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Residents may vote on Yuba Highlands

Yuba County residents may get to cast their vote on the Yuba Highlands housing project if a ballot measure gets support from the county’s supervisors Wednesday.

Last week, Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Hal Stocker added an item to the agenda to discuss placing the 5,100-residence development on a future ballot. No background material was included.

“There’s no need to build another subdivision in the boondocks,” Stocker said. “We already have enough parcels on the books to double or triple the population.”



Stocker represents the district where the project is proposed. He said many Yuba County residents are strongly opposed to the development planned to be built between Beale Air Force Base and the Spenceville Wildlife Area.

He said building in an area with no jobs is a bad idea, and the county may be left with pricey road, sewer and water maintenance costs for the 15,000 people expected to move there.




Stocker voted in the minority to uphold two appeals contending the environmental report for the project was flawed.

Last week, supervisors voted 3-2 to reject the appeals and temporarily uphold the county planning commission’s decision to accept the environmental report for the project’s area plan.

District 4 Supervisor Dan Schrader, who voted against the appeals, questioned the idea of putting an advisory measure on any ballot.

“We’ve put advisory measures on the ballot before with varying levels of success,” Schrader said.

In 2005, voters were asked whether they supported building an Indian casino in the county. Despite a 52-percent vote of nonsupport for the project, the casino project has moved forward, Schrader said.

Schrader rejected the appeals even though he admitted there “are some serious questions that need to be answered,” he said.

Concerns about traffic, water and sewer were adequately addressed by the experts who drafted the environmental report, Schrader said. Those concerns will be looked at more closely when the developer seeks permits from the state and moves the project through the planning department.

Even so, he expected a lawsuit would be filed by those who argue the environmental impact report is weak, Schrader said.

“It’s going to a judge at some point. Why not bite the bullet and get it over with?” Schrader said.

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To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion.com or call 477-4231.


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