Attacment 3

Industrial Timber Land Managers GPU Meeting Notes June 3, 2005 Location: Planning Department, Conference Room B Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. County Staff: Tom Hofweber and Martha Spencer (Planning); Participants: Steve Horner, PALCo; Tom Walz and Bill Blackwell, Sierra Pacific; Gary Rynearson, Green Diamond; Bill Kleiner, Consultant Following are the comment/questions received during a meeting on the proposed Agriculture/Timber policies for the Draft General Plan hosted by Planning staff and staff responses to those comments.

Comment
Timber Policies: Legislative
1. (T2) There was concern that trying to be on the “same page” with the Forest Practices Act concerning <3 acre conversion may not always be practical for county residents. For example, new Water Board regulations in Streamside Management Areas may require the retention of snags (no salvage logging within streamside management areas). This may be unwelcome (and in some instances, hazardous) for homesite development. We are not sure that this is the standard you want a homebuilder to have to abide by. 2. (T2) There currently is disagreement between CDF and the County regarding what area the three acre conversion refers to and who regulates – is it the three acre parcel or is it three acre land size being removed from timber production (and usually converted to homesites). There are conflicting setback issues for streamside management areas between County code and the Forest Practices Act. 3. Would like to see a “Right to Harvest” agreement used for residential subdivisions next to TPZ lands.

Response
Response from staff:
1. This policy was developed as an attempt to have regulations for timber harvesting in residential areas and <3 acre conversions be similar to the Forest Practices Act. Currently, there is confusion as to who is the lead in these cases, what permits you have to get and whose regulations do you follow. We would like to make this process easier for the landowner.

2. Comment noted. We are attempting to clear up some of this confusion through this policy and by developing standards that will be similar to the Forest Practices Act for Streamside Management Areas and three acre conversions, and where necessary, legislative fixes. 3. Comment noted. This has been included in Policies T6 and T7.

Timber Policies: Land Use
1. Withdrawal from IT – I am concerned about the requirement of a conservation easement for the remainder lands resulting from a withdrawal from IT. “In perpetuity” is scary. I don’t feel comfortable giving the development rights up forever on these forested lands, because we just don’t know what will happen in the future.

Response from staff:
1. Comment noted. The point of the policy is to retain development rights currently perceived on timberlands and transfer them to other locations on the property more suitable for development. The policy also includes the term “other suitable instrument” to recognize additional tools that may be available that not only protects the forest resources for future generation but provides some type of flexibility for other uses that the landowner may prefer. 2. Comment noted. There is concern from County staff that too much flexibility in regulations will ultimately result in reduced protection of the productive timber and agricultural resource lands. As these lands become further divided and converted to rural residential uses, the viability of the industry as a whole becomes jeopardized. The “critical mass” needed to support the agriculture and timber economy may be reduced below a level necessary to keep these industries in business. Also, increased rural residential neighbors may become vocal opponents to the land management practices of their industrial timber neighbors.

2. The industrial timber owners want the ability to use their lands as timber lands, but we don’t know how new laws may affect timber operations in the future. We may need some kind of additional revenue source such as “hunting cabins” to help offset unexpected reductions in timber revenue. We would like to maintain flexibility in our abilities to generate revenue. We need the option to be creative in the future to find new revenue sources and do not want the County to legislate away all our options. If you remove our development rights, you take away our flexibility.

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Attacment 3
Industrial Timber Land Managers GPU Meeting Notes June 3, 2005

Timber: Land Use Classifications
1. IT - There was confusion over the homesite density for the IT designation. Are we looking at one unit per 600 acres or one unit per 160 acres? What does this change mean to the industrial timber owners? Can we still transfer 160 acres of TPZ?

Response from staff:
1. The proposed IT designation removes housing as a use by right. The homesite density is therefore zero. A caretakers unit could be approved at a rate of one unit per 600 acres with an approved Conditional Use Permit. A density credit for the withdrawal of lands from IT for residential uses was determined at one unit per 160 acres (to protect current density allocations in TPZ lands). You can still transfer existing TPZ parcel of 160 acres. 2. Although the TPZ regulations allow subdivisions to 40 acres under certain circumstances, 40 acres is not presumed to be allowable everywhere. The IT designation would give density credit for conservation easements at one unit per 160 acres. Another option would be to specifically zone areas now where a 40 acre minimum parcel size is appropriate. 3. There were about 5 – 10 owners that are nonindustrial timber operators that were classified IT. They were completely surrounded by industrial owners (Tom gave an example) and it made sense to include them into IT designation. 4. Comment noted.

2. IT - We would like the valuation of the current density (40 – 160 ac minimums) to remain for conservation easements. We need to be able to go back to our land managers and tell them that this proposal protects their interest.

3. Industrial Timber Designation – There was some concern over non-industrial timber owners being put into this classification.

4. IT land designation – We like what you are trying to do (by advocating for the protection of future timber production); we want the certainty of future timber operations. 5. How did you determine the mapping designations? It doesn’t make sense to classify timberlands by ownership. You should look at capabilities, location, etc. 6. The forested areas around McKinleyville should be classified “T” instead of “IT” to reflect the future development potential of these forested lands. 7. Are we giving up value by not having neighbors? I want to support a General Plan that protects our property rights. 8. The best support the County can do is to keep us harvesting. There is a currently recognition that our “neighbors” are now located in San Francisco and Sacramento with influence over the regulatory process here. 9. The AE/TPZ zoning maps are incorrect.

5. This designation was applied to lands that are industrially managed for timber production and where most of these lands are managed through a habitat conservation plan (HCP). 6. Staff will look at this and re-evaluate designations. 7. Comment noted – see Response #2. The proposal tries to retain property values and in fact, staff believes may increase the value. 8. Comment noted

9. Comment noted.

NEXT STEPS: Provide copies of the proposed Timber policies for comment from the Industrial Timber operators. Provide Forestry Review Committee with copies of proposed Timber policies for review. Provide copies of the Community Planning Areas maps for the timber managers. Provide copies of the proposed resource designation GIS maps for the timber managers to review.

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