Saturday, October 20, 2007

Next Hearing on Timberland Building Permits Tues. the 23rd

I guess I was right about the date after all.

The county supervisors will be discussing a new draft ordinance increasing county government control over the issuance of building permits on Timber Production Zone lands.

This is a continuation of events that were precipitated by Pacific Lumbers ridiculous reorganization proposal that includes selling 136 "kingdoms" (their word for 160 acre parcels) for $5 million each. This is about 8 times as much as the current price of land in Humboldt County. A reorganization under chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code is supposed to get the company out of bankruptcy. Charles Hurwitz's upper puppets at Pacific Lumber have proposed a fatally flawed plan that appears to be a planned failure to many Maxxam/PL critics.

As I mentioned in the last post, also on Tuesday is the hearing in Corpus Christi on whether or not PL's reorganization plan can continue as the exclusive plan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Next Hearing On Timberland Ordinance

I mistakenly wrote in the last post that the next public hearing on this would on the 23rd.

If I remember correctly the next hearing on the ordinance was scheduled to occur after Judge Schmidt hears arguments for and against allowing PL's reorganization plan to continue as the exclusive plan. That way the temporary ordinance would still be in effect while Judge Schmidt is considering the reorg plan. The judge may allow the creditors (and maybe others?) to submit thier own reorganization plan at this point.

I'm guessing that the descision by Schmidt will have a big effect on the outcome of the next meeting. Hopefully he allows alternative reorganization plans to be considered.

The timber note holders represented by the Bank of New York just filed thier statement arguing that PL's reorg plan is unrealistic.

Below are excerpts from todays article by John Driscoll;

”The Redwood Ranch residential development, proposed to be in the middle of the debtors' timberlands, has no realistic possibility of ever being completed,” the bank writes. “Existing federal, state and local environmental regulations, endangered species protections and land use restrictions, and the debtors' antagonistic history with each of the decision making bodies, prevent any realistic possibility of obtaining the necessary permits and approvals to realize this speculative venture.”

Palco will come out of the planned restructuring with more debt that it already has, the bank's attorneys write. In order for the plan to work, the noteholders write, Palco must sell 6,600 acres of marbled murrelet reserves for more than $300 million within three years, and sell the Redwood Ranch parcels for more than $700 million within seven years, a prospect they doubt will be realized.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Important Public Hearing, Not Sure of Date

The county supes will be deciding whether or not to extend the temporary ban on new housing permits on land zoned for timber production. They voted 4-1 last week to pass an emergency ordinance declaring a temporary moratorium that could no more than 22 months. They did this explicitly to send a message to the judge in Corpus Christi, Texas who's presiding over the Pacific Lumber bankruptcy case.

Essentialy they are showing their strong opposition to the reorganization plan proposed by PL. The plan calls for the sub division and sale of 22,000 acres of company land, much of it in 160 acre parcels that would be sold for around $5 million each. The land would then be essentialy turned into residential properties, no longer part of the timber base but still under special tax regulations that doesn't call for taxation until timber is harvested. The county government hasn't taken such a strong stance in opposition to PL since I don't know when. Please support their actions and encourage them to continue to oppose the reorganization plan while at the same time seeking to avoid harm to much smaller timber production zone landowners who need a permitted house.

( It should be noted that from 1993 to present there have been only 18 permitted building projects on TPZ land in Humboldt. I speculate that many hundreds if not thousands of buildings have been constructed in that time.)

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