Coldsteam Canyon considered for bottle water business | SierraSun.com

Coldsteam Canyon considered for bottle water business

The Placer County Planning Department is reviewing a second application submitted by a Coldstream Canyon landowner for a permit to operate a commercial water facility in the mostly undeveloped canyon.

Walter Harvey, of Sacramento, is reapplying for a conditional use permit to operate the Coldstream Water Facility on 26 acres he owns in Coldstream Canyon.

Harvey’s initial application was approved over a year ago, but was withdrawn last summer after it was challenged by the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, who said the environmental review required by the county was insufficient.

“That led him to withdraw his application, but he was since reapplied,” said Combs.

Harvey withdrew his application before the suit went to trial, then reapplied for the necessary permits in December 2001.

Mountain Area Preservation Foundation’s suit against the Placer County Board of Supervisors alleged that under California Environmental Quality Act standards, an environmental impact report should have been required.

One of the primary concerns raised was the effect that commercial trucks would have on the canyon and on Donner Memorial State Park.

The trucks would access the canyon via a partially paved road that borders the park before winding its way into the canyon.

Under conditions of the permit, up to 12 trucks a day would have been permitted into the canyon.

“He told me verbally that he was proposing fewer truck trips, but in the paper work it doesn’t show any number. So we will need to clarify that,” said Bill Combs, a senior planner with Placer County.

The initial application that Harvey withdrew last summer also would have allowed for a number of large holding tanks on his property, two of which are still there.

Currently, the Placer County Planning Department staff is currently reviewing and preparing to respond to a resubmitted application for the essentially same project, “with some modifications.”

Combs said the staff will ask for clarification of certain aspects of the project before determining the appropriate level of environmental review.

“The next step is to determine if an environmental impact report is needed, or a negative declaration,” Combs said.

Combs said that determination should be done within the next month.

Combs said if it’s a negative declaration, the project could go before the planning commission within a month and if approved, Harvey could seek issuance of the permits immediately.

An environmental impact report could take over six months, Combs said.

As far as which way the staff was leaning, Combs said it was too early to say.