Tuesday, 17 October 2006 01:55

Water Agency Requesting Zoning Changes For Parcel: Neighbors Concerned

Amador Water AgencyThe Amador Water Agency’s request for a zoning change for a piece of property located in the Camanche area is causing quite a bit of concern among surrounding residents. The agency’s request is for a general plan amendment from PS, Public Service to A-G Agricultural-General; and a Zone Change from “X” Special Use to District to R1A Single Family Residential and Agricultural District on property located off a private easement about ½ mile east of Curran RD, in the Dry Creek Lane area near Lake Camanche. In December of 2004 the AWA applied for a Zone Change from “X” special use district to “R1A” Single Family Residential Agricultural District and General Plan Amendment from P-S, Public Service to A-T, Agricultural Transition (one family per five acre population density) for two parcels totaling 80.60 acres in size.

The RequestThe Amador County Technical Advisory Committee reviewed the application in early January of 2005 and at that time the Water Agency explained they needed a 50 foot right of way with the proposed allowable density on the parcel. The Technical advisory committee and the AWA then decided to continue the item in order to research potential access options besides the proposed right away and returned in April of 2006 with a revised application. In this application the Agency proposed a General Plan Amendment from P-S, Public Service to A-G, Agricultural General (one family per forty acre population) with no revisions to the proposed zone change. The access proposed at that time, in April, was over a private easement from Curran Road to the northwester property corner. Several surrounding land owners immediately submitted letters of objection with indications that the AWA does not have legal access to use the road, called Dry Creek Lane, that must be used to access the private easement.

The PropertyThe County Planning Commission then heard the issue in September and again the surrounding land owners appeared before the county commission to voice their concern. Ultimately, the Commission recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve the General Plan Amendment and Zone changes. Soon thereafter county staff researched as to whether the agency is allowed legal access from the North, on Dry Creek Lane, and found that on February 28, 2006 the Board Of Supervisors had indeed accepted the offers of dedication for the access and a public utility easement, making it a privately maintained public access easement, therefore allowing legal access for the proposed Water Agency parcels. Initially, when the offer of dedication was accepted by the BOS from property owners on private sections of roadway off of Curran Rd the board acted with the understanding that a property exchange was imminent between the agency and the owner of property adjacent to the Camanche wastewater treatment plant.

Amador County Water AgencyIt now appears that the property exchange is an unequal exchange which will leave 40 acres in the possession of the AWA for future sale, possible with greater value in terms of sales price because of the potential for development into 5 acre parcels. Because of these issues and rumors that have developed around this situation adjacent property owners have become even more concerned that if and when the property is fully developed the increase in traffic will change the current resident’s quality of life. According to Amador Water Agency’s General Manager Jim Abercrombie, the agency is trying to create the best situation for current landowners in the area, any future land owners and the ratepayers to which the agency is accountable.

April of 2006Abercrombie states that if the Water Agency were to trade the property, as has been suggested, for another piece of property, any potential new owners would not be able to utilize the property for anything, including agricultural endeavors, because the current zoning is unique for the public agency’s water needs. The Agency’s decision to ask for the zoning change to A-G, Agricultural General, was solely to blend with the surrounding parcels. Most of the adjacent parcels also share this same zoning The Agency also decided that creating odd size parcels would not benefit the neighborhood so the division was done in a manner to create two 40 acre parcels which would align parcel size with potential agricultural uses.

According to Abercrombie- we have no intentions of subdividing. If any one has any questions please feel free to participate in our Amador Water Agency meetings where we have discussed this issue several times or call the agency at 223-3018.


Several Surrounding Owners On February 28  General Manager Abercrombie Abercrombie