Left, Chris Mynk and Craig Murphy making delivery. Right, Kern County Planning Depart-ment?s Lorelei Oviatt will serve up the facts while local restaurants serve up treats at a ?Taste of the Mountain? party and community briefing on Thursday, June 18, 6:30 p.m. at Cuddy Hall. Find links to DEIRs and comment addresses at www.MountainEnterprise.com.
Public Invited to Thursday, June 18 Forum On Tejon Mountain Village Plan
By Patric Hedlund
Kern County delivered last week, and it wasn’t pepperoni pizza—but next Thursday in Cuddy Hall at 6:30 p.m. it could be.
Hours after our Leaning Tower of DEIR headline about the 21,000-page Tejon Mountain Village draft Environmental Impact Report was published last week, planner Craig Murphy was on the phone and at the keyboard, offering to bring not one but two full copies of Tejon’s “six foot stranger” to the mountain. The next morning he brought a complete set to the Frazier Park Library and another to the office of The Mountain Enterprise. That was just step one.
The entire community is invited to participate in step two.
On Thursday evening, June 18 at Cuddy Hall, The Mountain Enterprise is coordinating a “Taste of the Mountain” party, featuring samples of goodies from an array of restaurants for those who attend. Doors will open and service will begin at 6:30 p.m. Displays by the planning department will be set up around the room for examination. The program will begin at 7 p.m.
This is the community’s one opportunity to hear the Kern County Planning Department give an overview of what they see as the most important features of the Tejon Mountain Village plan which has been in development for nearly 10 years at an expense that has been estimated to be more than $15 million, considering the developer’s efforts to accommodate air regulatory agencies and the cost of a major negotiated conservancy with five environmental groups.
Last week the public got its first glimpse of the plan as it is now being proposed to the Kern County Planning Commission. Despite its length, it was released with the minimum 45-day review period. Public comments must be submitted before July 13. A hearing before the Kern County Planning Commission is planned for August 13.
The quest for county and state building permits for a project of this size and scope (loosely called “entitlements”) must also pass the California Environmental Quality Act requirement for public review and scientific vetting of the proposal.
According to the law, the public must have an opportunity to review the anticipated impacts the development may have on its surroundings, including aesthetics, air quality, global climate change, noise, seismic risks, public service requirements and expenses for the incoming population growth, traffic growth, water needs, air pollution and the cumulative environmental impacts of the project proposals on wildlife, particularly threatened and endangered species.
Because this draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) submitted for Tejon Mountain Village is 21,000 pages long, with 17 large charts, The Mountain Enterprise asked the planning department to summarize its contents for the public so they can focus their comment efforts.
This DEIR is being released immediately on the heels of U.S. Fish and Wildlife documents of 5,200 pages in which Tejon is seeking 50-year “incidental take” permits on 27 threatened and endangered species.
Public comments on those proposals are due July 7 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, the planning department has released a DEIR of about 11,000 pages for Frazier Park Estates, for which comments are due by July 17.
The gathering on June 18 is intended to lift the community’s spirits and provide insight into the project.
As of Wednesday, these restaurants have signed up to provide hospitality: La Sierra Mexican Restaurant (taquitos, chips, salsa); Los Pinos Mexican Restaurant (quesadillas); Cavey’s Pizza (their most popular pizzas); Mike’s Pizza (pizza and hot wings); High Mountain Market (hopefully their delightful cabbage and grapeleaf dolmas); Coffee Cantina is bringing a surprise. Additional restaurants will be added to this list as they respond. We hope to see you there.
This is part of the June 12, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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