A Residence on Every Parcel?
More Thoughts on the Petition to Amend the General Plan
A petition is currently being circulated by CAPR (Citizens for Property Rights) to place an Initiative on the ballot which would amend Sierra County’s General Plan to allow a single family residence on practically every legal parcel in the County. On first blush the idea of a residence on every legal parcel may be appealing, but what are the consequences? When the County allows development on a parcel, it also commits taxpayers to pay for providing services to the residence—fire protection, police protection, building inspections, and road access, to name a few. In Sierra County where many parcels are located in remote, difficult to access areas providing these services is expensive and the property taxes on the residence do not cover the cost. That means the cost of providing services to remote parcels is subsidized by residents in existing communities like Loyalton, Downieville and Sierra City.
At a time when the County must increase taxes or cut other services to pay for solid waste disposal, we can’t afford to siphon money away from existing communities to provide services to remote areas. At a time when County workers are being laid off, increasing the difficulty of providing services to existing communities, we can’t afford to expand their obligations.
Sierra County has committed $200,000 to update and implement the General Plan. More than half of that has already been spent. If passed the Initiative will require hundreds of thousands more to re-evaluate and re-update the General Plan and Zoning Code. Before ithe Initiative even qualifies to be on a ballot, the Supervisors are talking about spending $10,000 to analyze the impacts of the Initiative. Then there will be the cost of a special election.
Private property rights must be responsibly balanced with economic realities and public good. We can’t afford the Initiative. Please don’t sign the petition.
Let your Supervisor know you support their effort to implement the General Plan without any policy revisions that would expand the taxpayers’ obligation to provide services to remote residential parcels.
Save taxpayer money. Don’t sign the petition.
Spread the word.
Sierra and Plumas Counties are under pressure to alter their rural character.
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