Martis development continues while plan is developed
While the Martis Valley Community Plan heads towards a summer of potentially heated meetings before the Placer County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, several of the developments on the Placer County side of Martis Valley continue to move through the planning process.Those projects are in the portion of the valley that will be under the jurisdiction of the Martis Valley Community Plan, if and when it is approved.Projects in the valley that are currently seeking approval include Eaglewood, Hopkins Ranch and the Martis Creek Estates (see sidebar). Two of the three developments include 18-hole golf courses.The Martis Valley Community Plan is an update of the 1975 Martis Valley General Plan and seeks to guide development and address “new environmental and land issues” in the Placer County portion of the Martis Valley.A preliminary draft was released in January, with a revised draft expected out shortly.The draft proposes a holding capacity of 9,200 dwelling units in the valley, a 22- percent reduction from what was permitted under the 1975 plan. Still, it would allow for approximately 6,800 more units at buildout than what currently exists or has already been approved in the valley.Currently, each of the proposed developments with applications already on file are in the environmental review phase.But some believe that any final decisions on those projects should wait until the Martis Valley Community Plan is finished.”There has been piecemeal approval [of these projects] that should have fallen under the community plan,” said Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch.If a new land use plan under construction, officials can wait to consider any projects proposed within the region until the update plan is implemented, says an expert in the field.”The law allows you to do a ‘study zone.’ Basically, you draw a line [on the map] and say during the term of our planning, developments will not be considered until the new plan is complete and implemented,” said Jeff Loux, director of the University of California, Davis’ Land Use and Natural Resources extension program.Loux did say that California requires a time limit on such actions – approximately two years.It would also require a “super majority” of the local government, in this case the four out of the five Placer County Supervisors would have to approve of the move.”It’s really up to the town or county. But is it typical, I would say it isn’t,” Loux said.”Study zones are politically difficult. Use the M-word [moratorium], and everybody gets all excited.”Placer County Planning Director Fred Yeager was unavailable for comment.The next meeting of the Martis Valley Community Plan’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee is scheduled for June 17 at Town Hall.The 12-member Citizen’s Advisory Committee will make an advisory recommendation to the Placer County Planning Commission on the Martis Valley Community Plan.That recommendation could come at their next meeting.SidebarAll information on Eaglewood, Martis Creek Estates and Hopkins Ranch is from the Placer County Planning Departments’ current projects list.Eaglewood -The Eaglewood project area is approximately 475 acres. Eaglewood is proposed as a master-plan community that includes five mixed residential categories for a total of 470 dwelling units, including 40 employee housing units, an18-hole golf course, recreation center, park and village commercial.Project location: Between Highway 267 and the existing Lahontan project in the Martis Valley area of Placer County. The primary vehicular access into the site will be from Schaffer Mill Road off Highway 267.Applicant/Owner: Robert Hayes & Robert TamiettiStatus: Administrative draft environmental impact report is expected from the project consultant.Hopkins Ranch-Proposed major subdivision, rezoning and conditional use permit for a planned development of 87 single-family lots and the construction of an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and accessory buildings.Project location: North of the approved Lahontan project, adjacent to Schaefer Mill Road and south of Highway 267 in the Martis Valley area of Placer County.Applicant/Owner: Ron Parr, DMB Highlands Group, LLC,Status: Administrative draft environmental impact report was due from consultant last month.Martis Creek Estates-Proposal to subdivide 122.4 acres into 12 residential lots with a minimum lot size of 10 acres.Project location: just off Highway 267, across from the entrance to the Northstar at Tahoe resort.Applicant/Owner: Terrance E. Lowell & AssociatesStatus: Mitigated Negative Declaration prepared and sent to applicant for review of mitigation measures.