Virginia Moran: New Dollar Store another sign of government hypocrisy
If you live in Nevada County long enough, you figure out that the problem with Nevada County is — Nevada County government.
It is particularly entertaining if you track hypocrisy. Lots to be had here.
Where to start. How about a dollar store off Little Valley Road in Alta Sierra? Are you kidding me? Since when has Alta Sierra been zoned for commercial development of this kind? Or did this magically happen without anyone being told? What about the massive million-dollar Highway 49 widening project we all just paid for to improve safety? You could not pick a more dangerous place to put a dollar store. Does it fit into the character of our subdivision? Has Caltrans reviewed the traffic plan?
Let’s just keep this simple: A dollar store in Alta Sierra? No. But there is more hypocrisy to be had here. I’m not done.
California’s oak woodlands provide habitat for literally hundreds of species and they provide us with many ecosystem services. They are our neighbors, our oaks. They are residents, too. They should have the same rights. They are native Californians and they define our state and our nation. Protecting our native ecosystems is an act of patriotism. Where else in the world do valley and blue oaks grow? No where else. They are ours. They define and belong to us. In the California Oak Foundation 2040 Report, Nevada County is identified as being within a region at great risk of losing its oak woodlands — “by 2040, 80 percent of El Dorado oak woodlands and more than half of the oak woodlands in Nevada, Yuba, and Placer counties may be developed.”
It is incomprehensible and appalling that the county just fined the Penn Valley Shopping Center owner $35,000 for cutting down ornamental plantings of redwood, but may approve the removal of about 100 of our native oaks including landmark oaks — for a dollar store. We destroy our own precious and declining biodversity for a boxful of crap from China. What a great trade off! A lot of foresight going into this on the part of our county government. Let’s hear it for this outstanding example of “planning,” not to mention it violates the County Land Use Code in multiple ways. Where is the CEQA document for this development?
And while the county is fining the Penn Valley Shopping Center owner for cutting down the redwoods, feel free to avail yourself of the “stump tour” where hundreds of trees have been cut down, many by the county, and many on private land, including mine; check out where the cuts were on steep slopes and now these slopes are slumping or even going through mass wasting, in some cases receding towards the homes themselves. You paid $200,000 to clean one of these up in Alta Sierra. I am watching other slopes that look good to go, all associated with tree cutting on steep slopes. Who will pay when these slopes collapse into the streets? You will, and if you are a homeowner and the bank starts to recede towards your home, it will be extremely difficult to stop.
Is the county concerned about this? No.
The steep slope ordinance that used to prevent development on steep slopes to prevent erosion and reduce fire danger, a very sensible ordinance, was removed by our county government in order to allow more development on steep slopes, but gosh darn it, they really are concerned about “fire safety.”
It is obvious that the people who run our local government are loyal to one thing — the almighty dollar. They constantly force their own residents to be on the defensive. I am sick of it. There is no ethic here or underpinnings that insures our quality of life. They do not use local contractors. They do not respect their own residents or look out for our best interests. Nearly everyone I know is in some kind of dispute or has been in some kind of dispute with the county. News flash — your residents are not your enemies. You are supposed to look out for our interests, too.
In living here now over a decade, I am tired of living in a place where we are rarely left alone to live our lives in peace. For all the “anti-government” shlock spewed out by certain members of the board of supervisors, yes, we should be worried about “government interference” — from them — because it just never stops.
Where was I? Oh yea. Hypocrisy.
Virginia Moran lives in Alta Sierra.
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