that what you have achieved is more standard operating procedure than you seem to believe.  I don't care what public notice you pull up, the same or very similar verbiage will be there, because that is the process.

Over twenty years ago, I redefined wetland boundaries in the Adirondack Park in New York State so my corporation could better utilize their property.  This was not an easy task, but I utilized the State and Federal processes and was successful.  It happens more than you think.

T. Hanson's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 318
Burnett's Army Corps of Engineers Expertise

Mike, in consideration of your frequent postings and past expertise in this field, am looking forward to your valuable testimony at the Corps meeting/hearing. Most notable, your advocacy for your clients' positions at these purported "normal SOP meetings/hearings" should be revealing. Certainly that will encompass the best interests of Murieta residents and homeowners.

T. Hanson

Andy Keyes's picture
Joined: 08/22/2007
Posts: 289
Who is representing Rancho Murieta at this meeting?

We vote them in as our board members on both CSD and RMA boards.  Are either of them going to represent the citizens of Rancho Murieta?

Marklin Brown's picture
Joined: 08/12/2007
Posts: 196
Development

Mr. Hanson, when you referred to Mr. Burnett's "clients" I get the impression that the "clients" may be developers or some facsimile thereof. Would you clarify this for me?

I believe from all I have read and the meetings I have attended that regardless of the SOP's in the world, this particular community/development review is extraordinary and there are certain very knowledgeable folks, that I admire, leading the charge.

 

On the other hand I see two lawyers that created an empire based on shoddy workmanship and want to continue to do this here. If that fails they will do it in Nevada or a half dozen other areas that no one has caught up to them yet.

 

 

Mike Burnett's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 183
USACE Meeting

Terry,

I would love to attend and participate.  However, I work out of town and can't make midweek meetings as I know there are many others in the community that can't attend these meetings. 

Once the USACE posts the notice with the pertinent information for submitting comments, I will contribute.  I did contribute to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisor's meetings, when I couldn't attend those.

My whole point is that the USACE is simply following their normal procedure for project review.  There is nothing unusual or special about this process.  The USACE should hold the developers accountable to following establish procedures and processes, just as they must adhere to the same.

I believe that the result will be that the projects move forward.  There may be some conditions that they have to comply with or mitigate, but this will not be a show stopper.

I think it is great that the governing agencies are being held accountable to follow thru with their respective due process ("the principle that the government must respect all of a person's legal rights").  This is democracy at work. 

Kudos!  Cool

Kim Smith's picture
Joined: 08/23/2007
Posts: 37
Bravo, Candy!

Candy, THANK YOU for all your hard work.  You are, with out a doubt, a treasure to our community, and I thank you for your perseverence and for representing my family's interests.  I'm sure there are many, MANY other residents who share the same sentiments; we are just not quite as out spoken and perhaps don't frequent the keyboard as often as Mr. Burnett. 

 

Keep up the good work and keep on fightin' the fight.  You're an amazing woman, and I appreciate all your efforts!!!

Log in or register to post comments

Your comments