Mike Hubbartt: An appeal to preserve, protect the Sutter Buttes
Sutter County Supervisor candidates forum
WHEN: 6 p.m. May 21; door open at 5:45 p.m.
WHERE: Yuba City City Council chambers, 1201 Civic Center Blvd., Yuba City
The upcoming election, like the dawn of a new day, presents for us a new opportunity to complain about an on-going problem or to take some steps to make a difference in our day and in our life. The issues before us and the decisions we make today — and in this election — will shape the future of our lives and our community.
This is an appeal to the majority of this community who has spoken out in past elections with your ballots to preserve the Sutter Buttes. You are among the 69 percent of Sutter County voters who opposed Measure V in November 2010, an initiative that would have given Sutter County supervisors the authority to approve commercial or residential developments on the south side of the Buttes.
You sent a clear message to developers and planners that you would like to see the Buttes remain rugged and natural, uncluttered by structures, that you appreciate seeing our majestic landmark remain as farm and rangeland, preserving its historic and picturesque features.
This issue may seem settled at this time, since there has been virtually no talk about it since the dust settled.
But the same people working with the same guidelines in the new Sutter County General Plan update will continue to make the same decisions regarding subdividing and developing land in and around the Sutter Buttes as they have for the past 15 years.
Even though the county's new General Plan specifies in Chapter 9, Environmental Resources, policy ER4.2, the following: "Sutter Buttes. Preserve the Sutter Buttes as important agricultural, cultural, historic, habitat and open space resource," as did the old General Plan, subdivisions have for years been routinely approved.
Just as the old General Plan included that goal, the new one also includes specifications regarding minimums of 80 or 40 or 20 acres for subdivision of parcels along the roadways around the Buttes.
In the last decade, several large holdings have changed hands, with the new owner securing approval for subdivisions. Many new homes have been built. Each approval encourages another.
Unless we do something.
We need to convey to our elected representatives how we feel about preserving the heart of Sutter County. We need to call them, to write them, and to air our views at meetings.
If you've followed our local paper and perused the sample ballot, or better yet tuned into the A-DTV video interviews at appealdemocrat.com, you have a feel for the issues and the personalities of the candidates. They are facing many pressing issues and the Buttes are not a priority at this time. But they will listen if 69 percent of you feel that it's important enough to influence your vote.
There is a forum for Sutter County supervisor candidates at the Yuba City City Council chambers at 6 p.m., May 21, with doors opening at 5:45 p.m. Those attending will be able to submit questions.
Long after we've forgotten the details about county pensions, the cost of an animal shelter, and the employment corridor, the Sutter Buttes will continue to loom in the background of our everyday lives, its presence forever an imposing natural monument, a respite for our busy lives, a symbol of our values, and our heritage.
Mike Hubbartt is a member of the Middle Mountain Foundation board of directors.