Thursday, November 08, 2007

Not so fast Hank.

You wrote in your opinion column, "Environmentalists and smart growth advocates have lined up solidly behind the proposed changes."

So called environmentalists are not all in favor of the proposed rules changes. I for one can't support a conditional use permit when no one has a solid answer as to what those conditions will be. It's irresponsible of you to make such a statement when tempers are high. Talk about polarizing the community. How did you come to that conclusion?

It's sad that some people can't see that the anti-Maxxam forces and the constituents of Humboldt CPR have common interests and it serves no one but Maxxam (and maybe other timber barons) for perceived community leaders to start a fued over TPZ regulations.

We need to be solution oriented and not in perpetual battle mode.

How many non-PL execs were in favor of the reorg plan at the first supes hearing? I can't remember any.

How many in opposition to the ordinance, including Bill Barnum, insulted PL outright?

How many times did we hear statements like, "I don't like what PL is proposing but don't hurt my family" ?

I took it to heart.

C'mon people, be strategic not reactionary.


At 11/08/2007 09:20:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

While I sympathize with the "little guy" caught in the crossfire, one does have to consider that people who bought TPZ zoned property did so with full knowledge. It's generally listed as an exception in title searches during escrow. And they benefit from lower taxes, a policy premised on the assumption it will eventually be harvested.

So yeah, I feel for those who bought the land assuming that the government wouldn't actually fulfill the policy. But they did take their chances.

At 11/08/2007 10:43:00 PM, Blogger Hank Sims said...

I hear you, and I appreciate the sentiment.

In my defense, I would say that when Mark Lovelace, Greg King, Dianne Beck, Jennifer Kalt, Tracy Katelman, Larry Evans, David Simpson, etc., etc., all stand up and speak in support of the moratorium and/or about the need for an update to the TPZ ordinance, then it's pretty fair to say that enviros have lined up "solidly" behind the thing. Can you think of one semi-prominent enviro who has spoken out against the proposed TPZ update? I haven't heard of any. Present company excluded.

Everything else you're saying here is absolutely right on, as far as I'm concerned.

At 11/09/2007 12:09:00 AM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Ok Hank, I can see how you came to that conclusion but it's one that must be challenged.

I could be mistaken but I thought that David Simpson spoke against the moratorium at the first meeting. Seeking clarity on that one.

Also, as I understand Traci Katelman wasn't at the most recent supes meeting.

I like how you call it "the thing" because it shows how public perception of the two related issues has become blurred.

Support of the moratorium does not always indicate support of the new proposed rules.

I've been pondering how to challenge that perception. I guess all I can do is try to articulate it here.


I've heard that when you build a permitted structure the acre or two of land that it is on will be taken out of TPZ and you pay regular taxes. Do you know whats up with that assertion?

It seems like those who want to comply with zoning regulations will be the most affected by this while those who would build unpermitted structures will continue to do so.

At 11/09/2007 12:29:00 PM, Blogger Hank Sims said...

David Simpson definitely spoke in favor of the moratorium both times. He wasn't at the meeting where the ordinance change was first raised because he was in Corpus Christi. Tracy Katelman was at the first meeting, not the second. She spoke in favor too.

I've been pondering how to challenge that perception. I guess all I can do is try to articulate it here.

Yeah, well, you're doing a pretty good job. Very interesting discussion.

I guess if I could presume to summarize your position, it would be that the moratorium was important because we needed to torpedo Palco's plan. But so long as Palco's plan is torpedoed, there's no immediate need to change the rules.

Is that accurate?

At 11/09/2007 01:49:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Thats pretty accurate.

The Redwood Ranch plan was torpedoed but whether it will totally sink is unclear. Regardless, the moratorium appears to have outlived it's usefulness on that front.

At 11/09/2007 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I've heard that when you build a permitted structure the acre or two of land that it is on will be taken out of TPZ and you pay regular taxes. Do you know whats up with that assertion?

I don't know if it's automatic, or whether you can apply to have it taken out. John Rogers and the ISF crowd have been proposing an amnesty of sorts to allow current TPZ prop owners to "roll out" over a five year period and pay up either the harvest taxes or the standard property taxes dating back to the purchase. I hope I have that right.

Anyway, I don't know the answer to your question. I'll look into it.

At 11/13/2007 09:47:00 AM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

one does have to consider that people who bought TPZ zoned property did so with full knowledge.

One also has to realize that the whole buyer be-ware thing is pretty much like saying "I told you so!" The reality is that most people who are buying the liquid property in the county have little or no idea about the zoning, designation, the general plan, or even the concept behind TPZ. The interest to most buyers are openings with southern exposer. Not saying it is right - but for some reason I feel that needs to be stated.

On the whole issue of who is who, and will the real environmentalists please stand up?! - it seems counterproductive. We all need to consider burying these words. When used in the context of "most enviro's are supporting X" it sounds like political spin rather that unbiased information.

Im not suggesting dumbing down the language as to encourage doublespeak - but every time I read liberal, conservative, environmentalist, industry, right, wrong etc... it seems as if it moves us further away from any real workable common ground or solution.

At 11/13/2007 03:45:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

You're right Bolithio. I think that comments like "the new TPZ regulations will be more in conformance with state law" and "you bought TPZ so deal with it" are beside the point to many peoples concerns and seem like complete disregard for their concerns or hardships they may face.

For one thing, what about people who lived there before TPZ? The "rollout" option mentioned by Eric doesn't look good to me.

I think the private media (no offense Hank) benefits from painting a picture of strife and conflict because it's more gripping to the consumer. On Kevin Hoovers recent radio show he stated in reference to the recent TPZ issues that “Recent events have been red raw meat for partisans on the various sides of the culture wars.”

What culture wars? And what cultures are he reffering to? It's irresponsible and sensationalistic. Sure there's partisan politics happening on a certain level but what about the rest of us? That pissed me off way more than Hanks line about all enviros lining up behind the ordinance and the new proposed TPZ rules.

I've been preparing to write a longer post about all this so I'll save some for that.

At 11/13/2007 03:48:00 PM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Anyone have a suggestion for a banner title? I'm not totally satisfied with the new one.

At 11/14/2007 08:20:00 AM, Anonymous Bolithio said...

Looking forward to the culture wars part... Here are my top three titles for you:

"Save the forest; and a side of fries."

"Culture Wars!"

"Tune your guitar daryl cheney!"


on second thought - I might be the wrong person to give you advise for a banner title...

At 11/14/2007 09:54:00 AM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/14/2007 09:58:00 AM, Blogger John Doe #86 said...

Thanks for trying.

You gave me some ideas,

"$10 a month to save the earth!"

"Eco-Freaks Unite"

"Save stuff..."

or to appeal to my log-minded readers,

"Pecker Poles- Americas Renewable Resource"

"Run of the Mill blog"

"There's More Trees Now Than Ever! <20"dbh"

"Plywood, It's Whats For Dinner"

Aw shucks, I guess I'll stick with "work in progress" for now.

At 11/15/2007 11:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howsabout "Timber Prognostication Zone?" TPZ baby!


At 11/15/2007 05:08:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

This just came over e-mail from AEB.

Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
825 5th Street
Eureka, CA 95502

Nov. 6, 2007

Re: TPZ Ordinance Building Moratorium

Dear Supervisor Geist, Neely, Smith, and Woolley,

This letter is in support of your efforts to enforce the intent and provisions of
TPZ policy by revision of the TPZ ordinance if necessary. I believe many of those
protesting your actions have been mislead into believing a timber production zone is
something imposed on certain property, like zoning for residential or commercial
development, rather than a designation petitioned for by the landowner or assumed
with full disclosure to subsequent buyers of a property under TPZ.

My wife and I own 2 contiguous properties in Kneeland. We purchased 3 acres with a
house in 1975 and the 4 acres adjacent in 1985. Our 2 properties contain about 6
acres of marketable redwood. Our neighbor's piece is 10 acres and also has about 6
acres of trees and the rest cleared.

In the late 1970s, my neighbor put his property into TPZ to reduce property taxes,
which were rapidly rising at that time. I considered doing the same, but after
reading the TPZ ordinance, I chose to keep all my options open because I did not
want to put restrictions on our property that limited the purpose of the residence I
could build, nor did I want to be subjected to a 10-year waiting period if we later
decided to request conversion (removal) of the TPZ designation. Additional, we did
not request a TPZ on the adjacent parcel we purchased in 1985 because we may want to
build a residence on it at some point in the future, which might not be justified
under the TPZ ordinance.

I selectively logged our property in 1985 and plan to do so again in the next few
years. My neighbor on the 10 acres in TPZ has never logged. Our newest neighbor
purchased 2 contiguous parcels of 50 acres each from a major timber property owner a
few years ago. He has built a very large new home on one and believes he has the
right to build another home on the contiguous TPZ property, whether needed for
timber production or not. Both pieces have been mostly clear-cut within the last 10
years and cannot be commercially harvested for many years.

All of us receive the same services from the county. My neighbors were well aware of
the intent and regulations related to owning land in TPZ. If they would like to
develop their property in non-compliance of the TPZ, then they have the right to
request conversion and begin the 10-year waiting period. To do otherwise would be
unfair to those who have paid fully assessed taxes. To compound the situation,
properties like my neighbors' in TPZ are seen as more desirable to developers
because they have lower tax bases!

It is unfortunate that the public is being misinformed and regrettable to hear
Supervisor Rodoni fan the flames at the demonstration Saturday rather than use it as
an opportunity to educate the public on the underlying facts as illustrated in my
anecdotal case.

Mr. Arkley also chose to incite people with misleading rhetoric and outrageous
insinuations about your personal motives on KINS Talk Shop, which you've all been on
yourselves from time to time.

As portrayed in the media, many people will have been intimidated by the mob
reaction and lack of respect given to those that support the Board's decision to
extend the moratorium, but I believe when completely informed on the issues, an
overwhelming majority of your constituents will support extension of the moratorium
as appropriate through the General Plan update.

Dave Spreen


and this letter from March of '01:

To: Times-Standard
Re: Letter to editor: Cut and run policy?

Date: March 1, 2001

Dear editor.

Your editorial “Water quality agency hesitant to get involved in logging issue”
published 3/1/01 concludes that if stream protection is not effective under stricter
rules, timber harvest itself may be impossible. You then state, “In that case, the
land will probably be subdivided for residential development, and siltation is
likely to become still worse.”

Actually, this “cut and run” policy is already underway. It recently came to my
attention, quite by accident, that at least 2 large TPZ properties on Greenwood Hts.
Dr. alone have been sold by a major timber firm to developers. I called the
company’s property management office to confirm the sales and was told they were not
selling their Humboldt County properties to developers. That is true because in most
cases they “trade” properties. This has tax advantages over “selling”. In addition,
these deals are not listed anywhere.

I would urge our County Supervisors to examine the situation and be alert to
potential infrastructure problems to development in this back-door fashion. I trust
all agencies involved in TPZ zoning will carefully scrutinize any move to subvert or
amend the TPZ regulations.

Dave Spreen

At 11/21/2007 01:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 11/08/2007 09:20:00 PM, Eric V. Kirk said...
“While I sympathize with the "little guy" caught in the crossfire, one does have to consider that people who bought TPZ zoned property did so with full knowledge. “

Answer: full knowledge that building a single family residence was a permitted use.

At 11/09/2007 12:09:00 AM, John Doe #86 said...
“I've heard that when you build a permitted structure the acre or two of land that it is on will be taken out of TPZ and you pay regular taxes. Do you know whats up with that assertion?”

Answer: First, you are paying taxes on the highest and best use for the entire piece of land. You are taxed on your trees like everyone else when and if you cut them. Second you are correct, in this county when you build two acres are taxed like everyone else’s and your structures are taxed like everyone else’s.


“It seems like those who want to comply with zoning regulations will be the most affected by this while those who would build unpermitted structures will continue to do so.”

Answer: Precisely!

At 11/21/2007 01:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric - thanks for posting the Alliance for unethical business's letters from David Spreen. I do think that it would have been better for Mr. Spreen to say that he is a member and a public spokesperson for Health Humboldt.


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