Butte subdivisions may be prohibited
Sutter County supervisors are thinking about prohibiting land subdivisions in the Sutter Buttes and in the Meridian and Sutter basins.
During their Tuesday meeting, supervisors will consider a moratorium until studies are complete and new land-protection measures are in place. Supervisors meet at 7 p.m. at 466 Second Street, Yuba City.
“Over the past few years, there have been several projects to develop all of those areas. Now it has reached a level where people feel something should be about it,” said County Administrator Larry Combs.
During last week's meeting, residents from the Sutter Basin and Sutter Buttes asked the board to consider prohibiting subdivisions of land in those areas.
Supervisor Larry Munger said the board had already received a similar request for the Meridian Basin from the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau and Fedora Farms.
“The current county plans, which authorize ranchettes and the larger 20-acre parcels for residential development, are, we believe, improper with regard to areas such as the Meridian Basin,” Farm Bureau President Matt Conant said in a letter to supervisors.
So the areas were grouped together and interim urgency ordinances for each will be discussed Tuesday.
The ordinances prohibit consideration of subdividing land in the Buttes and two basins pending the study and adoption of land-use controls to protect the scenic landscapes and productive value of the land.
“I think we're going to have to do it,” Munger said. “It's been a long time in the coming.”
Subdividing the land threatens its agricultural use by creating parcels too small to support viable farm operations, according to the basin ordinances.
“Protection of these lands for farming is vital to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the county of Sutter, in that the livelihoods, rural lifestyle and healthful environment of the county depend on the continuing viability of these and other similarly situated lands, for farming,” the basin ordinances state.
Supervisors will consider prohibiting subdividing the Sutter Buttes because it hinders migration of animals and could destroy their unique beauty and resources, according to the ordinance.
The bureau figures building homes in the basins is also dangerous because they often flood.
Munger said several studies would follow adoption of the moratorium.
“It might take six months. It might take a year,” he said. “What we want is input from landowners.”
Appeal-Democrat reporter Eve Hightower can be reached at 749-4724. You may e-mail her at email@example.com.