Big project interests few
Only about 10 people showed up Wednesday night to learn about a 2,800-home specific plan area proposed near the Sleep Train Amphitheatre south of Olivehurst.
Sage Community Group Inc. is proposing the Feather Creek Specific Plan to guide future development on the 700-acre site between Forty Mile Road and Highway 65.
It is one of the newest large-scale projects making its way through Yuba County's review process.
“This is the beginning stages of the environmental impact report,” Wendy Hartman, the county's interim planning director, told the small audience.
Developers plan an 11-acre school site, 139 acres of open space and a two-acre neighborhood commercial site for a possible store and a gas station. About 1,800 single family homes and 1,000 multi-family homes are proposed.
Comments gathered Wednesday night and at previous scoping meetings will be included in a draft environmental impact report to be released in a few months, followed by a 45-day public comment period.
The final EIR could follow in November. Public hearings will give the community a chance to comment on the document before the plan goes to the Yuba County Board of Supervisors, possibly in December.
SWCA Environmental Consultants is doing environmental consulting work on the project on behalf of the county.
The developer obtained the property about two years ago and filed the project with the county in October 2005, according to Annie Embree of Sage Community Group.
Tom Eres, an attorney representing Hofman Ranch, which owns land near the site, wanted information about geology, soils and drainage.
Placing residential development next to agriculture operations will present problems, especially with pesticide, herbicide and insecticide spraying, he said.
Gerald Norene, a nearby farmer, said worried farmers and homeowners could suffer groundwater problems during severely dry years.
“We're both going to be competing for the same groundwater,” he said.
Jeff Small, a consultant representing the Plumas Lake School District, said developers need to meet with the school district soon to determine how many schools may be needed.
Developers have not sorted out which agency would provide water and sewer services since the project site in not within Wheatland or the Olivehurst Public Utility District.
Noise issues from the amphitheater will also be addressed in the EIR. Five sound tests were done during concerts, but the results were not available for the meeting, Hartman said.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Daniel Witter can be reached at 749-4712. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.