Settlement with HSRA

Settlement with High Sierra Rural Alliance  111710

There is currently a peace between High Sierra Rural Alliance and property owners in the county.  
This peace is the result of what seems to us to be a rational settlement, in which H.S.R.A. agrees not to move forward with their lawsuit and Sierra County agrees to dedicate time and resources to bringing all the various codes and definitions into compliance with the General Plan.  An alternative to this settlement would have been a likely moratorium on all building in the county.

Like nearly all good news, this isn’t “fairy godmother” good.  The County is essentially “on probation”.  As anyone who’s ever been there can tell you, it’s a special kind of hell, where the cops can kick in your door and scare your family and take your pee and make you go to meetings.  The County will be under the gun to efficiently review, modify and enact corrections to a number of ordinances.  

The changes H.S.R.A. requires aren’t going to be easy to achieve, after all, the group has been a major stumbling block to the swift resolution of some implementation issues.  It isn’t likely they’ll simply sit back to see what happens.  

Even so, it’s a good deal for the County, and probably a good deal for the county.  Director of Planning and Building Tim Beals reported to the board on the considerable progress they department has made on implementation.

YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to comply with the following:
1. Within 180 days of the service of the Writ, Respondents shall enact ordinances implementing General Plan policies to create the following zoning districts: a) Special Treatment Area/Stream Zone District; b) Open Space Zone District; and c) Special Treatment Area Floodplain District; and in addition shall amend the Stream Setback Ordinance. The ordinances and amendment shall reflect and be consistent with the relevant policy and implementation measures found in the General Plan and General Plan Background Documents. The time period specified shall be extended as necessary for the County to complete public review and hearings, and as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Res. Code § 21100 et seq.)
2. Within120days of the service of the Writ, Respondents shall determine the cost of updating the Zoning Code to bring it into conformity with the General Plan; and formulate and implement a plan to fund the task. The plan shall include a time line for completion of the Zoning Code update not to exceed 2 years.
3. Within 30 days of the service of the Writ, Respondents shall pay Petitioner's reasonable attorneys fees and costs of fifteen thousand, three hundred twenty five dollars ($15,325.00). Petitioner otherwise waives all claims for attorneys fees and costs, including but not limited to claims under Code of Civil Procedure 1021.5 and Government Code 800.  
4. Respondents shall file a return to the writ within 200 days of service of the Writ.

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