Nevada County supervisors eye advisory panel for South County
Some select South County citizens could help determine the future development of District II for the next several years.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the formation of the South County Area Municipal Advisory Council, a citizen group made to advise and make recommendations on the creation of the Higgins Area Plan.
The plan is meant to provide long-term guidance on the area’s development based on community input.
The new Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) comes on the heels of the Penn Valley Area MAC, created in 2017, successfully shepherding the Penn Valley Area Plan to board approval at the end of last year.
“When (the Penn Valley Area Plan) came to us, there was no controversy to speak of and I think it really has to do with the fact that we have the community so involved, primarily through the MAC,” District II Supervisor Ed Scofield said. “In watching the Penn Valley MAC and how it is operated, it’s been very, very successful and it’s just been a model to follow.”
Scofield said he was originally hesitant about the idea of MACs when first proposed, not wanting to create a cumbersome committee. He has since warmed up to the idea, while District I Supervisor Heidi Hall still has reservations.
“It’s another unelected body, appointed by one person, and you’ve got to get a broad spectrum from your constituents, and then you have to also have a group that works well,” Hall said. “I’ve just had some discomfort with it, but I know that it’s worked well.”
Scofield said while South County’s plan would still focus on the Higgins area, because of the substantial developments since the plan was last updated in 2000, it would also include the Highway 49 corridor and encompass all of District II.
According to Planning Director Brian Foss, because of the funding available for the plan it could also include traffic and economic development studies.
Unlike the Penn Valley Area MAC, which is permanent, the South County Area MAC would dissolve on the updating of the Higgins Area Plan.
The MAC will be made up of five to nine District II residents as determined by Scofield and approved by the board. The MAC can make recommendations and give input to the District II supervisor, but is advisory only.
According to county staff, interest is high, with eight to 10 residents already having reached out.
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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