Take a Look at the Southern Humboldt Community Park Environmental Impact Report

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Horse and rider on one of the several park trails. [Photo from the Southern Humboldt Community Park page]

Press release from the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board of Directors:

It is with great pleasure and a big sigh of relief that the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board of Directors announces the release of a 350-page Environmental Impact Report (EIR) by the Humboldt County Planning Department. The EIR is required for public recreational uses at the Community Park.

The direct link to the document is: http://humboldtgov.org/DocumentCenter/View/54894.

The Park Board urges you to send a letter of support to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors before June 10th. You can also download a template a letter of support on the Park’s website www.sohumpark.org.

On Saturday, May 14th the Board of Directors will host an open house from 2-4 at Tooby Park to learn more about how you can help support the Park though the final process.

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49 comments

  • Amplified events, coming soon!

    Wildlife?…eh, who needs wildlife?!

  • A key part missing from this DEIR is the SHCP mission. Where is the plan? How will the project be funded? Where are all the rules and regulations written down for the public to read, concerning all the new activities and development the SHCP Board has included in this DEIR? Can they provide a prospectus or even a 5, 10 or 20 year financial plan? Management Plan?

    Here’s what the public knows; from 2010 thru 2014 (990 tax returns) the SHCP states they have spent $249,485.00 for this General Plan Amendment DEIR and we have no idea what they have spent in 2015 or to date. How many years will it take to pay off that debt and how does the SHCP plan on financing all basic development and infrastructure as stated in your DEIR? The SHCP 2014 990 tax return also states, they have $214,469.00 in secured mortgages and notes payable to unrelated third parties and Board members. At what point does this project become a boondoggle? Why would the County rezone and change the land use classification if there was no plan in place, other than a narrative and hypothetical need with no direction, i.e. “Park Use Advocates”.

    http://www.sohumpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/GUIDELINES-FOR-PARK-USE-ADVOCATES.pdf

    There is nothing in the DEIR about “Park Use Advocates” or even a Business Plan in place as a 501c3 and Public Benefit Corporation to operate outside of their tax exempt purpose as a Rent-A-Park and private development scheme.

    Here is what I was talking about, the SHCP themselves state to the Garberville Sanitary District (GSD) the following if they are to provide their own water to the public:

    “During our participation in your SOI process, various individuals and GSD staff members have made
    suggestions that the Park could provide its own water for the public from sources other than the GSD.
    However, this is not an option. The County and State Health Department officials would require that the
    Park have its own water company in order to provide drinking water to the public. This company would
    be subject to rigorous restrictions, testing, and State reporting to ensure that the water is safe. We are
    in the business of creating a Community Park and GSD is in the business of providing safe drinking water
    to the public. It would be an unnecessary duplication of effort in a small community as this to require a
    Community Park to operate a water company when the GSD facility will be located adjacent to our
    property”

    I don’t know about you, but being subject to rigorous restrictions, testing and State reporting to ensure their water is safe should be their first and only concern, not a financial burden on their part.

    However, given the facts and why GSD did not allow the SHCP inclusion into their annexation process is fully documented and explained in GSD’s Annexation Project MND and Humboldt LAFCo recommendations.

    And as I have shown before, what you have stated in their DEIR is completely contrary to what the SHCP Board has stated in documents to other federal, state, county and local agencies concerning their water quality do to contamination at all sources.

    If the water usage is included in the lease agreements for Area 5 or the Advocate pays water usage per month for one or more fields and new facilities or commercial lease and rental for concerts, festivals, camping, public meeting space and parking, then the Park Board would need to create a Water Company, and petition the State Water Board for a surface water diversion permit and license for source #1. Mainly because using millions and millions (gallons) of water per month for non-domestic and non-agriculture uses is not a beneficial use under riparian water rights. It was my understanding the restricted permit from source #1 (surface water diversion SF Eel) was for agriculture use only, not watering 10 acres of sports fields.

  • I wanted to share this letter by SHCP Board Chair Dennis Huber about “Park Use Advocates”:

    “On the other hand, creation and maintenance of infrastructure for new activities is beyond the usual scope of the Park’s stewardship mission. The Southern Humboldt Community Park’s stewardship mission is to further the social, recreational, civic, and educational well-being of our entire community through appropriate use of the Park. The Board’s focus is limited to the purchase and overall management of the Park and also to oversee the projects and activities that take place there. The Board provides the place and the community is responsible for developing the projects. This is where Park Use Advocates are encouraged to step in and make their dreams come true”

    “While this Park stewardship model bodes well for responsible and responsive development and management of future Park attractions, it has caused some confusion during the current Park rezoning process. Asked by the Planning Department to provide its most expansive vision of how the Park might be used over future decades, the Park was then placed in the unenviable position of trying to bring into clear focus concepts that are not their own and that may never come to fruition, leading some community members to feel frustrated that the impacts of these possible future projects by others have not been quantified”

    http://www.redwoodtimes.com/general-news/20110210/community-park-update-the-park-project-advocacy-process

    As you can read from this article, Dennis uses these City and County public Parks as some kind of logical fallacy, somehow comparing these public entities with the SHCP. This could not be further from the truth, given the fact the SHCP is not a public agency, does not have board meetings open to the public, does not conduct public or membership elections and owns private property. Dennis’s examples are public lands, administered and overseen by city, county or state elected/appointed public boards, that also include a transparent public process and fiscal budget process.

    What the article does show, is the SHCP has no idea who, what, why or when these proposed “attractions” will happen. “Park Use Advocates” need to be included in the DEIR. Just like a feasibility study and management plan should be included. How come their are no concept drawings to show the size and scope of the proposed development, i.e. Sports Field Complex, Public restrooms, Campsites, Concert and Festival Stages, Public Meeting Space, Parking Lots and remodeling to the Barn and Ranch House for public assembly?

    If the idea and dream’s for this project have come from “Park Use Advocates”, where are the proposal’s and letters of intent? Can the public see any of the past examples and agreements, i.e. Skateboard Ramp, Disc Golf Course, Labyrinth and Bamboo Farm? How many past Park Use Advocates projects are still being used, funded and maintained currently, including the Garberville Community Farm?

    And Eric Kirk, you stated publicly “the change in land use designation will eliminate the subdivision option-permanently”

    How exactly would that happen? Here are 4 different quotes and examples from your DEIR. If you were serious about eliminating the “subdivision option-permanently”, why does the Park Board want to retain your residential development rights?

    (Page 1-1) 4. Bank the existing residential development rights as assets for 54 parcels in the areas of the project site that are currently designated Agricultural Rural (AR 5-20) and Agricultural Lands (AL 20) by the Humboldt County General Plan that could be transferred to other properties for a fee at such time, if ever, that Humboldt County adopts a Transfer of Development Rights program.

    (Page 2-1) The project applicant proposes to be able to retain and transfer the existing residential development rights of the Agricultural Lands and Agriculture Rural Plan designations that currently apply to the property. These land use designations represent 54 potential parcels. (Calculations for residential units allowable based on current Humboldt County land use designations at the site: Project has 239.9 acres of land currently in Agriculture Residential 5-20 (AR) designation which allows up to 47 units. Project also contains 153.7 acres of land in Agricultural Lands 20 (AL) designation which allows up to seven units for a total of 54 units).

    (Page 3-5) 6. To retain transferable development rights provided through the existing mixed agricultural/residential land use designation AR(5-20) (Agricultural Rural, one dwelling unit per 20 acres to one dwelling unit per 5 acres); and AL(20) as assets that could be transferrable to other properties in the County for a fee under a transfer of development rights program.

    (Page 3-42) Transfer of Development Rights – This project will allow the applicant to retain and bank the existing residential development rights as credits for the areas of the project site that are currently designated Agricultural Lands (AL) and Agricultural Rural (AR) by the Humboldt County General Plan. These credits will be retained for transfer until such time, if ever, that Humboldt County adopts a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) or program similar in nature. Currently there is no TDR program in Humboldt County and it is unknown if or when one will be adopted by the County. These land use designations represent approximately 54 potential parcels.

    In plain english, until such time, if ever, the Park Board sells any part of its property included in this project, that property would retain its future residential development rights. So if what you said were true, “the change in land use designation will eliminate the subdivision option-permanently” why not give up your residential development rights included in this GPA?

  • We don’t need more, we need less invasive parks. We don’t need amusement or theme parks. We need every acre for locally grown food and medicine for a healthy community economy from agriculture. We need water to support biodiversity.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49o9By3vHM

  • “Become a Volunteer! There are many ways to put your energy in action at the Community Park! We invite you to participate in the many programs taking place throughout the year. Activities range from Park Farm Care and Harvest (spring/summer months), Garberville Farmers Market Helper (May-October Fridays), Park to Plate Program CSA basket packing (mornings during spring/summer), Park to Plate Program CSA basket delivery, and Fall Splendor Volunteering (October). If any of these sound like something you’d like to be a part of, please fill out the volunteer form and email or send back to us at contact@sohumpark.org or PO Box 185 Garberville, Ca 95542. We’d love your help!”

    According to the SHCP 990 tax return’s and Humboldt County Department of Health Services (Calfresh Outreach contracts), people on the Park’s payroll are making $25 to $40 an hour working at the Park, while Kathryn Lobato is paid $50,000 compensation as Executive Director, Jenny Metz is paid $5000 as a fundraising consultant and past/present Park Board members are still making fat accruing interest on loans.

    At what point does the Community Park call itself a public benefit organization? Next time they ask for volunteer’s maybe someone should ask them.

    Stated in the Park Board’s articles of incorporation: “This corporation is a nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law, hereof and no part of the net income or assets of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any director, officer or member thereof or to the benefit of any private person”

  • Here is the Park Board’s reasoning and justification for excluding the public from their public benefit planning process. Remember, its been since August 2010 since they had a Board meeting open to the public and September 2010 was the last and only public meeting concerning this project. So give them your money, ask them no questions and they will tell you no lie’s…

    http://www.sohumpark.org/home/park-updates/

    Public benefit entities qualifying for 501(c)(3) non-profit status may be structured as “membership” or “non-membership” organizations. Some examples of the former would be KMUD, RRHC, MCC, and MRC. These organizations maintain a roster of current members in good standing and hold elections in which these members get to choose among a slate of candidates for their boards of directors. This approach provides a comforting feeling of democratic participation for all, tends to weight boards with people who have broad name recognition or effective campaigning personas, and sets the board up for potential disruption by minority factions or mischievous outsiders.

    A “non-membership” structure permits an organization to select its board by inviting potential directors specifically for their commitment to the organization’s goals, the energy they have available contribute to its service, and the mutual compatibility of their various personalities as participants in a smoothly-functioning, effective cooperative group. Local examples besides the Park that have chosen this structure include Friends of the Eel, Hospice, ISF, RFFI, Sanctuary Forest, Trees, and WISH. So this structure is nothing unusual, and in fact Humboldt Area Foundation is now recommending it, except in cases when special conditions make the “membership” framework desirable.

    A “membership” organization is obliged to give due notice of its board meetings and to make them open to the public. “Non-membership” status doesn’t carry that requirement and so permits meetings on short notice and at irregular intervals, as the actual requirements of the organization may necessitate.

    However the park board is committed to holding regular public community meetings and public board meetings to facilitate both community participation and community access to information about the park.

  • This thread should give you an indication of what we’ve had to deal with.

    As to the comment about wildlife by the first poster, please review our wildlife studies. We put a lot of work into them.

    • Yes, this site lets people speak without fear of being censored. Yes this is an indication of what you will have to deal with, as long as we are able to speak and be heard.

      “Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress…”
      ― John Muir

  • Here’s the problem Eric, the Park Board wants to claim being a 501c3 tax exempt public benefit organization and because of that privileged exemption you pay NO state or federal income tax, property tax, local hospital/school/fire district assessments and can write off all of your operational cost and assets. However, the Park Board feels they can exclude the public from this process and only have private Board meeting, with no transparency or accountability. You have kept this General Plan Amendment to yourself since Sept 2010, without one word in a public format. So now the public gets 45 days to review and comment on this 800 page document that the Park Board has had 5 1/2 years to assemble and contracted to versus professional consulting firms to the tune of $249,000.00.

    And If anyone dare question the Park Board, no matter the scale, what we hear from the Park Board is name calling, ridicule and fear mongering.

    Let me remind you what you said in the Independent May 14, 2013:

    “Let us be clear that the Park Board is not “threatening” to sell the park if we don’t get the rezone”.”If we cannot operate the property as a park either through a rezone or a perpetual special agreement (which we have been informed is not an option), there is no point in continued ownership by the non-profit park entity. We could not fundraise; not through events, use fees, or grants. We would simply be forced to put the property up for sale. Certainly a selling point of the property is the possibility of subdivision into small farm parcels to sell off individually. It is the simple reality – not a threat”

    Here’s the thing, you are not a for-profit rent-a-park, you were organized as an Public Benefit Corporation and 501c3 Tax Exempt Organization.

  • You see Eric, your scare tactics and fear mongering are nothing new, Dazey used the same tactic 16 years ago when he pitched the idea and got the public to donate money and save what would become the park property from “haphazard development”. However its funny that both Dazey and McKee ended up with 80 acres each contiguous with the Park property, including the new $5,000,000.00 water treatment plant (Garberville Sanitary District) that was also built contiguous with the Park property.

    Not sure if you know or not, but your “simple reality” to sell the Park property would consist of the following legal steps before you could ever think about selling assets:

    California Attorney General – Guide for Dissolving a California Nonprofit Corporation: http://www.ag.ca.gov/charities/publications/dissolving.pdf

    California Franchise Tax Board – Guide to Dissolve, Surrender, or Cancel a California Business Entity: http://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/misc/1038.pdf

    California Secretary of State – Nonprofit Dissolution Forms: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/corp/pdf/dissolutions/corp_npdiss.pdf

    Internal Revenue Service – Terminating Your Exempt Organization:
    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4779.pdf

    So you see Eric, no one is forcing you to do anything, its all a myth. The Park Board will say and do anything to have a concert and festival venue site, anything…

    The Park Board needs to stick with agriculture, open space, habitat protection and impromptu recreation…

  • (Wow, someone is just SLIGHTLY obsessed with speaking poorly about the Community Park and its Board. By the way, Mr. Voice, an enormous percentage of nonprofits across the country don’t have public Board meetings – in fact, it’s very common to have private Board meetings. It just seems like you’re a bit afraid of this progress for our community, but I can’t exactly figure out why.)

    I just finished reading the report. It’s wonderful and it looks like they put a lot of work into it. I personally know one of the scientists who performed a study for them in 2012 and he said their land and water use plans are sensitive and excellent. I don’t know anyone at the Park who works there or is one of the Directors, but they clearly care about the land and the community. All I know is that we’ve been waiting for this for a long time, so I’m glad that it’s finally almost here. Does anyone know if there are plans for little league fields yet?

    Good job, Park people.

    • Mr. Gramm, please define how this private commercial development is “progress for our community” and ” in fact, it’s very common to have private Board meetings”?

      Many local community/public benefit tax exempt organizations in Garberville & Redway do have Board meeting open to the public e.g. Redwood Community Radio, Rotary, Southern Humboldt Working Together, Mateel Community Center, Redwood Rural Health Center, Healy Senior Center, Soroptimist Intl of the Redwoods and Garberville Lions Club just to name a few.

      Let me ask you; do you think that rezoning the Parks private property to Public Facility and land use classification to Public Recreation will some how make their private property public?

      The Park Board uses words like “Community” and “Public”, as if they represent both. However, they do not want to include the community or the public into this process, in fact they go out of their way to exclude the public.

      Please tell me, what public benefit/charity has the Park Board provided for the community?

  • Chloe Visters

    I read about 3/4 of the EIR yesterday and I like the plans and the effort put into it. I’m looking forward to the Park “opening up” a bit for the Community to enjoy responsibly. I love taking the kids and dogs down to the Park and now I’m happy to hear that there will be even more activities for us. Go Park, go!

  • Mrs. Alexis Milbank

    Good report. I used to live in Garberville, retired in Arcata. Our kids and grandkids are still down in SoHum. Grandkids are pretty excited about what’s going to happen with the park. My husband and I will definitely be traveling down for soccer or baseball games when our two youngest grandkids get old enough to play. I like what Jim said above, someone put a lot of work into this. Thank you to those people.

  • It is hard to imagine how many tax payer funded hours have been spent responding to Ed Voices obsession with this project. Keep in mind the above uninformed spewing has occurred almost weekly in emails and letters to every branch of government you can imagine, for years. Humboldt County could have bought three parks by now if you added up the hours required to respond to Ed Voice. I dont think he pays taxes in Humboldt County either since he does not live around here. Anyway, I am proud to donate my money and time to this park. I belive the science in the report was done by professionals with high integrity. I belive the board has nothing to hide and no hidden agenda because I am on the board and I wouldn’t stand for it. Ask anyone around here if I care about my community. I volunteer atleast one day a week for some thing or another besides the park. I didnt see Ed waiting tables at the Hospice fundraiser last night. I hope one day he questions my integrity to my face. Bracing myself for Eds response here, but I probably will not read it anyway. I have an inbox folder full of unread emails from Ed and unlike Humboldt County, I cant afford to respond to them all.

    • See you on May 14th at Tooby Park 2-4 pm Ross Huber. Since the Park Board doesn’t want to ever answer my questions, will you answer my questions face to face in person on May 14th?

      In you’re post above, like your predecessors on the Park Board before you, you cannot dispute the facts, only deflect the facts with ad hominem attacks.

    • Science? What “science” are you talking about? Even Mr Gramm above stated “I personally know one of the scientists who performed a study for them in 2012 and he said their land and water use plans are sensitive and excellent”.

      The Park Board paid consultants, e.g. Biologist’s, Hydrologist’s and Engineers, to make findings or conclusions in favor of this project. Nobody used “science”, other than IMHO, most of their EIR is science fiction.

      I will let this video speak for itself about what you are calling “science”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rnq1NpHdmw

  • Ross Huber, so I guess this would be considered “science”?

    “I have reviewed the Southern Humboldt Community Park Plan of Operation document. The California Highway Patrol does not support the size of the proposed events being held in this location. In my opinion, Sprowel Creek Road leading down to the park is narrow and in its current condition, is not adequate to allow for the increased traffic flow these proposed events would bring”

  • First of all let me say that I am not a PARK DETRACTOR, a derogatory label assigned by the park board to anyone who in anyway disagrees with their vision for their park. And it is “their” park. Remember that. This is not a public park as long as the board remains a private entity not answerable to the public.

    I simply do not agree with all of their vision. I have been to some of the scoping sessions and wish to say that these were staged dog and pony shows where the “public” opinion was funneled and directionalized towards the Board’s development plan. Any opinion outside of that plan has been marginalized or simply ignored. After all that supposed public input we are left with a plan exactly as the board had it when they started.

    In looking at the plans for the park I am stunned by the overdevelopment that is planned for this pristine piece of land. For Concerts, Festivals and Camping, which, if you have ever been to any campground always leaves the area barren. Parking lots on prime farmland. What an environmental nightmare. These types of errors cannot be undone later.

    I think that until the board is actually accountable to the public, through open board elections or better yet the creation of a Park district, that the county would be remiss in granting a public recreation designation for land that is held by a private entity. I think that it would be more accurate to zone the whole area as commercial since what is really happening is the creation of a for profit concert venue. Hiding behind a non-profit status still does not make the board accountable to the public, whether that public is the county government or the local citizenry.

    Two wrongs don’t make it right!

  • Here is what Peter Ryce said, in public during a Park meeting with neighbors in February 2010, from the Redwood Times article:

    “Kirk denied that there were any plans for a motocross track on the park property and Dennis Huber insisted that there was no place to hide anything in the Environmental Impact Review document the board must prepare to proceed on their request for a rezone. They want a rezone that will leave them free to do a variety of things, including large events, without the need to get a Conditional Use Permit. Peter Ryce said that although the park has been around for 10 years now, they are still in the “infancy” of making a park”
    ”We’re trying to be as inclusive as possible so we don’t have to go to the County for every little thing,” he said. He said that the park board doesn’t have any “fixed idea” about what it wants but that they want what the community wants. He later conceded that if the “community” wanted motocross then there would be motocross”

    Now here is an interview with Kathryn Lobato (SHCP Executive Director) and KMUD News last Friday:

    https://soundcloud.com/kmudnews/southern-humboldt-community-park-releases-eir

  • One of the speakers at the 9/8/10 scoping session undoubtedly expressed the feelings of many when he said, “We want a park run by the people, not by the government.” Unfortunately, since the Southern Humboldt Community Park is a non-membership non-profit corporation with a self-appointed board governed by self-written by-laws, the only legally effective input community members have is through the county planning process and the state CEQA process. While the SHCP board holds public meetings from time to time, it is in no way required to consider seriously, let alone act upon, the input it receives unless that input is also part of a state or county government process. In short, this park is not “run by the people”; however flawed, government provides the only resource for persons wishing to participate meaningfully in shaping the park’s future. SHCP is in exactly the same category as any other private development group, except that it does not pay taxes on its land.

    The outstanding flaw in SHCP’s application for a General Plan Amendment is that it provides a “Plan of Operation” only for events and not for the multiplicity of other activities proposed. Likewise, it offers no discussion of how the various uses might overlap or impact each other. In other words, there is no overall Plan of Operation. Without a comprehensive Plan of Operations, assessing the impacts becomes an exercise in speculation. There are, however, impacts that seem likely when one applies common sense and a knowledge of the area to the draft environmental checklist.

    Regarding events, SHCP fails to consider the fact that several other event sites are available nearby — including Benbow State Recreation Area, French’s Camp, and the Dimmick Ranch, where large, multi-day events have been held successfully for years. Squabbling among local organizations is the main reason these sites are not used more often; if community groups worked together more cooperatively, there would be no need for an additional large event site.

    Regarding athletic facilities, there is a real need for adequate facilities for youth and adult sports teams. Local school fields are too small and too few to provide enough opportunities for everyone who wants to play baseball, soccer, and basketball. Unfortunately, since the entire portion of the park that is flat enough to make ball fields feasible is also prime agricultural soil (see discussion Agricultural Resources), any sizeable sports area would result in a conversion of agricultural land. These facilities would in be better sited in other locations, where infrastructure is already available.

    Several people at the scoping meeting urged the community to think of Central Park in New York, Stanley Park in Vancouver BC, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, etc. as they envision SHCP’s future. In the first place, all those parks are owned and managed by municipalities with municipal resources, and whose elected officials are responsible to the people. But more importantly, we should remember that Southern Humboldt is not New York, Vancouver, or San Francisco, where people live in crowded urban conditions and look to their city park as a haven of greenery, “nature,” and a rare opportunity for outdoor recreation close to their neighborhood. Our community park needs to be in scale with our population and the character of our community, not an imitation of a big city park.

    Finally, creating an entirely new land use designation (“Public Recreation”) as part of an application by a private party for a General Plan Amendment is clearly backwards, putting the cart before the horse, allowing the tail to wag the dog.

  • I know SoHum Parlance II is Eric Kirk’s blog and he can say what ever he wants, one way or the other about what he thinks, however, using his blog in a one-sided way, not allowing public discourse and continuing misrepresentation concerning the facts is unethical and amoral. Given their track record, its seems this is the only way the Park Board can accomplish anything and get what they want.

    I am not alone, I have tried to post on SoHum Parlance to no avail and I know other people that have tried as well.

    Here is what was stated on SoHum Parlance tonight:

    May 13, 2016 at 1:04 pm
    Stephen Lewis ~ No comments from critics one notices. Censored most likely like this post will probably be too.

    May 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm
    Eric Kirk ~ I think we’ve won over most of the critics. The report addresses most of the concerns which have been raised.

    May 13, 2016 at 7:32 pm
    Stephen Lewis ~ What you think isn’t the issue, Eric. It’s what the neighbors who have to put up with your group’s work to insure profit for investors.

    May 13, 2016 at 7:37 pm
    Eric Kirk ~ It’s a park Stephen. Nobody is profiting and there are no investors. And the vast majority of the neighbors now support the park.

  • More BS from Eric Kirk aka SoHum Parlance II aka Park Board member:

    May 13, 2016 at 9:05 pm
    Stephen Lewis ~ Oh, so there’s no Park investors now owning pieces of the Park to resell at profit?

    May 13, 2016 at 9:10 pm
    Eric Kirk ~ No Stephen, there are no “park investors now owning pieces of the Park to resell at profit.” There never have been. Read the report.

    You had better think about what you just said Eric, because the Park was and is currently funded by “investors” with large accruing interest loans to third parties and past/present Board members. I believe the Park Board already sold 20 acres of Park property ($1,000,000.00) at a very high profit to pay investors ($880,000.00 profit), right?

    What would keep the Park Board from selling even more and more land? Nothing in the DEIR restricts the sale of property by the Park Board, does it?

    People are buying up property in Southern Humboldt right now, allot in escrow right now, like you said before and I’ll quote you again, “We would simply be forced to put the property up for sale”. And there is that word again, “forced”! Like you were “forced” into selling 20 acres, right?

    The park property was never purchased by the community, it was purchased by investors and the sale of 20 acres in 2007. The community donated $330,000.00, which was eaten up in interest in the first 2 years (2001-2002). Next time read your own financial reports…

    The Park Board has paid out more in interest to “investors” than what was purchased, now that is a fact ($1.250,000.00)!

    Is there a better word to use? Maybe you should call it the Bamboozle Music and Art Festival…

  • What if? What if the Park Board sold some of the Park property to someone like, oh lets say Outraged Orangutan LLC. Remember these guys, yeah the guys that purchased the Dimmick Ranch (Reggae Rising) and brought you “Northern Nights” and other yearly concerts.

    http://www.redwoodtimes.com/article/ZZ/20131008/NEWS/131007681

    I’m sure the Tonic Nightlife Group would be very interested in this deal, already zoned for weekend concerts and festivals, right next to town and the airport, yeah baby. Who could ask for more, location, location, location and located directly in the heart, soul and belly of the Emerald Triangle…

    Yes Eric, lay down the foundation, build it and they will come, by the bus load. Maybe by then the Park will have its own off-ramp from 101? And they will up-grade the airport for private jets. Its a life style Eric, its what you say the community “needs”, right?

  • OMG, Eric Kirk is at it again, he said:

    May 14, 2016 at 11:56 pm
    Eric Kirk ~ “Stephen – No, neither Bob McKee nor Steve Daisy made money on the purchase of the park. It was a complex transaction involving the whole Tooby Ranch. It’s been explained over and over again. I’m not going to type it out again. The park is owned by a 501c3 nonprofit. I don’t know what you mean by a “closed corporation.” It operates like most of the nonprofit corporations out there.”

    “Stephen, you’re so behind the times. Even the more active detractors, with one exception, abandoned this line of attack years ago and quite frankly we’re tired of having to repeat ourselves. You have bad information. If you want the details. They may be able to dig up the old Op Ed pieces which went into these questions.”

    “Anon – what happened was that there was a concert which went past the time they were supposed to shut down and which was very loud. It generated some opposition from neighbors. But most of the neighbors are satisfied with what we’ve proposed. And the few who may still oppose it used to show up at all of our public meetings to tell us what they thought. But we held a well-publicized public event today, and every person who attended was supportive of the proposal. And now there is a younger generation of parents and other community members ready to take the reins. This is a great moment for Sohum.”

    Wow Eric, maybe I should send Stephen Lewis the “Southern Humboldt Community Park Financial History 2000 – 2008” report that you produced in 2010? You did have it on the Parks website, but took it down after I pointed out allot of omissions. Mr. Lewis also asked about “others”.

    Lets be clear, McKee made a profit on the land he sold to Southern Humboldt Working Together, of which Dazey was the Park Committee chairman (before the Park Board was conceived by Dazey) in 2000, plus the interest McKee made on the note (estimated at $600K). And, some how McKee kept 80 acres for himself, lets start there.

    Dazey however was the only member of the public (besides McKee) that was able to obtain land down at what would become the Park for $3500 an acre and then was “warehoused” for 9 years, until he was able to trade it for a better section of land that he planned to develop, including a water system from the River. Plus, according to the parks tax returns, Dazey was paid $21,333 twice in two different years for services rendered and the lumber used at Tooby Park and as a fundraising consultant while on the Park Board. And lets not forget, Dazey Supply was the Bank for cash donations from 2000 to 2002.

    Metz, now he was paid again and again over the years to the tune of $174k from an $88k EQIP Contract, of which SHCP was paid $63k from USDA/NRCS and that check was payable to Tim Metz (I did a FOIA request). Plus, Timmy was paid interest on his $92k loan/note from 2000-2008 and is currently accruing interest on two more loans to the Park.

    Even Ronda!! Snodgrass and Rio Anderson were paid as Professional Fundraisers by the Park Board.

    All anyone has to do is follow the money on your federal tax returns (990), state financial reports (RRF-1) and that “Southern Humboldt Community Park Financial History 2000 – 2008” report.

    This is only the tip of the ice-burg, we have not even touched on the 20 acre and 15 year River Bar gravel mining lease you sold Randall Sand & Gravel to the tune of $1,000,000.00 back in 2007 to pay investors loans, notes and interest and it still did not clear up all the debit the Park Board inured, did it?

    And by the way, Kathryn Lobato is paid $50k a year and has been paid since she was a Board Member in 2008. She is profiting from the Park. And so is Jenny Metz, since she is and has been paid as a fundraising consultant since 2011.

    But hey, if people don’t mind they are being hoodwinked and bamboozled by another 501c3 then they get what they paid for. However, if the public ask’s the question, they also need to know the truth, just say’n.

    I guess you have to define “profit” Eric. I think you should start by telling the truth, but hey, that’s just my opinion. And like they say, everyone has one.

    If you don’t like the public scrutiny, then stop hiding behind your public benefit charitable corporation…

  • There are so many bullies in and around our communities. It’s so hard just to be a good, upstanding, thoughtful citizen trying to contribute to a greater good without being shouted down.

    This is why we can’t have nice things, as the saying goes.

    • Wow, you sure sound just like Julia Minton. So do you mean that some wildlife and neighboring property owners will have to sacrifice their life style, decreased property value and put up with loud amplified music, loud crowds, and traffic late into the night and early mornings all summer long for the “greater good”? Who’s greater good are we talking about? How much money are they putting in their pockets?

      It seems to me, neighboring property owners have rights too. Is that why we can’t have nice things?

  • And Eric Kirk keeps making excuse’s from his high and mighty blog:

    May 15, 2016 at 5:12 pm
    Eric Kirk ~ “Yes, SS and Dave, it definitely would not have worked to do the extensive work needed over the past few years, with curve balls constantly being thrown our way, if we had to deal with elections and public meetings throughout the decision making process – especially with a vocal extreme minority with a strict agenda. We had an extensive vision/scoping process and it is very apparent based on the extensive support from the community that the project is consistent with the community’s vision. But, once the rezone takes place maybe we can open it up to a different process. Again, that will be up to the next generation. In the meantime, the sports parents are going to become very involved in the near future and there appears to be great enthusiasm. We’ve got some great farm projects happening, and in the works, and others are expressing interests in new projects. Now that we’re getting to the part where we actually get to create something, people are coming in with all kinds of ideas. We just have the one last hurdle”.

    Actually Eric, its three hurdles; one with this DEIR, one with the Planning Commission and one with the Board of Supervisors. Its kinda like the GSD annexation CEQA process, and we know how that ended for the Park Board, don’t we! Nothing different here. Once the Planning commission hears and reads your one-sided and self-indulgent “extensive vision/scoping process”, your guess is as good as mine at what they will or will not approve. Unless maybe the Planning Commission already has their minds made up, someone whispering in their ear?

    It’s sad to read you don’t believe in a democratic process and only want to tell people what to do and what they will have to deal with and put up with, including the River and wildlife habitat without any say. Its sad and a shame you want to do this and for what, money?

    Why do we often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude the most? We do this with both people and possessions. The problem is many people do not realize this until the situation has come and passed. We take things for granted on a daily basis, always with the assumption that whenever we need something, it will be there. There are many things we fail to realize the true value of until they are missing from our lives.

    “People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Truth is, you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it.”

  • I guess the thread about the Park’s DEIR was not good enough, Eric had to talk about it on his “My Endorsements” thread?

    May 15, 2016 at 8:48 am
    Eric Kirk ~ “I figured that’s where you got your information Stephen. Notice that none of the detractors besides Ed makes this claim. Again, I don’t what you mean by a “closed corporation.” The park land is owned by Southern Humboldt Community Park, a non-profit corporation, by a recorded deed. The Board operates like 99 percent of the non-profit boards out there. No, we currently do not operate like the Mateel or KMUD with open elections of Directors. Very, very few nonprofit organizations operate that way. The next generation can do it the way they want. Our job was to establish a park and that has taken a lot of work. We did extensive public input. Ed was at all the meetings. The project is structured around that input. The county knows this. And the process hasn’t ended.”

    “No, Steve Dazy and Bob McKee did not make money off the park land. The money was raised and paid directly to the Tooby family. Dazy and McKee have poured money into the park, not the other way around.”

    May 15, 2016 at 3:04 pm
    Dave Kirby ~ “The name is Dazey. Ed’s family have been at war with Randall Sand and Gravel for many years. Back in the 90s they opposed the renewal of Randall’s surface mining permit. With Ed it was never really about the park he figured he could get to Randalls thru the park. The gravel operation is a much greater “nuisance” to the family property than anything the park could generate. That added to the fact that Ed hasn’t lived there for many years made the whole opposition questionable. There are neighbors who have valid concerns about noise and traffic issues but Ed is not one of them.”

    Wow Dave Kirby, maybe you should talk to Eric about your “nuisance” assertion, maybe I have a civil case? You know the Park Board leases the property to Randall Sand & Gravel below Rivercrest, right? Do you know any personal injury attorney’s in town? And thanks for your acknowledgment “There are neighbors who have valid concerns about noise and traffic issues”!

    And Eric, how would you know, since Dazey gave McKee the money, not the Tooby Family. Remember, Dazey had to give McKee the money to make the down payment to the whole Tooby Ranch purchase. This was explained in public by McKee, Doug Ingold and Barb Truit. Maybe you would know this if you went to any of the meetings? And I guess you forgot it was the Tooby Family that opposed the Park Board from taking over the operation of Tooby Memorial Park from the County (2004), or did you forget that little fact. Remember, the Tooby Family attorney kept calling it “Dazey’s Park”, not the Community Park. I guess you weren’t around for that either?

  • Honestly Mr. Voice, enough. Please just stop. Your vociferous opposition doesn’t make any sense. Someone told me yesterday that you don’t live in Humboldt County. I hope that’s not true. Because if it is, then I am hopelessly confused by your opposition. I’d be happy to have my young granddaughter explain why this Park is a great thing for the community.

    • Alex, when did I EVER state I currently live in Humboldt County, NEVER! I grew up and lived in Redway/Garberville from 1961 until I graduated from South Fork HS in 1975. My parents owned a house in Redway and then had a house built at Rivercrest in 1966, where, after my Dad was killed, my Mom and Grandma lived until 2006, then my Mom passed away in August 2014.

      I love that area, I have always tried to protect the South Fork Eel River and wildlife habitat from projects like what the Park Board is planning. You don’t have to live in a county to make comments and you don’t have to live in an area that needs Wild & Scenic River Act protection from ambient noise pollution, traffic, artificial light pollution, non-beneficial uses of water, point source storm-water run-off and the list goes on.

      If you want this project, you have that right and the right to free speech and the same goes for if you oppose it, like I am doing. It works both ways, which the Park Board feels it does not have to do. So stick with the facts and leave your ad hominem attacks at the door. I have a history and a right to be here and so do you.

      “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been poisoned, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money”
      ~ Cree Prophecy

  • This is what the River will become if the Park Board gets its way. And as it states in their DEIR, “proposed to be available all year long and 24 hours per day. The majority of use is expected to occur during the spring, summer, and fall months.” Its their way or the highway. Once this door is opened it cannot be stopped or even more and more. Careful what you wish for.

    Less is more…

  • Southern Humboldt Community Park EIR for Dummies,

    Since the Southern Humboldt Community Park NOP meeting in September 2010 (last public meeting) the Park Board has taken housing development out of their project for the Park. Except in this project, the Park Board is requesting to keep their development rights or credits on the Park property and bank them until such time that Humboldt County has a county wide program, which at this time they do not, nor is it being proposed or even on the horizon.

    They want 16 acres of the Park rezoned, down at the Kimtu entrance, for sports fields and a new 1000 sq ft restroom, concession stand, bleachers, fencing between each field and parking lots. They want 7.47 acres of turf grass for two baseball, one soccer and one football field that would require 2-3 million gallons of watering each month, let alone the water for start-up (one year) and construction. Not including the extra water the fields would need to be used before every game and after every practice for each field. There are no restrictions for any sports events, either by attendees or number of days. So they could have 800 people per day for tournaments included in this project.

    Now, speaking of water, they say all the water for this project will come from an on-site spring, well and diversion from the South Fork Eel River that are on-site, but do not talk about how they are going to treat the water before the public is allowed to drink or use it.

    They want to be allowed to have up to 800 people per day at the Park for normal everyday daily attendance, with parking on-site, including an unlimited amount of public and private events, concerts or fundraisers with up to 800 people per day and occasionally until midnight, which include camping or sports events or both over the same weekend, which could include night games.

    Speaking of camping, they want 2 acres re-zoned just for camping. They are requesting that camping in that area be allowed all year, 24 hours a day, but mostly in the spring, summer and fall.

    They want to put in two new 400 sq ft restrooms at Tooby Park and the new Park Headquarters (main Ranch house on McKee Way). They want to expand and remodel the existing ranch house, caretakers house and two story barn that would allow for public meetings, public kitchen, offices, private events, more new restrooms and public assembly. Also expand camping for farm workers.

    And they want to have one Music Festival per year over two days, with up to 4000 attendees, 1000 vendors, staff, volunteers and camping for 1000 on-site.

    They want to have 5 events, concerts or fundraisers per year with up to 2000 attendees and 500 vendors, staff and volunteers, over an undisclosed number of days.and camping for 500 on-site.

    They want to have parking for 850 vehicles on-site at the Park, and claim there are an additional 1454 parking spaces between Garberville and Redway, excluding parking lots for businesses, and will bus people in like the Mateel does for their events.

    Beside the housing issue from last time (2010), nothing has changed other than they want to expand almost everything else. And since 2010, they have had no meetings open to the public, no public community meetings or anything the public can read until now.

    My concerns in a nut shell are the degrading effects to neighboring property owners and wildlife habitat from amplified music, noise, artificial night lighting effects, South Fork Eel from non-beneficial water use and storm water run-off, trespassing and illegal camping, converting prime farmland to public recreation, increased traffic, public safety concerns on Sprowel Creek Road and keeping their development rights to the property.

    Please say something about this, please submit comments, Please tell your Supervisor or Michael Richardson at the Planning Department what YOU think, not in a form letter from the Park Board.

  • Back in the day, from the Southern Humboldt Life & Times, Garberville, August 4, 2001:

    Has Steve Ever Heard Of The Wizard Of Oz?

    To The Editor;

    I am writing in response to your lead article in the July 28 edition of the LIFE & TIMES. “Vision Remains Strong, But Donations Need Shot In The Arm.” Your article begins by suggesting, thanks to Steve Dazey’s new Garberville Tooby Park, we are about to have a new healthcare complex, schools, equestrian facilities, soccer fields. etc. I have also heard that Mr. Dazey. the brains behind the big dream, plans on building Olympic size swimming pools, skateboard parks, and youth facilities, and that he would also like to move the Summer Arts Festival and other large scale events to his new park.

    Your article goes on to say that there is only one catch – Steve needs a little money. Has Steve ever heard of the Wizard of Oz?

    Does Mr. Dazey know that our Healthcare District recently declared bankruptcy, that our junior high is shutting down due to lack of funds, that our library is open only 19 hours a week (and the county threatens yearly to terminate it entirely), and that the antiquated school playground at the SHUSD yard in Garberville was recently torn down due to safety concerns? Too bad that Mr. Dazey doesn’t have time or money for these very real community institutions. But where would the glory be in helping these institutions get back on their feet?

    Your article states that Mr. Dazey managed to convince over 100 people at $4,000 a pop to make a down payment on the Tooby Flat. Last year the entire 13.000-acre Tooby Ranch was for sale for around $6.500.000 or about $500 an acre. Mr. Dazey worked a deal with middleman McKee to buy the 375-acre flat for $1.250,000 or $3,333 an acre, giving McKee a whopping 700% mark up. Then Mr. Dazey sought and got more donations, and bought 20 more acres, according to your article, for $120.000 or $6.000 an acre — a 1,200% mark up, over 1.000% profit.

    I’ll have to give Steve credit. He made the recently bankrupt Bob McKee an instant millionaire.
    and all with other people’s money. I understand Mr. Dazey made a private transaction with Mr. McKee, buying himself some Tooby property, although your article doesn’t state what he paid for this.

    I understand Mr. Dazey also made a private arrangement with Mr. McKee to sell him back the timber on the Tooby Flat, that is now part of the “park”‘ land. The timber is clearly visible between the Tooby Flat pasture and Highway 101. I understand Mr. McKee is a proud and enthusiastic logger, having logged parts of Seely Creek and Elk Ridge in the Briceland community. I won’t be surprised if someday there is a Save The Tooby Flat From Logging campaign that nets Mr. McKee a Hurwitz-sized ransom. Good work Steve. Thanks for saving the flat from the other ‘”evil developers” who wanted to build homes there.

    According to your article, Mr. Dazey has “consultants” donating time for his park. However, I made a call to County Planning this week, and aside from a request to stage the Summer Arts Festival at the Tooby Flat site that was withdrawn, they have received no plans or requests for a “park.” educational complex, new hospital, or anything else. Anyone who has been involved with the Harley Run site, the rodeo event, Reggae on the River, or who even wanted to remodel their house knows that you have to do more than dream to work through the county permitting process (not to mention projects that require re-zoning). This is surprisingly similar to McKee “s selling off the rest of the Tooby Ranch (at a huge profit) without county approval. (See my letter to the editor in the Independent dated I/ 9/01 regarding the Tooby family’s prior ten year agricultural Williamson Act contract with the county running until 2009.)

    In my opinion, Dazey is putting the cart before the horse, getting the community and a lot of investors revved up about his big dreams before even finding out if any of these projects are possible. Perhaps he is thinking that with enough investors he’ll be able to steamroll the County and the County General Plan. Presently the land is zoned agricultural. A portion of it was even under water in the ’64 flood. Apparently Mr. Dazey’s theme park is a dream park.

    In addition, the directors of Dazey’s park are a group of hand-picked, elite insiders, making decisions behind closed doors. If this is a “public” project then it should be a public recreation district with public meetings and with publicly elected directors. Apparently Mr. Dazey wants community money, but he doesn’t want community control!

    I am aware that Mr. Dazey has a successful gardening boutique business and sells diesel generators and dirt bikes, but if the local economy ever changes he could consider a career with the circus.

    I for one am not interested in being a puppet in Mr. Dazey’s traveling circus. I am giving my hard-earned money to the school and hospital funds. I have no interest in further lining Mr. McKee’s already obscenely wealthy pockets, or further draining or dividing the community.

    George Russell, Redway

  • Dear Park Board, can you please explain this, it comes from your website:

    “The change in land use designation to Public Recreation will protect the land from future subdivision and allow the low-impact activities to continue on the acreage zoned Agricultural Exclusive as well as the 87 acres with the new zoning of Public Facilities”

    http://www.sohumpark.org/community/environmental-impact-report/

    Now according to Michael Richardson, rezoning and changing the land use included in your GPA DEIR will NOT “protect the land from future subdivision”. I plan on raising this question in my comments. I know you like to misrepresent the facts concerning this issue, so maybe you would care to explain your theory?

    Also, when Eric Kirk, Kathryn Lobato and Carol Van Sant were having a conversation on KMUD recently, Lobato had an interesting opinion, in which she said “Our goal in this was to try to balance the human uses that are anticipated at the Community Park with natural resources protection, this was are over arcing goal”. So, with that being said, I hope you have something, a model or some other project that is like, kind and same? How many privately owned “Community Parks” in California want to opt out and rezone 90 acres of AE zoning and AL/AR land use, and at the same time use the new zoning on prime ag soils and farmland for commercial concerts, festivals, events, fundraisers, camping and sporting events only, with no use for sustainable agriculture? This same KMUD interview is also a one way conversation. By not including the community you prove my point, that the Park is a privately owned rent-a-park and the community has no say.

    And Kirk stated on his blog recently that the Park was not an “wilderness area”. And when Lobato stated “natural resources protection”, that should include; Water, Energy, Air, Climate, Biodiversity, Land, Forests and Ecosystems, of which all are being subject to mitigation and take within your GPA DEIR? So which part of the greater good question will you use?

    I want to make sure we are clear, crystal clear concerning the facts of this case, and if you continue down this slippery slope, there will be a reckoning and accounting for your actions. This is not a threat, just a fact, in the same way Eric Kirk explained in his newspaper article that if the Park does not get the rezone, they will sell it, “its just reality”…

  • The Garberville Sanitary District will hold a special meeting on June 21 to review comments on the potential impacts of the Southern Humboldt Community Park’s proposed rezone, which includes additional water uses such as new sports fields.

    The Garberville Sanitary District (GSD) board of directors considered whether to write any comments about the Southern Humboldt Community Park (SHCP) board’s proposed land-use designation change and looked at the district’s draft budget for the next fiscal year at their regular meeting on May 24.

    District general manager Ralph Emerson explained that the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department had requested GSD comments for the SHCP land-use classification change and rezone. Emerson said that the SHCP was not in the district boundary so he did not think the district had any say in what the park did, but suggested that in order to protect GSD customers the district should participate in a discussion of park water use since the park was upstream from GSD’s water intake.

    District contracting engineer Jennie Short commented that the SHCP was in the GSD’s Sphere of Influence (SOI). She expressed concern about the SHCP’s plans for sewage disposal and use of water.

    “There are some pretty significant sewer uses they are proposing, and so I think the district should consider whether or not they want to make a comment on a fairly significant development occurring in our sphere of influence without them connecting to our sewer system and our water system,” Short said. She recommended the board clarify to the county the district policies as they relate to the park’s proposal.

    The board was asked about the potential impact to the downstream GSD water supply of the seven-and-a-half acres of sports fields proposed for the park that could require between 2 million and 3 million gallons of water per month, in addition to estimated 560,000 gallons of water per summer month required for park agriculture.

    “So they’re going to be taking out, in the summer, close to the same volume we take out,” commented board member Richard Thompson.

    Short remarked that currently the park withdraws water from the river under riparian rights, which does not have any limitations on it.

    “But the change in land use, once that’s complete, they will be allowed to withdraw whatever they need to be able to support the land use that’s been, and the development, that’s been done,” Short pointed out. “And so this change in land use is the only time that we will have an opportunity to voice our concern over protecting this community’s access to water and not having the park remove so much upstream from us for this new land use.”

    Emerson suggested that he and Short draft some comments and present them to the GSD board at a district special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 21, since the next regular GSD board meeting would be after the June 27 deadline for comments to the county on the park’s DEIR.

    http://www.humboldtindie.com/local-news/2016/6/1/gsd-ponders-impacts-of-park-rezone

  • Park Board,

    It would seem the KMUD News (Kelley Lincoln) correction was not correct, given the facts and what you told the Garberville Sanitary District (GSD) back in 2013 when GSD excluded the Park from its annexation process. The reason was not so the Park Board could finish your EIR was it?

    And to Kelley Lincoln’s other correction, its been since September 2010 that your Notice of Preparation (NOP) was released to the public concerning your Project EIR, not two years ago. Maybe she should correct that correction, because since that NOP there have been NO (zero, zip, zilch, nada) public/community meetings held regarding your development plans, project, land use change, rezoning or water demand and consumption requirements until now. You would think, since its called a “Community Park” the community would be involved, which includes GSD, right?

    So it would seem, without public meeting concerning your project, and not disclosing any information to the public until now is what caused this new controversy, just like your unpermitted concerts/public assembles did back in 2007/2008. You need to work on your communication skills, I thought Kathryn Lobato (Park E.D.) was on the Humboldt Area Foundation Board of Directors?

    “We model professional excellence in everything we do. We listen, engage, and respond with cultural awareness and evaluate our impact to better serve our communities” ~ HAF

    http://www.hafoundation.org/About-Us/Mission-Vision

    I wonder what the Redway Community Services District is thinking, if they are also concerned as GSD?

    Stay thirsty,
    Ed Voice

  • Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
    825 Fifth Street, Room 111
    Eureka, CA 95501

    RE: OPPOSED TO THE REZONING OF THE SOUTHERN HUMBOLDT COMMUNITY PARK

    Dear Supervisors,

    I am writing to request that you vote NO to the change in zoning for the Southern Humboldt Community Park.

    [Optional: State why the Park is important to you and our community]

    The Southern Humboldt Community Park was created in the year 2000 when local residents and private investors purchased 430-acres of land at a 700 % marked up price from Buck Mountain Ranch LP to create a park. The land is a beautiful mix of forest, meadows, and farmland, located one-mile from Garberville, with the Wild and Scenic South Fork Eel River flowing within its boundaries.

    The Park has the potential to be a crown jewel of the County, if it was restructured into a Public Recreation District of the Garberville Sanitary District.

    The Southern Humboldt Community Park property DOES NOT require a change in landuse and a rezoning to Public Facility to allow public access and recreational uses at the Community Park. More than 300-acres will NOT remain Agriculture Exclusive zoning for community-based agricultural projects.

    This rezoning is NOT necessary to fulfill the community’s intended uses for this property. It will provide us with trails, a playground, a place for gathering, NOT events and needless sports facilities.

    Please DO NOT support the change in zoning for the Southern Humboldt Community Park.

    Thank you for NOT advancing this important project.

    Sincerely,

    [Your Name, address, and affiliation]

  • Holy crimoly! There is so much bats— crazy in this thread I wouldn’t even know where to start. Ed’s writing is kind of what I would picture if Hunter Thompson took maybe half of his prescribed anti-depression meds and just got boring and incoherent.

    Carry on.

    • Eric, I take it your the Park Board damage control/ad hominem czar? Thanks for the “Hunter Thompson” reference, big fan…

  • Some things never change, and this should concern everyone…

  • Dear Park Board,

    Here is one quote from your website template support letter, that you want people to send to their County Supervisors; RE: SUPPORT FOR THE REZONING OF THE SOUTHERN HUMBOLDT COMMUNITY PARK.

    “The Southern Humboldt community is proud that we have created a park that can support itself independently. We request that you allow our community to use this property for public benefit”

    http://www.sohumpark.org/community/environmental-impact-report/

    So I wonder how people would react if they knew the Park Board has been and currently supporting itself and the operation of the Park thought and with state and federal public tax money from your Calfresh Outreach contract with Humboldt County?

    This year, thru April 2016, the Park Board has received over $15,328.00 from the Humboldt County Health & Human Services Department (DHHS) Calfresh Outreach contract and of that only $325.00 was used to purchase food, the rest was used for administration cost, personal cost and transportation cost. Put simply, put in the pockets of paid Community Park employees and operational cost of the Park, including the current proposed project and EIR.

    In addition, from March 2012 thru December 2015, the Park has been paid over $215,000.00 from the same DHHS Calfresh Outreach contract.

    Do you consider this funding from government contracts and public tax money independent support?

    Ed Voice

  • Since the Garberville Sanitary Districts (GSD) concern over this project, i.e. increased water demand and diverson from the South Fork Eel River, which could affect GSD’s ability to serve water to its customers and treat sewer properly (Humboldt Independent June 1, 2016; GSD Ponders Impacts of Park Rezone http://www.humboldtindie.com/local-news/2016/6/1/gsd-ponders-impacts-of-park-rezone ) maybe someone should contact the Redway Community Services District, and ask their General Manager (John Rogers) what concerns they have?

    Given the fact that Rodgers is on the record and publicly supports the Park Boards proposed increased water demand and diversion from the South Fork Eel River for their project EIR (which could affect RCSD’s water pumping ability to serve the town of Redway) and also has a conflict of interest, e.g. Kathryn Lobato and is the Park Boards paid Executive Director ($50K yearly salary), while Rogers is paid for advising the RCSD Board, Lobato is also paid and benefits from that same advice for this project…

    just say’n
    Ed Voice

  • The proposal to rezone the private property called the Southern Humboldt Community Park must be denied as it would have permanent, devastating effects on all living things in our community, including people.

    Developing land for real estate interests in this time of almost certain permanent drought conditions is the total opposite of what we should be doing. The harmful effects of the proposal if permitted would last forever and make Humboldt County a less attractive place for tourists to visit as well as for residents to live in. The owners want to have 800 people per day visiting the park and would establish parking space for 850 vehicles. All by itself this proposal will create problems along Sprowel Creek Road and Kimtu Road, which are narrow two lane country roads more suited to horses and buggys and already challenged by cement and gravel trucks as well as the daredevil drivers of big pickup trucks. As one who walks this road frequently I would not welcome the invasion of huge numbers of vehicles and neither would the wildlife save for the turkey vultures.

    The sports fields proposed might look good on paper but are essentially a disaster. No one likes sports, especially youth sports, more than I do but the scope of what is proposed by park owners is preposterous to say the least. Two baseball fields, a soccer field, and a football field with no restrictions on use will require 2-3 million gallons of water monthly. That will be both insult and injury to the river and to all sentient beings in the area. It’s a shaky idea anyway because there are already enough playing fields in southern Humboldt that the same handful of people struggle to maintain. Who will maintain the mostly unused fields? The proposal doesn’t say but I’d be willing to bet that they will lay dormant before long as a memorial to wasteful thinking. I suspect that what the park owners really desire is a lot of water at their disposal for other reasons such as overpopulated “events”. And how will the water be treated if it is to be available to drink?

    The proposal has another ludicrous idea—camping. The owners want two acres rezoned just for this and they want it to be available all year, 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Who will provide security and fire protection? The proposal doesn’t say. I wonder how the sheriff’s office and the California Highway Patrol will feel about all of this.

    The building and paving and lighting along with the requested five music festivals for 2000 people and one festival for 4000 people lasting two days will make for non-beneficial water wasting, hellish traffic that will thwart emergency vehicles when needed, noise pollution day and night, and light pollution that will affect owls, foxes, humans, bears, and many other innocent victims of thoughtlessness.

    Worse, even though the rezoning would take place, the park owners have not relinquished their right to develop further in the future.

    This property should remain zoned the way it is now. The owners argue that it was purchased in order to be preserved. That is very far away from the proposal as it stands. Another reason for us all to be opposed is that the park has a board of directors appointed by and responsible to only the owners and that the board is not responsive to the public in any way unless they are being offered money. It’s not a “community” park at all.

    Thank you,
    Jerry Latsko
    Garberville 95542

  • The DEIR does not address how weeds will be treated on the proposed seven
    and a half acres of ball field turf. Since the meadow part of the park is mostly
    invasive grasses, it will be difficult to keep the weeds out of the sports fields.
    The use of herbicides is not addressed in the DEIR.

    Due to the proximity of the river, the winter wetland nature of the area
    proposed for ball fields, and the ground water underneath, the use of
    herbicides needs to be addressed in the DEIR.

    The concerns of the neighbors have not adequately been addressed. In fact
    the size of crowd events proposed for the park in the DEIR have been
    increased, not decreased, as the neighbors and others have asked, over the
    years. I don’t see much change at all in this version of the DEIR in mitigating
    traffic and noise problems for the neighborhoods from anything the Park
    Board has been asking for over the years amidst all the controversy they have
    caused.

    The DEIR does not address how much water the new 10-acre vineyard will
    use. Another weird thing about the vineyard deal is that it is privately owned.
    How does a privately owned vineyard benefit the public? Is the whole park
    property going to end up serving private businesses? Where is the public
    benefit in that? There is no plan in the DEIR for oversight to make sure
    private businesses are complying with any mitigation measures the park
    board agrees to in the DEIR.

    The proposed business plan for the park is to let private groups or individuals
    run everything at the park. But the skate park and the disc golf course have
    fallen into disrepair after people lost interest or could not raise enough money
    to keep them viable. Could that happen to the proposed sports fields and
    other developments? There is no method accountability for maintenance of
    developments by private businesses or organizations in the DEIR. This
    should be addressed in the DEIR.

    The county’s new marijuana land use ordinance permitting very large
    marijuana grows in the unincorporated areas of the county has drastically
    increased traffic on Sprowel Creek Road and depleted water sources in our
    neighborhood, the Redway Community Services District is making plans to
    take up to 100 new customers, and Benbow Inn is expanding. It would be
    better to assess the cumulative impacts to the Wild and Scenic South Fork Eel
    River and wildlife habitat of all these developments, along with the huge
    amounts of water (could be more than two million gallons a month just for
    the ball fields alone) proposed by the park board in the DEIR.

    For some reason, the flat area of the park was cut into two parcels in
    2007 after three lot line adjustments. There is nothing to keep the private
    corporation that owns the park from selling off some of the park land
    especially after it is made vastly more valuable with the proposed
    annexation of the park to the Garberville Sanitary District (GSD). The
    park board’s insistence that they keep their “developement credits”
    makes this a foreseeable outcome of approval of the zone changes
    requested.

    Due to the massive sports complex and other developments proposed in
    the DEIR, the park board should relinquish their development credits, as
    Jeffrey Jeffries, Seasonal Water Solutions LLC, was required to do for
    his conditional use permit.

    Another environmental impact report will need to be prepared if the park
    is annexed to GSD, since their plan as expressed in this DEIR is to use
    on and offsite spring water and water pumped directly out of the South
    Fork River by the park’s own municipal-sized infiltration gallery and
    pump. Does that mean they get both the water they take and the GSD
    water? This will need to be addressed in another environmental
    document.

    The South Fork Eel River contains threatened salmonid (coho, chinook
    and steelhead) species. Higher water levels need to be maintained in the
    river, particularly when importance is compared to that of water for
    ballfields.

    What method of oversight is there that any mitigation measures will be
    followed? This should be clearly stated in the DEIR.

    Since low impact recreation is permitted on privately owned property at the
    land owners’ discretion, the park property does not need to be rezoned.
    The Southern Humboldt Community Park should be for the acquatic life,
    the wild life and wild life habitat, and low impact public use. The park
    should be kept a natural and open space, for the well being of the
    community, the river, and the environment. The park board should have
    all their meetings open to the public and start behaving like good
    neighbors. Maybe then people would trust them.

  • I would like to give my input on the projects proposed in the southern humboldt community park deir. I think the park is proposing way too much development for this sensitive area. Large events and the proposed ball park represent significant changes to the land that will impact wildlife negatively. In general, these proposals will increase water usage, traffic and noise as well replace, fragment and disrupt wildlife habitat. The park provides valuable habitat, which is much more important than entertainment and sports.

  • Humboldt County Farm Bureau

    Humboldt County Farm Bureau
    5601 So. Broadway, Eureka, CA 95503
    Serving Agriculture Since 1913

    June 28, 2016

    Michael Richardson Humboldt County Planning and Building Department 3015 H Street Eureka, CA 95501
    Re: Southern Humboldt Community Park Draft Environmental Impact Report

    Dear Mr. Richardson:

    The Humboldt County Farm Bureau has been providing comments on the Southern Humboldt Community Park for the past 16 years. Between September of 2000 and today, we have submitted 11 letters to the Planning Department as well as letters to various elected officials, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the District Conservationist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

    After reviewing the Draft EIR for the Southern Humboldt Community Park, we feel the environmental document does not properly address the conversion of Prime Ag Land in the open fields nor does it appropriately mitigate their loss. If the county chooses to convert Prime agricultural soils the “No Net Loss” policy of the county should address the mitigation of this loss.

    We believe some of the park project, like the Tooby Memorial Park and the athletic area, should be reclassified as Public Recreation. However, the Prime Agricultural Soils / Prime Farmland which are in the other open fields should remain zoned as Agriculture Exclusive. This is consistent with all of our comments for the past 16 years.

    Sincerely,

    Andy Albin, President Humboldt County Farm Bureau

  • Eric V. Kirk, so this is what you think of people that want a nice quiet Park? I’m quoting you from your blog yesterday:

    “This park is going to be a resource for everybody, not just a quiet spot for curmudgeons and luddites. We hope to have plenty of spots for you as well, but you’re going to have to share and compromise. Hence the word “community.”

    And here’s where your litigation privilege comes shinning through:

    “As for the other items on your complaint list, we have gone to the community on numerous occasions in many formats and repeatedly the number 1 request from community members is a venue for concerts. The number 1 request, over and over. Some have requested that we allow Reggae on the River to take place there. And there are those who don’t want any changes at all – they want the beauty to remain unchanged.”

    “After the concert venues comes the sports fields in the list of priorities. Families are complaining that Sohum is no longer family friendly. The soccer league has had to turn children away for lack of playing space. There aren’t the activities for kids which used to be available, largely because the population has been aging. If we want more young people in the community we have to address their wants and needs as well. We can’t be a community of curmudgeons chasing the kids off our lawns.”

    https://kunsoo1024.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/organic-standards-a-fraud/#comment-112959

    Wow, who is “we”?

    And by “share and compromise” you mean “My way or the highway”, right? And who made the Park Board the all and powerful Wizard of Oz?

    Not your best work, but it comes in a close second after your 2013 rant in the newspaper, threatening to sell the Park if you didn’t get the rezone,

    It just seems the Park Board works best with the community outside the pale and by bullying, name calling, holding the Park hostage, misdirection, keeping the general public in the dark and not at the table where they belong, in my opinion, is what you do best…

    Maybe you should read the definition of “community”, I like number 3 the best:

    1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common:

    2. a group of people living together in one place, especially one practicing common ownership:

    3. a group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specified habitat:

  • Eric V. Kirk, lets discus your Logical Fallacy from the other day on your blog:

    July 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm
    Eric Kirk

    “Part of it BS, is that we’re tired of answering the same questions over and over and over again. We are not a public entity. We are a non-profit organization like most others. it is public because the public makes use of it. We cannot exist without extensive public support in money and labor, but we are a privately run non-profit. If you don’t like what we do, you don’t give us money or other support. It’s that simple.”

    “We may adopt a more open model along the lines of the Mateel or KMUD at a time when we aren’t pressed just creating the basic aspects of the Park. A new generation of younger people are taking over the reins. We’re just getting the thing going.”

    “But spending my time responding to an anonymous poster – I’m willing to put in a little time, but one question leads to another and another and another and I feel like my time gets wasted when you can simply call the park and ask your questions by telephone. The problem is that your aim isn’t to obtain information but to earn some kind of debate points or something until we type something you can use to discredit us, and that game is old and we’re very near the end of the process.”

    “So my suggestion – call the Park and ask your questions. Then there will be two public hearings, one with the Planning Commission and then finally with the Board of Supes – hopefully all within the next few months. Once the EIR is finalized, we will be submitting many, many letters of support and you will see what is evident at our fundraising events – that what we are putting together is exciting to most of the public. That’s where you can raise your concerns and maybe the project will be further adjusted to address new concerns, if any, although this thing has been vetted through years of process from people hostile to the very idea of it to others who are generally supportive but have some concerns. What we have is the product of a balance of extensive community input. We’re not going to make everyone happy. There are some who would prefer that it just remain a nature preserve, but that was never the vision. There are those who would like to see serious development as an economic resource – some have even suggested retail. That’s not going to happen either.”

    “You’ve got an 800 plus page document – more extensive than a lot of major commercial developments. As you will learn we have the support of the environmental community.”

    “But otherwise, I’m done answering the endless loaded questions. Support it or don’t support it, but at this point it’s happening.”

    https://kunsoo1024.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/organic-standards-a-fraud/#comment-113000

    Here are the Articles of Incorporation for your California Public Benefit Corporation, from the Park website, have you read them?

    http://www.sohumpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SHCP-ArticlesOfInc-2002-01-29.pdf

    I want to discuss the first part of Article Four (c):

    “No substantial part of the activities of this corporation shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation”

    Now I find that statement interesting, given the fact that is exactly what you are doing with your General Plan Amendment. The DEIR is one part of the process, one of the requirements of a General Plan Amendment to rezone and change the land use classification of the Park property and obtain a Conditional Use Permit for Public Assembly during concerts and festivals with over 800 attendees 6 different times a year.

    And since the Board of Supervisors is both the legislative and the executive authority of the county, then what the Park Board is doing is “carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation”. Because your DEIR is trying to convince and “influence” the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission (who are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors) that your project is AOK, groovy, perfect, the best thing since sliced bread and should be approved.

    I think we can say that the “carrying on propaganda” comes from this form letter you want people to complete and send to the Board of Supervisors: http://www.sohumpark.org/send-you-letter-of-support/

    And then there is “No substantial part of the activities of this corporation”. besides the Park Boards Lot Line Adjustment you completed back in 2009 to convey property to Dazey and McKee, I think you would agree, this General Plan Amendment has taken a substantial part of your time and money, upwards of $250,000.00, that’s substantial all right.

    Now if you guys were smart, you would have used one or two of your Park Use Advocates to be the project applicant and you would only be the property owner, so someone else would be spending a substantial part of their time and money “carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation” and not the Park Board. Again, if you were smart…

    So Eric, in a nut shell, is the Park Board working outside the lines of its stated Articles of Incorporation? Or are you just breaking the laws?

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