Sharing Information | Encouraging Engagement
The second BOS meeting of August included an informative update regarding the Six Rivers Lightning Complex fire incident, a lot of public input, and a decision to provide more time for consideration of the housing ordinance that was on the agenda.
Here are the notes I took during today’s meeting. Please understand that this is not meant to be a comprehensive documentation of discussions and decisions that took place.
The fire update was the first thing on the agenda. If you would like to view the update (or the rest of the meeting) you can watch the meeting on YouTube with this link. If you would like to know more about what was on the agenda, here is a link to the online agendas and minutes (when available) for BOS meetings.
Update on Six Rivers Fire
- A number of representatives from the organizations supporting us during this incident were in attendance for this update.
- Calmer weather over the last few days has helped teams to make good progress.
- Initial limitation of available resources led to decision to take an indirect approach in the early days of this incident.
- Fire behavior has been limited by the strong smoke inversions. Tough on residents and crews… helpful in limiting fire growth.
- The next couple days present increased risks due to potential storms and increased winds. Wednesday is expected to be the day of greatest weather-related concerns.
- Representatives acknowledged fire-related health and safety concerns and emphasized their commitment to minimizing these impacts through their focused efforts.
- Estimates are that the fire will be contained to less than 25,000 acres… it is currently at 21,000 acres
- Teams will rotate out and new teams will take over this weekend
- More and quicker renovation efforts are planned after the fire is fully contained. This includes getting more of the black timber to lumber yards and to do this more quickly.
- A number of people presented concerns regarding the pace of approvals of commercial cannabis licenses – this is primarily related to the preparation and review of Appendix C requirements.
- Several comments also highlighted concerns about negative economic impacts and associated trends within the county.
- One speaker referred to Project Trellis… a Humboldt County initiative that includes micro-grants, marketing, and local equity program in support of the cannabis industry. More information is available here – https://www.gohumco.com/195/Project-Trellis
Department Head Reports
- Sheriff’s Report – resources have been involved in fire-related matters including support of evacuations. Over 800 hours of overtime recorded to-date (approximately $42,000). This is not a federally supported incident so the county will bear the financial burden. There have been some reports of criminal activity – some of these did not come directly/officially into the Sheriff’s Department.
- Human Resources Report – a grievance matter has been resolved and the related agreement will be delivered to the BOS.
- Jill Cox – we have a path forward for ensuring that we continue to receive our Title 1 & 2 funding
- Keith Groves – tomorrow is the last day to submit comments to BLM regarding wildland areas that should be protected as “wild and scenic.”
- Jeremy Brown:
- Very positive about response from all organizations involved in fighting the fires and supporting the community during this incident.
- Mentioned that the Trinity County Equity Program is currently being assessed – we should hear more on this soon. Note – this is related to public comments regarding Project Trellis.
- Community Choice Advocate – requires assessment that is costly. Funding discussions are required before moving forward. Some concern about approval based on the limited number of people who would be served.
- Cannabis advisory committee – Jeremy was just appointed to a two year term. He believes he will be the only licensed cultivator on the committee.
- River Park Project – tribal community meeting taking place on 8.27. This will not move forward unless there is strong community support.
Cannabis Adhoc Committee
- Cannabis Department staff member received a threatening email – changes to protocols are being changed to address security concerns
- Status updates will be provided monthly
- The Progress Report that is required by the State should come to the committee and board
- Adhoc meeting this week where updated information will be presented
- Expired permits on applicant properties have caused delays in some cases
- We experienced our first application rejection due to noncompliance (severe environmental concerns)
- Nine applications have passed through CEQA and now awaiting county review/action (variances, permits, etc)
- Will continue to work to address communication concerns
- Resources are being focused on technical review
- Staff is encouraging people to come to the office for discussions regarding applications
Limited Density Rural Dwellings | Class K Housing
- The BOS had lengthy discussions regarding this matter with (at times) very diverse opinions. Ultimately, the decision was to put this back out for more public input and to ensure that input from the planning department (and other groups) can be reviewed and considered by the public and all Supervisors. The plan is for this matter to be heard again (as a first reading) at the next board meeting.
- The following notes are from discussions leading up to the final decision.
- Director Presley presented a summary regarding this matter… referring to information contained in the documents filed for public review
- CalFire’s Shasta/Trinity unit representative presented fire safety-related concerns… indicating that they don’t support this proposal as it is currently written. He also raised concerns about the county being held responsible if the cause of future fires are tied back to lower fire safety standards approved via this measure
- Several individuals spoke in support of this proposal and identified unique circumstances (such as remote/off-grid locations) that they felt made meeting current standards extremely challenging.
- Several changes/corrections were submitted by Supervisor Groves before the measure was voted upon
- Technical questions focused upon fire safety-related measures (road access, sprinklers, etc.) with noted concerns about potentially conflicting with state laws.
- Supervisor Frasier indicated that this measure would allow many landowners to bring existing structures up to this new minimum code… which would lead to more permitted properties and then increased property taxes.
- SRA vs FRA… there was discussion about which organizations have responsibility for property protection (during fires). The CalFire representative clarified that all private lands are considered SRA which means they are state (CalFire) protected
- State Requirements:
- 4290 – refers to building/construction items… roads, address signage, etc.
- 4291 – refers to clearance items
- If CalFire can’t/won’t sign off on structures/sites then responsibility falls back to the county
- Supervisors Groves and Frasier indicated that State law does allow for development of Limited Density Rural Dwelling code
- Planning Commission Suggestions – the board discussed each suggestion to determine which items would be included in the ordinance.
- Insurance – the point was made that insurance ratings at the county level would be negatively impacted by having (fire related) county codes that are below state level codes. This could lead to more difficulty obtaining insurance and higher rates for those who can get insurance.
I hope these notes are helpful in your efforts to stay informed about county matters. For a more comprehensive understanding of what took place, you can watch any portion of the meeting on YouTube with this link.