Monday, 14 December 2009 23:25

Sutter Creek to Start Gold Rush Desicion Process

sutter_creek_to_start_gold_rush_decision_process.pngAmador County – The Sutter Creek City Council on Wednesday starts what could eventually be the final decision process for the Gold Rush Ranch & Golf Resort. The meeting was rescheduled due to the December 6th snowstorm, and will include a handful of items before staff presentations on the Gold Rush project, its “Decision Documents,” and its Final Environmental Impact Report and a related “Technical Memorandum.” City attorney Dennis Crabb in a December 1st memo to the city council recommended approvals, citing the city’s work to date. Crabb said the “council now has before it a series of decision documents.” The “purpose of these documents, beyond project approval, is twofold. The first is to make as clear a record as possible of the council’s decision-making process and intent so that future staffs and councils will be able to understand and implement them.” He said the second purpose is, “as Winston Churchill said in another context, this is not the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning.” Crabb said: “There are literally hundreds of decisions that will need to be made on implementation if the project is approved, and these documents provide a checklist to be followed as the process moves forward.” Crabb said the “council has previously received and reviewed” the FEIR, and has hearings, comments and responses on the “administrative record.” He said the California Environmental Quality Act requires approval of the “Technical Memo” and other documents before a project’s “merits” can be considered. Crabb in the memo said the related documents are contained in a resolution certifying the EIR, and he said: “It is recommended the (Sutter Creek City Council) adopt the resolution, with its supporting exhibits.” Crabb said “once the EIR is certified, the council can move to the consideration of the various findings and requested project approvals.” Those include “CEQA findings, findings of overriding considerations, findings in support of the vesting large lot tentative subdivision map, and approval of the proposed specific plan, amendments to the current city General Plan, zoning ordinance amendments, and a large lot subdivision map.” Crabb’s memo included an “executive summary” of extensive CEQA findings, and noted that the “resolution also has attached findings of overriding considerations, which will allow the project to be approved even though it has significant impacts which have not and cannot be mitigated.” He said the “purpose of this documentation is to clearly demonstrate, on the record, that the council has fully and fairly considered all of these issues in reaching its decision in the event of litigation challenging the project approval.” Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.