County staff and the Lassen County Planning Commission at the Veterans Memorial Hall on Tuesday. Photos by Sam Williams

Lassen County Planning Commission tables controversial Clear Creek project

Property owner Janis Hill probably never imagined her vision of developing her 29.72-acre piece of paradise in the woods would ignite such a large controversy among her Clear Creek neighbors.

But that controversy burned during the Lassen County Planning Commission’s Tuesday, Oct 3 meeting at the Veterans Memorial Hall.

Hill had planned to develop and divide her property into four parcels. According to the agenda, the proposed developments include two building sites for future residences, an equestrian arena and barn, a commercial site for a bakery/coffee shop and a 10-space, full-service RV park with the remaining areas outside the building sites would be preserved as open space. The property is located directly sought of Highway 147 and 1/4 mile west of Clear Creek.

Clear Creek property owner Janis Hill testifies before the Lassen County Planning Commission. Photo by Sam Williams

The commission tabled the matter, in part due to correspondence containing public comment that arrived too late to be reviewed prior to the meeting.

An environmental review officer studied the proposed development and found potentially significant impacts could be mitigated to less than significant impacts. Those impacts included land use, aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, hazards and hazardous materials, geologic problems, hydrology and water quality, population and housing, traffic, wildfire and utilities and service systems.

According to material distributed at the meeting, county staff found the project “to be consistent with Lassen County Code section 18.116 and Title 16.”

County staff prepared two resolutions — one approving the project and one denying it.

One of the major sticking points arose because the Clear Creek Fire Department said it did not have the ability to protect the property in the event of a fire.

Many Clear Creek residents addressed the commission expressing their opposition to the project — for example, fire protection, changes to the nature of the Clear Creek community, increased traffic by RVs and horse trailers through residential areas and water quality.

Hill addressed the commission and said she did not intend to build a commercial stable or RV park. Instead, she said she wanted to have a place where her friends could come and stay and enjoy the nearby mountains and trials. She said she didn’t realize this could turn into a “political thing.”

The item will be considered again at the commission’s November meeting.

The commission held a second public hearing regarding a recommendation to the Lassen County Board of Supervisors regarding an ordinance that would authorize the recordation of Use Permit Revocations, Abandonment and Authorizations to Operate. Currently, that information follows the property owner, and not the property. With this revision that information would attach to the property regardless of the property owner. The commission sent the ordinance to the board of supervisors by a 4-0-1 vote, with Carol Clark abstaining.

A third apublic hearing was held regarding a proposed ordinance regarding kennels and the appropriate number of animals allowed. That recommendation was forwarded to the board of supervisors on a 3-0-2 vote.