Tuesday, 12 June 2007 04:15

Oro De Amador Planning Process: Jackson CC Decides On Planning Committee Make Up

slide15The Oro de Amador Property was another hot topic of discussion at last night’s Jackson City Council meeting as City Manager Mike Daly gave an update to the City Council on the next steps to take towards developing the property. In April and May three workshops were held to gather community ideas for the future of the historic parcel. The workshops were well attended by 40 members of the community who offered a wide array of ideas ranging from community gardens, preserving the land as open space, recreational facilities including fields of all sorts and a trail system, wildlife habitat areas, and a wide variety of suggestions for community and cultural centers.

At the end of each meeting the participants were asked if they were interested in becoming part of a committee that would help define the concepts for the property. The ideas and maps that were drawn during the workshops were posted throughout the City Hall for the Council and public to view.  Daly explained that, “As originally intended, the next step is for ideas to be refined and developed into a planning document for the property.” However, in the lag time between this agenda item and the workshops the City recently learned that they did not secure the $350,000 grant from the EPA Brownfield program for a site assessment to begin toward the clean up necessary because of mining waste on the property. Daly said, “After this notice, the City discussed the application with EPA staff for feedback in the next funding round and also has set up a meeting with the EPA and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to take a closer look at the assessment needs and possibly identify some interim funding to get the assessment process moving forward.” Daly added that, “Any immediate future use of the property will require a cooperative assessment of the toxics on the property with DTSC to ensure protection of public health.”

slide23 So, from here the next step for the City to pursue is the establishment of a committee of interested citizens to assist in refining the ideas for the property that were developed during the workshops. Participants that offered to participate in the committee included: Kathy Allen, Joani Bailey, Bill Condrashoff, Bob Devlin, Kathy duBois, Debbie Dunn, Derek Galli, Bob Hartmann, Judy Jebian, Doug Ketron, Dave McDaniel, Bill Orescan, Tom Tofelt, and the Amador County recreation Agency’s director, Tracey Towner-Yep. Last night the council was asked to determine what the direction and or mission of the committee would be, as well as the types of recommendations the Council would expect from the committee. Daly did remind the council that two important factors must be kept in mind, “funding and soil contamination.” Last night the council determined that the committee would indeed be established. The committee will consist of 7 members including 2 city council members and a representative appointed by each city council member from a pool of interested citizens.

The council is now asking that all interested persons contact the city to express interest in serving on the committee. Concerns over whether or not Al Nunes will be allowed to have an appointee to the committee because of his personal residence’s proximity to the project is being looked into by City Attorney Thomas Gipson, as well as the status of all residents that live within 500 feet of the property, as a conflict of interest under government codes could exist. All meetings of the forming committee will be open to the pubic and will feature subject experts that will speak about areas of specialization, such as recreation, running, etc.  City Manager Daly states that “Simultaneously, staff will continue working with regulatory agencies and environmental specialists to determine what will be necessary and feasible both short term and long term on the property,” .