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Results of Planning Commission Meeting

The Vallecito subdivision went before the Mariposa County Planning Commission on Friday, April 21. The Commission voted 4 to 1 to approve the project with no further mitigation. While we had hoped the owner would talk to us about alternatives ahead of time and that more than one member* of the Planning Commission would look further into concerns and ask for additional mitigation, this result was not a surprise. (*District 1 Commissioner voted no over concerns re water.)

The petition signature and comments were included in the Commissioners’ packets. Thanks to all who signed and commented.

Thanks also to those who spoke at the meeting or attended to show support for saving our valuable Catheys Valley history as represented by this landscape and barn, and who voiced concerns regarding water, safety, and more.

Some positives that came out of the meeting:

– The owner says he will allow assessment and stabilization of the barn by a local professional and will start discussions about this with us in a few weeks.

– Voluntary CC&Rs were included with the staff reports. If these are put in place by the future homeowners association, the landscape may not be completely destroyed. We will be paying attention, working with the real estate agent and owner, and encouraging the adoption of the CC&Rs.

– It was discussed that lots can be re-zoned – if, for example, a lot is purchased or donated for the expansion of Sierra Foothill Charter School which is next to the subdivision, or if the lot with the barn is purchased for adapting the barn into a library and/or a working small agriculture center, those lots could be re-zoned as necessary.

In addition:

– We have good ideas coming from Sierra Foothill Conservancy about a land trust. We will continue to explore this so that we can present the idea and its benefits to the owner.

– We met with the Farm Bureau last week. Its board members are supportive of continuing to do what we can to protect the landscape which is so representative of our agriculture history. They suggested we work with Sierra Nevada Conservancy on options that would allow the owner a large tax break. We are working on this so we can present information to the owner.

– We have started a fund for paying for the assessment and stabilization of the barn. If you would like to donate, you can do so by sending a check written to Friends of the Givens Ranch (account number 0168488336) to WestAmerica Bank, 5121 Hwy 140, Mariposa, CA 95338. We will start a fundraising campaign shortly. Stay tuned!

Thanks for your continued interest and support.

Friends of the 1879 Givens Ranch Historic Landscape and Barn






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