County projects to start |

County projects to start

Rick Chandler

Saying that it is “certainly not my intent to shut down the county,” Sacramento Superior Court Judge Cecily Bond last Friday approved some commercial development projects to move forward in preliminary stages.

So in essence, the county has been placed on probation by the court, as Bond watches to see if developers will abuse the approval.

County development projects – such as the large Missouri Flat Master Plan – have been in limbo since February. That was when Bond ruled that the county’s General Plan was invalid, citing her belief that the Plan violated the California Environmental Quality Act.

Then, in March, two citizens taxpayer groups filed suit against the county, claiming that the county was ignoring Measure Y – the initiative passed by voters in November that requires developers to account for all costs connected to their projects.

A ruling on that lawsuit is expected soon.

“This is a temporary order, and it includes several provisions,” said County Counsel Lou Green, who attended the hearing. “One restriction is that a project must be in an area already zoned for commercial use. There will be no new developments until this is settled,” he said. “It’s a fairly broad ruling that makes it easier to obtain use permits and get projects started.”

Other provisions include: Potential developments cannot impair the county’s attempt to adopt a new General Plan; projects must comply with the California Environmental Quality Act; and projects must comply with the current General Plan.

Bond will rule again on the matter on May 24, when she may extend the order.

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