About two dozen people showed up to listen to the Plumas Board of Supervisors discuss the general plan, but a handful walked out when the clerk to the board called the sheriff to restore order.
The supervisors were scheduled to discuss adopting the general plan and the associated environmental impact report following the board’s noon recess Dec. 17.
But when Board Chairman Terry Swofford announced that there would be no public comment, because the public hearing had officially closed Nov. 12, an unidentified man in the back of the room objected, declaring that to be a violation of the Brown Act (open meeting laws).
Despite his protest, Planning Director Randy Wilson proceeded with describing the documents that had been prepared for the supervisors and the steps they would take to adopt the plan.
During his presentation, Indian Valley resident Todd Anderson stood and called out, “Point of order.”
Swofford asked Anderson to take his seat, but he responded that the board was violating the Brown Act.
County Counsel Craig Settlemire told Anderson that the public hearing had been closed and this was the opportunity for the supervisors to discuss the general plan.
When objections from various audience members continued, Settlemire asked that the meeting be suspended and the sheriff be contacted.
As a court bailiff appeared to assist, Anderson and others filed out of the boardroom.
Wilson continued with his remarks and described the changes that had been incorporated into the document following the Nov. 12 public hearing. They included addressing the definition of the word “sustainable,” and the use of the word “shall.”
“That concludes my opening comments,” Wilson said.
Then it was time for the supervisors to speak. In quick succession they thanked staff, the consultants and the public for the work that was involved in a project that began in 2005.
“Thank you to the Plumas County concerned citizens who brought forth the concerns,” Supervisor Kevin Goss said. He assured those in the audience, many of whom live in his Indian Valley district, that he considered the plan a good baseline and that he “would keep a sharp eye on anything that will impact private property rights.”
Goss, normally a man of few words, discussed the impossibility of writing the perfect general plan.
When it was her turn to speak, Simpson seemed momentarily stunned. “That’s the most I ever heard you say, Kevin,” she said, and then concurred with his sentiments.
Supervisor Jon Kennedy said there had been a lot of conversations and he had taken time to look into many of the areas of concern including open space, the use of the word “shall,” and biomass.
“There are so many unknowns,” he said. “When things come up that’s when we start addressing (them).”
Supervisor Sherrie Thrall, who began the general plan update process as a member of the planning commission before she was elected supervisor, made the motions that approved the environmental document and adopted the general plan update. The supervisors approved both motions unanimously by roll call vote.
As for the next step, Senior Planner Becky Herrin said that the documents must be filed with the state, which opens a 30-day window for lawsuits to be filed.
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