Ranchettes on the agenda
It's the romantic rural life that coaxes urbanites to Sutter County: a little house in the country surrounded by open farm land.
Farmers interested in staying in the agriculture business, roll their eyes at such quixotic ideas. Rural Sutter County is their office, where they toil long hours to make enough cash to feed their families. It's working space.
Dreamy ranchettes and other agriculture issues will be the topic of conversation tonight.
Sutter County supervisors want to hear what residents think about the rural dream, which is increasingly attracting people to the county.
“We need to stop ranchettes and shotgun building,” said Chris Fedora, Yuba Sutter County Farm Bureau land use committee member. “We're not getting anymore open dirt. Why pave over it just because someone wants a quick buck?”
Ranchettes are generally large homes on three to nine acres, which are rezoned from agriculture to residential, said Rich Hall Sutter County Community Services director.
They can be troublesome for counties. With urban development, new homes are hooked up to existing city infrastructure. However, urban services are difficult to deliver to ranchettes because sewer lines and other infrastructure hookups are not readily available throughout the county, Hall said.
But a growing demand for such residences have planners throwing their hands in the air and supervisors asking how current residents want to address the issue. At a meeting last summer, supervisors pondered creating a district zoned for ranchettes.
Mike Darnell, executive director of the Middle Mountain Foundation, likes that idea.
“We need to direct (ranchette development) toward areas that are not prime farm land,” he said.
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