Thursday, 03 May 2007 00:46

Developer With Draws Change Request Leaving The Supervisors Out-Maneuvered

slide24The Pine Grove Bluffs was the subject of a public hearing this week in front of the Board of Supervisors.The subdivision was originally proposed as 28 residential units on 32 acres at the corner of Ridge Rd and Hwy 88. The developer Del Rapini had approached the county about changing conditions regarding traffic impacts to the intersection of Ridge Rd and Hwy 88. The Rapini’s also own a commercial piece on the corner adjacent to the proposed housing tract proposed to be the Pine Grove Shopping Center under a subdivision map approved back in 1984. When the residential subdivision was originally approved in 2005 the traffic conditions required that the developer create a turn lane on Ridge Rd from Mineral Lane to Hwy 88

Now the developer states that he should not be required to meet this condition because Caltrans plans a remodel of the intersection anyway, due to his commercial development, and the approval of that shopping center on the corner of Hwy 88 and Ridge Rd also requires a left hand turn lane. The second request for a condition change from the original map is, again, regarding required improvements to roadways. The developer, Del Rapini states that because another subdivision proposed, the 58 home Petersen Ranch, is online for construction, the Pine Grove Bluffs will now be linked to Climax Rd.. Originally the main drag in the Pine Grove Bluffs, Mineral Drive, was to be a dead end road where it abutted the Petersen property. Now because the Petersen Ranch project is moving forward that road, Mineral Drive, will be opened up as a thoroughfare to Climax Rd. Rapini states that this will lessen his subdivision’s impacts on the Ridge/Hwy 88 intersection as his buyers will likely use Lower Ridge to Climax or 88 to Climax and come through the back way through the Petersen Ranch.

slide26Although the Supervisors considered the changes at their meeting this week, apparently the developer had already approached the Public Works department within the last week, speaking with Director Larry Peterson. With Peterson, the developer reached a subdivision improvement agreement that will require the developer to bond for future traffic related improvements. Because the developer had entered into the agreement, the developer was now asking to withdraw his request for change and allow the development agreement to take precedents and then the developer will look at how. Planning Director Susan Grijalva stated that the original agreement already included the punch through to Climax Rd by going thru the Petersen Ranch project. She stated that the original agreement already considered traffic impacts lessened on the Hwy 88 and Ridge Rd corridors by the Petersen Ranch ingress and egress. County Counsel Martha Shaver stated that because the developer had withdrawn his request for changes at the public hearing, the county can not change or add conditions to the subdivision.

Supervisor Richard Forster stated that the developer clearly “outmaneuvered the county” by going to staff and striking the development agreement. Forster stated “It’s like he did not like the answer he got from Dad, so he ran to Mom”. In light of that, stated Chairman Louis Boitano “We’ll open the public hearing”. Community concerns included that there are rumors of a proposed Taco Bell franchise for the corner shopping center which will create more traffic impacts as drive thru customers enter and exit the restaurant.  Other community concerns included traffic safety and volume. Citizen Debbie Dunn representing the Pine Grove Civic Group stated that “this developer has not communicated with the community.” Although she stated “It appears it’s a mute point”. Boitano stated that communicating with the community just makes common sense, and courtesy, and that “You’d think he would rather make friends that enemies, but that is his (Rapini’s) prerogative”. Supervisor Forster stated that he was regretful regarding the outcome of the situation as they, the board of supervisors, gave more time to try to work with Rapini and “we got out maneuvered.”