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Planning commission closer to county plan for supervisors’ inspection, approval

Stirred by new state requirements, members of the Plumas County Planning Board of Commissioners and three members of the planning department delved in to Plumas County’s 2019-2024 Housing Element and CEQA addendum.

In an hour-long meeting that included a public hearing, commissioners, the planning director, assistant planning director and assistant planner went over Plumas County’s proposed draft plan in a public hearing Aug. 29, in a special meeting.

Beginning the process, Planning Director Tracey Ferguson went through the Housing Element update point by point for commissioners and the small audience.

The Regional Housing Needs Plan is mandated by the state. It requires regions to address housing needs and concerns for future growth for the area. Planning is working in cooperation with the California Department of Housing and Community Develop (HCD).

The 2019-2024 Housing Element update was analyzed for consistency with the county’s General Plan, according to Ferguson.

The plan includes a Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for the unincorporated areas within the county. This is done by income category for the planning period beginning Dec. 31, 2018, to Aug. 31, 2024.

It was noted that the planning department attempted to solicit public input through legal advertising in local newspapers, posting notices and offering workshops.

The draft Housing Element was submitted to HCD for comment. These programs included the Plumas County Community Development Commission, Plumas Rural Services, Plumas Crisis Intervention and Resource Center, Far Northern Regional Center, NorCal Continuum of Care, Plumas-Sierra Housing Continuum of Care and Native American tribes.

The plan has also been available at the planning and building departments in Quincy.

The Housing Element was also circulated in various county departments for review and comment.

Two workshops were held, in June and July, on the draft Housing Element.

Future housing needs for unincorporated areas are divided into five income categories: extremely low, very low income, low, moderate and above moderate.

It was also determined during the study that Plumas County’s census has fallen to around 18,000.

Commissioners approved the public review draft of the documents with almost no changes. Commissioner Larry Williams did point out one error. It stated that PG&E is the county’s energy source. It is not the lone source. Also there is no natural gas in Plumas County.

The commission will further discuss and approve a draft resolution on the Housing Element at the regular Thursday, Sept. 5, meeting at 10 a.m. This will then be sent to the Plumas County Board of Supervisor for approval or changes.

Also on Sept. 5, the commission will continue its work on an industrial hemp proposal.

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