Rezone for the SoHum Community Park: ‘Peacefulness of the natural landscape will continue to be the cornerstone’

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Letter from Southern Humboldt Community Park Board:

Southern Humboldt Community park from website
We believe the inherent beauty and value of the natural landscape is tied to our cultural history and weaves vitality and meaning into the fabric of our daily lives. The community has acquired 430 acres of meadow, forest and historic ranch structures alongside the Eel River to establish a regional park. Our goal is to create opportunities for recreation, culture, agriculture, education and celebration and to ensure the enjoyment of this rich, diverse land for generations to come and to conserve the Park’s scenic, historic and natural resources.

What is it about a community park that’s important to you? Having a peaceful place to get outside and enjoy trails for walking and jogging, biking or horseback riding? A place for community events, fundraisers and cultural gatherings? The possibility of youth outdoor education and sports leagues? How about Community farming and farming workshops? Wildlife and habitat restoration? What are your interests in the Southern Humboldt Community Park (SHCP) and how do you hope to participate in making the vision become a reality? These questions will be posed to community members once again, as the SHCP embarks on the next phase of public input and planning at the Park, in anticipation of approval for a rezone of about 80 acres of the 430 from exclusively Ag to Public Facilities with a Public Recreation overlay.

For too long now, the Park has been operating under a special temporary permit that allows folks to use the land for limited recreation activities (use of trails for hiking, biking, walking and horseback riding), small gatherings like birthday parties and the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Even Tooby Park playground is only allowed through this special permit. These changes will establish a zoning that is consistent with the community’s expressed desires for a true community park with various recreation opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy.

The need for a rezone was initially recognized in 2002 when the land was acquired for public use. Through a series of public workshops Southern Humboldt community members expressed a whole host of ideas for their future Park including expansive trails for walking, biking and horseback riding, camping facilities, ball fields, visitor/local history interpretive center, restrooms, activity area for kids, athletic complex, skate park, dog park, areas to host private events, community events, and large events, housing, and even a swimming pool, a new hospital and senior housing! By 2009, through more public workshops and County government feedback, the list narrowed down to only a handful of park amenities that made sense for the land and surrounding environment. As these ideas would not be possible under current Agricultural zoning, the request for a zone change was initiated, as well as an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to describe the impacts of the zone change.

Through many years working with the County and multiple consultants, contracting numerous scientific and environmental studies, and organizing a lot of fundraising to pay for it all (HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS), the community’s request for a rezone will be considered for approval!

The Planning Commission Hearing is on
THURSDAY January 5, 2017 at 6:00pm
at the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers
Humboldt County Courthouse
825 5th St. Eureka CA, 95501

It’s been a long and winding road, but once the rezone is approved, it means the community can finally bring their vision for a multi-use park to life! It means the Park that we all cherish will continue to exist, as it will finally be viable as a financially self-sustaining public space. This is legacy making in the works!

The SHCP operates as a small non-profit organization with very little staff and a volunteer Board of Directors. Board members have the job of facilitating the health and well-being of the Park while trying to meet the needs of the community. The work we have completed in the last five years is the culmination of community input, as well as the input from consultants and agencies to fulfill the community’s intentions while insuring the highest environmental safeguards are in place. The EIR for the rezone addresses how to accomplish this balance, but in the end the EIR was written to include a variety of potential projects, hopes and dreams. We call on the community once again to provide input and energy to help guide the scale, impact, and design of new projects that work in harmony with the local watershed, ecology, and natural beauty of the Park and to balance new park features with the beautiful experience the park goers value today.

As Board members, we’ve learned a lot over the course of sixteen years working on behalf of the community to see this through. The CEQA process forced us to examine environmental impacts of a wide range of possible uses and new park features that would be allowed under new zoning. We now have a thorough understanding of what it will mean to maintain ball fields and continue to farm at the Park while balancing the fragile ecosystem and community needs of the Eel River watershed.

Through public feedback, we get that folks highly value their morning walks and strolls at dusk along the peaceful pathways and trails at the Park. The Park Board fully understands the concern that has been expressed by some community members, that their experience at the Park will be altered with the creation of new Park features, such as sports fields. We want to assure folks that we hold as priceless the natural beauty and serenity the Park embodies; we’re committed to preserving those qualities while still being able to offer recreation experiences for many different age groups and interests of our whole community. The peacefulness of the natural landscape will continue to be the cornerstone of our Community Park.

If you have a specific interest in the Park that you’d like to pursue or would like to join a committee, please let us know. You can always give us a call at the office, send an email, get your idea on a Board meeting agenda, participate in volunteer work days or join us for guided Walks in the Park. We not only look forward to working with community members on new Park projects, we absolutely need your help; this is your Park and we all have a part in making this happen.

To read more about the EIR and to download a copy of it please visit the link below.
To send your letter of support to the County Board of Supervisors, visit
To get involved or be added to the Park email list email us at , follow us on Facebook @
or call the office at: (707) 923-2928



  • Dazey’s little fiefdom of the sohum elite

    • That makes no sense. Have you ever been there? It’s not by any means exclusive. You can just walk right in. It is used by every type of person with every economic background. Steve has no say in anything at the park. He is just like any other supporter, except he donates a lot more. People need to stop looking at this as some kind of referendum on Dazeys. This is about making a functional park for this community (not Steven) written and protected by law and an EIR. I am personally offended by this notion. I am about as elite as a plumber. I work hard at my little business, and spend my free time working on this park. SMH.

      • Ross, if you are “offended” then you better get used to it, because this was all stated by Dazey and it was only about Dazey. It was about a land grab and how Dazey and McKee/Goldeen could get the public to pay for their land down next to the Park. After the smoke cleared from the Park Boards lot-line adjustment, both Dazey and McKee/Goldeen came away with 80 acres each. Why do you think GSD put their new water treatment plant down next to the Park, on McKee’s 80 acres. Why do you think the 8″ Kimtu water line runs right next to Dazey’s 80 acres? You think this was all just coincidence or happenstance? Dazey is the elephant in the room!

        • Ed, how long are you going to perpetuate that lie? It would be considered defamatory if anybody believed you.

          • The facts speak for themselves Eric and the lie was perpetuated by Dazey not me.

            Its odd, both Dazey and McKee claim they donated allot of cash to the Park and they both end up with property from the deal and neither one paid a dime toward their lot-line-adjustment, all paid by the Park Board. Funny how that works. Its not “defamatory” if its the truth…

            Stop threatening people, careful what you wish for Eric!

  • Thank you board members!!!

  • and will be taken over by trimmigrants and street druggies, fights, robbers and murderers.. dogshit,speedfreaks and used syringes as with any “public” space within 100 miles of garbageville or eutweaka.

  • No. Just no.

    Read the draft EIR.

    3 huge boogies, 3-4,000 in attendance. Water sucked out of the already impacted S. Fork of the Eel. $$$-where has all the money gone?

    Bird walks don’t happen there anymore due to ‘industrialization’-*grapes* under irrigation (could be dry farmed, and hey, what about localizing our food production, and no the private enterprise calling itself the SoHumCommParkFarm is leased from the ‘non profit’ group and only grows a smidget of what is possible)

    Sprowl Creek Rd cannot handle the already huge load of traffic (industrial Randall’s dirt/rock delivery, the newly approved water delivery (poor Eel)).

    So much more to this story. Follow the money.

    • Man, thank god you anti-growth hippies are dying off. Once you’re all gone, the community/economy will finally have its chance to flourish.

      • Those Hippies Paid For The Park Stupid

      • Is that what you call shady behavior, growth? Dont get to excited, this 3rd generation hippie might have 60 more yrs under my belt. Same with all my hippie friends in their 30’s. See. Ya around town love!

        • You have no idea what a ‘hippie’ is-I came here 34 years ago to live a simple life close to nature.

          That shit is not happening much these days from what I can see.


        • there is no such thing as a hippie in their 30s.the hippies still left are now in thheir sixties,seventies,eighties.

          • For these dope yuppies to think they are in any way, shape or form, ‘hippies’ is an abomination of the historic use of the term. It’s a ‘look’ to them. We got our ‘ganstas’ we have our rednecks and dope yups with a few random hipsters thrown in for fun.

            Finding authenticity these days is rare as hens teeth.

            • I dont grow dope but smoke it. i have a job & sell art on the side. a lil garden of veggies n make my own soap. I like the oldies vs new n drive a 30yr old truck that clunks. I go to school n attend rallies, feed the poor & always offer a helping hand to my elders. I like watching bird’s & hiking our beautiful trails. I guess im just clueless as to who i am or what i usually get categorized as cause i had ya’ll in the box opinions to tell me who n what i am. That’s so hip of you!

  • I’d like to see an arena/rodeo grounds.

    • We *have* a rodeo grounds. New here?

      • The rodeo grounds in Ravencliff at Benbow on other side of 101 was in use for well over 40 years. However the owner’s husband passed away last year, thus the widow no longer wants to have rodeo there.
        I would love to see a venue at community park for events, that could end at a reasonable time not to irritate the neighbors. What about the Mateel, or Beginnings neighbors haven’t complained about the noise?

        • Shelter Cover,

          The Park Board wants to have up to 800 people per day at the Park for normal 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 includes camping or sports events/tournaments or both every day and weekends including night games all year.

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

          Oh yeah, they also want to have one amplified 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 amplified 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. For these commercial events and attractions 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.

          Forgive me, but you think the rodeo should be down there too? Wow!

          “Don’t it always seem to go
          That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
          Paved paradise, put up a parking lot”
          ~Joni Mitchell

          BTW, its Greycliff Acres, Ravencliff is the YMCA summer camp, other side the river from Redway Beach…

        • People have been complaining for years about noise from the Mateel and Beginnings but they have to put up with it because they got zoned for it. The Park is particularly sensitive because the southeast corner is like an amphitheater shape and blasts out sound for miles no matter which way the speakers are aimed. Talk about destroying the peace of neighborhoods, it takes the prize. Why do we need more of that? No rezone, do not wreck the quiet. Let’s protect the few places of quiet that are left.

          • Please read the DEIR which incorporates our sound studies and our mitigations. We will not be destroying the peace of any neighborhoods, and in fact the decibel levels in some of the locations will be lower than other sources of sound, including the airport and freeway. This is not a remote area. It is just outside the town of Garberville and right next to a freeway, airport, and gravel operation which has been in place for decades. A few musical events a year is not going to “destroy the peace.” You might even enjoy the music, if you can hear it. But your neighbor’s radio, or your own television set, will probably block it out. However, in every open meeting, and wherever we have sought input, these events have been the number one community request. We have to balance the community needs and desires, and only a tiny minority wish for the park to be a nature preserve. The rest of the community wants a little more from the park.

            • Eric, have you read your own “ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE ASSESSMENT”, because if you did read it, it states on page 19 and 20:

              “Noise and Land Use Compatibility. Concerts involving full (rock type) amplification during the large annual event, and medium sized events with concerts involving medium amplification or loud acoustic bands in the Barnyard area may exceed the County’s Short Term (Lmax) Land Use and Noise Compatibility (CNEL) Standards and increase ambient CNEL levels by 5 dBA or greater at some adjacent noise sensitive (residential) receptors. This is a potentially significant impact.”

              “A review of Table 4 indicates that maximum noise levels (Lmax) produced by a Large event may exceed the daytime County short term noise standards for residential uses (see Table 1) at the homes in the Rivercrest Drive and Airport Bluff areas and the nighttime County short term noise standards at homes in the Riverview Lane area as well. Calculations also show that maximum noise levels (Lmax) produced by medium events at the Barnyard may exceed short-term noise standards for residential uses at the homes in the Rivercrest Drive area. Additionally, CNEL noise levels for a Large event may also exceed ambient CNEL levels by 5 dBA or more at homes in the Airport Bluff, Riverview Lane, and Old Briceland Road areas and exceed the County land use compatibility standard of 60 dBA CNEL at homes in the Rivercrest Drive, Airport Bluff and Riverview Lane areas”

              “based on comparisons of the maximum noise levels due amplified music and ambient noise levels at the noise sensitive receivers (which are generally quite low), noise levels during these events may be audible in many of the surrounding residential areas”

            • Eric, you call over 600 people in the community a “tiny minority”? So your answer is for people to turn up their TV or radio to block out the noise from your concerts, festivals, camping and sports tournaments? In past Park Board meetings, you also suggested ear plugs, headphones and leaving the area during concerts, go see a movie. It seems that’s what your suggesting again?

              • Ed, I suspect that many of those 600 would take their name off that list if they actually read the DEIR. Kristin was kind of pushy with that petition.

                What I’m suggesting is that if you want to live in a remote area, move to a remote area. The park will comply with the law, and most people don’t mind hearing some music every once in a while. It won’t be like that one concert.

                I love how you take the portion out of the DEIR sans the mitigations. But that’s typical.

                • What “law” are you talking about Eric. You mean the same “law” that was around back in 2007, when you got your first cease and desist letter from the County for holding un-permitted and un-lawful concerts? Or maybe in 2008 when you continued to hold un-permitted and un-lawful concerts anyway and got your second cease and desist letter? It wasn’t that “one concert”, it was all of them in 2006, 2007 and 2008, that “one concert” in 2008 was the straw that broke the camels back. Here’s what you said in the newspaper:

                  Tuesday, Aug. 26th, 2008…………Redwood Times

                  A Letter to the Neighbors of the Community Park

                  To the Editor:

                  The Board of Directors of Southern Humboldt Community Park would like to comment about the recent event held at the Park on Friday, August 15. By a number of measures and reports from the people who were in attendance, the event was a success and brought the park considerable funds. However, a number of things emerged at this event pointing to a need for clearer guidelines to assist park users and also to ensure that the park continues to be a good and considerate neighbor.
                  The event went on longer than planned and the sound level for
                  the final performance was deemed too loud by several of our neighbors, including our Board President. The Park would like our neighbors to know that we are actively working to address these concerns for the future and that there has not been a change in park policy or desires.
                  Events have been, for the most part, well received. We
                  acknowledge that there is a wide range of interests within our
                  community that will be reflected in the types of events that occur
                  at the Park. We may not all care to attend all the various types
                  events. It is our job to provide a location for that range of
                  interests to be expressed while ensuring that our neighbors are
                  not unreasonably impacted by these events.
                  There are a number of steps that we are taking immediately
                  to help remedy these concerns. A reorientation of the stage area
                  to face away from our neighbors should help considerably with
                  sound travel. There are a few upcoming events at the
                  Community Park over the next months and we will be conducting sound studies during these events. We will be using decibel meters to measure and monitor sound volume levels. These studies will give us some baseline readings that will help us to set guidelines for appropriate sound levels for future events at the park.
                  In addition, we will ensure that the Park’s guidelines are clear
                  and manageable to those who use the Park so that our staff can
                  ensure that our guidelines are followed. As other types of events
                  take place at the park, our policies, processes and knowledge
                  evolves. Any neighbors that would like to give input to the Board of Directors can contact Rebecca at 923-227.

                  Tim Metz
                  Peter Ryce
                  Stephen Dazey
                  Doug Wallace
                  Liz Lewin-Arnoul,
                  and Kathryn Lobato
                  Southern Humboldt Community Board of Directors

                  Its an amazing response and you lead with how much money you made, how nice for you. You have referenced this letter in the newspaper as your “apology letter”. So don’t blame me if I don’t ever believe a word you say and where are those “clearer guideline”?

                • Eric, let me remind you what is stated in this “Letter to the Neighbors of the Community Park” from above:

                  The event went on longer than planned and the sound level for the final performance was deemed too loud by several of our neighbors, including our Board President.

                  Do you know who the “Board President” was? Yes it was Tim Metz and he was at home during that eventful night and early morning, just like all the other Park Board members. And do you know how far away Tim lived from the Park? 4 miles west on Old Briceland Road and he thought it was too loud? So even if your new and improved concerts/festivals idea was half as loud, you could only hear it 2 miles from the Park?

                  Where can anyone obtain information about these new satellite speakers and sound system you guys keep talking about that will mitigate the noise levels? What about bass and the typical frequency range for a subwoofer between 20–60 Hz, and 80-100 Hz for professional live sound? What mitigation is there for the monitors and amps on stage? Have you ever engineered or mixed a live outdoor concert before?

                  But like you said “most people don’t mind hearing some music every once in a while”.

                  So that means an unlimited amount of music per year for up to 800 people per event and music 5 times a year for up to 2500 people per event and music 1 time per year for up to 5000 people per event for two days? Wow, I guess that is your definition of “every once in a while”?

        • We would require another EIR for something like that, and I’m not sure where we would put the grounds. Also not sure we have the infrastructure to handle it on top of the other projects we are committed to. I don’t know what is needed for rodeo grounds as I haven’t been to one since I was a kid. It seems like a tall order for what we have.

          However, we are always open to discussion about proposals, and what is not possible today could be possible another day. Also, discussions often lead to alternative ideas, such as purchase of land elsewhere for such a purpose. But the park is here to address community needs from anyone, so please don’t be afraid to call.

          • “After general use has increased appreciation of the magnificent site and its wonderful potential, it is possible that a Recreation District could be voted in, which would provide funding for more expensive projects- swimming pools, conference center; etc.. Should such a district be established the park Board would deed the park to that District.”

            This is a quote included in a Original proposal to park donors (pdf) included from your website

            How come you never include this comment into your current talking points? What happened to this idea?

  • Those building lots of steve dazey are the money on the south end of the park .How many homes is in the proposal .How about they donate the park to the real public !!! Come out of the shadows .They will try and get approval for a 5ooo thousand person concert than ask for an increase in attendance .Don’t drink the Cool aide

  • It is always good to pay more attention to what people do rather than what they say. This rezone would be yet another disaster to our community from which we could never turn back.

  • Please see photo. Great example of what you call “public benefit”? Leasing Park property for a private/for-profit Vineyard? How does that benefit the public? And the Park Board was allowing a private business to conduct for-profit events this year on the SHCP tax exempt/non-profit property that circumvents your own Articles of Incorporation, public trust and charitable tax exempt laws (501c3). Just like private cattle grazing and river bar gravel mining lease agreements do.

    How can the public trust what you say, when your actions take a different direction?

    Like I said before and I will say again, its not a Community Park, its the self-appointed Park Board’s vision of economic development and rezoning to become a retail Rent-A-Park. Its why you want the rezone and conditional use permits for private events, concerts, festivals, camping and sports tournaments.

    I’m sorry you feel the way you do, and you can always change that by doing the right thing. If I was the only one who opposes your vision and development scheme I could see your point, but I am not. I am only one of many many voices and you need to listen. There are over 600 people that have already signed individual petitons opposing amplified music events and your rezone. You need to start caring for the land, watershed, fauna & flora, eco-systems and remaining biodiversity instead of only thinking of profits from private investors.

    I will leave you with a quote from the Garberville Sanitary District Board of Directors (May 28, 2013):

    “The GSD Board is disappointed that the SHCP Board feels it is necessary to hold the easement to PG&E hostage by attaching conditions to granting this easement that cannot be approved in conjunction with the drinking water project. This Board has made numerous efforts, expended funds, delayed our annexation project, and provided significant support to the SHCP in their endeavors to develop their property into a park and eventually have public water. Withholding this easement to PG&E so that they can install the electrical service line to the SWTP does not seem in keeping with the SHCP’s efforts to serve the best interests of the community. None of us can move forward with providing water service to any of the SHCP property until the SWTP is operational, which cannot occur without electrical service”.

    Now I ask you what has changed? Since that time you have told the public if you don’t get the rezone you will be “forced” to subdivide and sell the Park property. What has changed?

    You tell the public to donate to the Park and “protect this property from the jaws of haphazard and profit driven development”. So I guess we need to protect the Park from itself?

    And now, since you have not had any public meetings in over 6 years, now you want the support of the public, now you need their money and blessing? Guess you should have been open and transparent from day one, your track record speak’s for itself…

    Gledileg Jol,
    Ed Voice

    • Exactly right

    • To members of the SHCP board ,
      Ed has my full support . My family donated quite a lot of money decades ago when Dazey first asked for donations. The reason we donated the money was to preserve the quiet and beauty of the Toby land and keep it AG land and out of the hands of McKee that wanted to take it out of AG zoning and rezone and subdivide the land or hold large scale concerts there.
      NOW and years ago we are being asked by the board to support their plans to change the zoning and allow large scale concerts etc to destroy what the original goals of the park were.
      The biggest insult from the board members the past few years is when someone stands up as a voice against the park they are smeared by the board as someone who does not live in the area and who is lying about some of the events that the park has held in violation of county laws.
      There are already to many large scale events in Southern Humboldt that clog up the roads and take away from the peace and quiet that a lot of us have the pleasure to enjoy when those events are not held. For any board members to compare the noise of the freeway traffic to what will be heard by neighbors during the large size concert events is rude. If the park was truly a community group they would have at least one member like Ed on the board with a vote on how to move forward. I am tired of the threat that the park will have to sell this and that part of the land to keep its head above water.
      Yes there is a way to build the park where we can very small events (baseball,soccer,weddings, non amplified music events that will attract many people to the park that prefer not to have large scale loud amplified events that will backup traffic on our local county roads. Keep the pressure on these guys Ed maybe someday they will be replaced by people that truly want a park that has a minor impact on the community.

      • Here is something interesting, its an interview with Kathryn Lobato (paid Executive Director SHCP) and KMUD News this year. Its amazing how she describes how this project and development cost will all be accomplished by “community groups” not the Park Board?

        The other point in the interview is when Ms. Lobato talks about a “survey of 425 community members”. In the project DEIR on page 3-5 it states:

        “The applicant conducted extensive public outreach in its multi-year park planning process,
        including three initial public visioning events with 30 to 60 attendees in 2002; a series of four
        targeted public planning sessions beginning in 2008, with 40 to 200 attendees; and a 2012 survey
        of 425 individuals. This community input formed the basis for park planning efforts and shaped the
        proposed project.”

        So the Park Board is putting all of this on the Community and not themselves, because if it fails they can blame someone else? Wow! Does anyone remember taking this “survey” back in 2012?

        At least the County has over 300 of Kristin’s petitions on file, on the record and the public can request a copy, where are the Park Board’s “survey of 425 community members”? The County does not have them on file…

  • Oh yippy, another nanny park. No motorized vehicles, no campfires, no hiking off prescribed trails, no kissing, no smoking, no cameras, no groups larger than 6 without a special permit, no visiting in off season, no pay no play, no camp personel due to cutbacks so no open, no funds for personel so must increase rates, no no no no no no

  • The story being told that the Park doesn’t have the money to operate as it is, is ludicrous. A contract with Cal-Fresh has been paying Sohum Park salaries and operating expenses along with income from leases for grapes, cattle, and gravel mining.
    The rent-a-park idea is part of their private agenda to see how much money can be squeezed out of the Park before eventually subdividing into ranchettes. And even though it’s illegal for a nonprofit to sell off its assets to private owners, they’ll find a way. Otherwise, why does the SHCP keep warning that’s where they’re headed if you don’t donate? Pony up everybody, or else.

  • “Open letter to the Humboldt County Planning & Building Department Director”

    I do realize the extra effort it is to have a Planning Commission meeting in southern Humboldt but I would like to explain why this particular meeting is so important and why I believe it meets the definition of an extraordinary circumstance.

    First, the sheer size and the land-locked location of the 405 acres to be changed into commercial use is next to Garberville and will impact residents on both sides of Highway 101. Noise, traffic and safety, and water issues concern hundreds of residents. Over 600 people have signed my petition that opposes amplified concerts there and the rezone of the property. In 2000, the Park promoter got donations because people wanted the property saved from commercial and real estate development. Saving it from development was the major reason for a majority of donors.

    It was a big shock when the Park Board staged unpermitted concerts that were so loud they could keep people awake up to four miles from the Park. The community realized then what a huge nuisance potential was in the offing. That’s why complaints were filed and the County had to get involved. I submitted 314 petitions at the Park’s GPA meeting with the Board of Supervisors in 2009. Michael Richardson has them in a binder in his office. I will submit 300 more at the Planning Commission meeting. I hope you will take a look at them.

    The big problem here is that the Park Board has not mended the breach with the community that they caused by having loud concerts in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and the controversy remains. They have isolated themselves by ceasing to have any of their meetings open to the public for the last 6 years, ceasing to introduce their new board members to the community as they once did in the local papers, and ceasing to provide short summaries of the minutes of their meetings to a binder at the library. They don’t respond to questions. They explain that they are not a membership style nonprofit. Getting tax exempt status from the State and Federal government comes with some obligations that over the years the Park Board has chosen to ignore. They have kept the public out if the public wants to modify or change the direction of the Park Board’s goals. And ironically, the reason for the Park’s tax advantage is because they are registered to provide a public benefit.

    The future of the community is at stake in this still-contested community controversy. Having the meeting in southern Humboldt is important so all concerned have the opportunity to attend. Garberville does not have any bus service at the time of evening when the Planning Commission meets on Thursdays at 6 pm.

    It seems to me that all of the time and energy that the Planning Department and our local supervisor have provided to smooth the way for a project that at least half of the community does not want warrants a meeting in the community which will be most impacted by it. This project deserves a Planning Commission meeting dedicated to it without other issues on the agenda.

    I hope you will reconsider my request. It is not mine alone. It is backed by hundreds of concerned residents of Garberville, Redway and Benbow. Please look at the petitions in Michael’s office if you would like to see the signatures, dates and comments of those concerned. Please do not discount the voices of those who want a quieter, low-key, non-commercially oriented park. Especially now. We have had a massive increase in population and industrialization in the hills in the last eight years. More than ever we need a park where we can have quiet respite from the pickup trucks, the water trucks, and soil amendment loaded flatbed semi’s that crowd the short one-main street of Garberville.

    The Redway Elementary School gymnasium is available on December 1st. If that date changes there are other venues here that are suitable for a public meeting of the Planning Commission at a later date.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Kristin Vogel

    • Kristin, didn’t you in fact attend our most recent public meeting?

      • Eric, I attended an “open house” at the Park barn several weeks ago. I would have missed it if I hadn’t seen the notice for it in the local paper which came out the same day as the event. I was the only one there for the the first hour. I asked questions to a couple of Board Members who were standing around. They had no specific answers but a set of general narratives. They said they felt optimistic. It was a crackers and cheese party with various topics of social chat going on. Was this what you’re now calling “our most recent public meeting”?

        • That was a public meeting. One of many.

          • Maybe Humboldt has changed since I lived there, but “Many” means more than one in 6 years to me. Funny you had this “meeting” after the public comment period for the DEIR was concluded…

      • You mean this Eric?

        The Southern Humboldt Community Park is hosting an Open House celebration on Tuesday, July 12th from 5:30-7:00 at the barn. The Open House will give community members the opportunity to view maps and discuss the vision of the rezoned Park with Board members. Maps, diagrams and a project description will be posted for viewing. See you there!

          • Never saw the notice if so I would have attended and voiced my support for Ed ,Kristen and others that want the zoning to remain the way it is and want a quiet and peaceful part. Never saw Kristen’s petition but would love to add my name to it , hopefully without Eric claiming I am one who signed it under pressure from Kristen or Ed.

    • Kristen,

      Right on , I agree with you 100 percent now more than ever we need a park that is quiet and peaceful and zoning stays as it is.

    • Dear Park Board,

      I wanted to Thank you, for allowing the public to see how egotistical and narcissist you have become, i.e. letter to the editor and continued misinformation in the Humboldt Independent this week concerning Ms. Vogel.

      It makes my point and you took the bait, hook, line and sinker. It never fails to amaze me how many times you can repeat the same made up misinformation like its never been debunked before, which in your case has been dozens of times.

      Your letter shows how far the Park Board will go to misinform the public, while at the same time trying to discredit someone who is well within her rights to make this request. Let me quote what you said in the newspapers years ago concerning the same subject:

      “We’d like to clarify a point found in a couple of other letters in last week’s letters columns. Both could be taken to imply that the reason for holding concerts at the Park is specifically to raise money for the Park, and that therefore it was pretty much a matter of: “accept the noise or lose the Park” so that any complainer about the noise has to be an enemy of the Park. No way! First, though we certainly welcome and need every bit of income we can generate, the main reason for the events is that people ask for them, enjoy then, and thank us for making them possible.”

      Do you remember saying that? And then what you put on your facebook page just this month:

      “There are forces at play in our community (a very loud and vocal minority) that would like to see the zone change denied for reasons that are essentially personal to them and do not take into account the benefit this will have for the whole community.”

      Wow, “forces at play in our community”? You mean people exercising their right to free speech?

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”

      May the “forces” be with you, Happy Christmas and Merry New Year,

      Ed Voice
      formally from Garberville

  • It’s crazy, the Park Board can find time to have private EX PARTE meetings with all 7 Humboldt County Planning Commissioners, but have no time in the last 6 years to meet and have a public meeting, open to the public concerning their development project. Please read the email below sent to all 7 Planning Commissioners by the Park Board on Oct 24, 2016:

    Dear Commissioner Ulansey, Levy, Morris, McKenny, Edmonds, Shepard, Bongio:

    Southern Humboldt Community Park’s request for a General Plan Amendment (GPA) accompanied by a full Environmental Impact Report is slated to come before the Planning Commission on December 1st.

    The GPA will enable the Park to rezone 87 of 405.7 acres from Agriculture Exclusive (AE) to Public Facilities (PF). This acreage includes the 14 acres of Tooby Memorial Playground, 17 acres for a sports field complex, and acreage for public gathering. The project also request the entire 405.7 acres land use designation be changed from AR5-20 and AL20 to Public Recreation, allowing the public to walk, bike ride, horse ride and disc golf on trails laid and maintained on both AE and PF acreage.

    The Park board and staff invite you to a hosted visit at the Park before the December 1st meeting, the date and time at your convenience. To truly understand the scope of our project and the great benefit it will be to the Southern Humboldt Community and the entire region, one needs to see, walk and experience this incredible property. If it is not possible for you to visit us, we would like to meet with you before Dec. 1st.

    Please RSVP to Kathryn’s e-mail address or call the Park Office: 707-923-2928.

    We are so pleased that our project is finally in the public process. We have been working on this project for over eight years. We are also proud of what our community is creating – an organic farm that serves our community and provides food security for low income families, seniors, and individuals in conjunction with a park open to all. We want o share our vision with you.

    Best Regard,

    Kathryn Lobato Executive Director, Carol Van Sant Board of Directors/Secretary, Peter Ryce Director Emeritus

  • Though the community paid for the park through donations, many of which are unaccounted for, the park is owned by the self appointed, private board, not the community.
    The board refuses to have their meetings open to the public or the press, so the community, and even park “advocates” have no idea what deals are being made or with whom for use of the park.
    The county general plan allows low-impact recreation (hiking, biking, swimming) on land zoned for agriculture — at the owners’ discretion. The rezone and conditional use permit is only necessary for the massive developments that will then be allowed. Once it’s done the public will not be able to protect the watershed and the wildlife and the biodiversity that live there.
    Since this is a private park the owners can close it to the public (and they have). That beautiful area of land is a hostage to unaccountability.

  • Who wrote this “letter to the editor”? Its the South Fork Eel River and why would you ask peoples opinion now, knowing you are already moving forward with your plans? Why didn’t you ask years ago? I heard you have spent $300,000.00 for this rezone, is that true? How can you say “The peacefulness of the natural landscape will continue to be the cornerstone of our Community Park” when everything you are proposing is the complete opposite! People need a two-way conversation, not asked or talked to through blogs, newspapers and websites, but in person. We need to look into your eyes, hear your voice and debate, in person, what you want for all of us. It seems you are a day late and a dollar short by asking what people think now. If you truly believe this project is in the best interest of the community, then you need to have community meetings before January 5.

    • Please review the DEIR. We’ve had many, many well-attended public meetings including one earlier this year. Everything we are doing is based upon public input as to community wants and desires. And we have a telephone number you can call anytime if you really want to talk.

      • You mean the “DEIR Release Party”? Is that what you mean by a “meeting”? Were you there?

      • OK Eric, here is a photo you posted to the SHCP facebook page May 28, 2015. If you know any of these people ask them why the public was not RSVP’ed like they were. This meeting pic was posted after the fact. How come the Park Board can pick and choose who is in and who is outside of their decision making process, was this a public meeting too?

  • You said in your “letter to the editor”

    “Through many years working with the County and multiple consultants, contracting numerous scientific and environmental studies, and organizing a lot of fundraising to pay for it all (HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS), the community’s request for a rezone will be considered for approval!” When did the community ever request your rezone?

    Then you said this,

    “this is your Park and we all have a part in making this happen.” What “part” would that be? The “part” when we donate money, the “part” when you claim its a community park, or the “part” when you allow the community to attend your meetings?

    You also said,

    “The SHCP operates as a small non-profit organization with very little staff and a volunteer Board of Directors.”

    I looked up the Park tax return and you show $95,218.00 pay out in payroll, how is that “very little staff”? These are questions the community is not allowed to ask in Board meeting, because they are not open to the community or the public!

  • if this message and letter is from the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board, who are they and how come they can’t state their names.

  • Eddie Voice is full of innuendo, unsupported and incorrect facts and a personal vendetta directed at Randal´s, the Park Board and supporters of the project. He lives in Lake County and spend an inordinate amount of time criticizing the Park, agency the Park deals with and has costed Humboldt County huge amounts of money and time dealing with his ´complaints´. The Park project is attempting to create a self supporting natural environment for the enjoyment of our community now and for the future. The Rezone is necessary for both public enjoyment and agricultural . The board members have worked hard to listen to the needs and desires of community members in their planning. There have been open meetings and opportunities for the public to voice their opinions. They are a proactive board that wants to create a Park the meets the sometimes conflicting needs of different groups. It is not an easy task and I thank them for their many hours of volunteer efforts.

    • Parkwalker, you would be credible if we knew your name. I can back up everything I say and state, can you? You sure sound like Dennis Huber, he’s the only one that call’s me “Eddie”…

      Did you know the final EIR and response to the DEIR was made public today, you can read it here:

      Also, at todays afternoon Board of Supervisors meeting, it was reveled by Supervisor Fennell that the Park Board GPA/EIR/CUP had been significantly scaled back when it goes before the Planning Commission, do you know what she’s talking about?

  • If you live in Southern Humboldt, please take a minute to read my points below. If you live in lake county or wherever ed voice lives, dont bother.

    This is from me as a member of the community, not as a board member. I may be speaking out of turn, or wrong on some numbers, but its from my heart.

    Some of these comments on the article are nuts. These people have no idea what they are talking about!

    We have had many open public meetings since I joined the board, and Kristen Vogel has attended most of them. Did she forget or something?? I spoke with her at length at the barn a few months ago. (Ed doesn’t live here, so he dosnt know this) We addressed her noise petition by hiring acoustic engineers to design the sound to be contained. You use smaller dispersed speakers on towers that point to the ground and reflect the sound up. It all has to be under a certain decibel level by law. The gravel yard and airport are in the same neighborhood, and are much louder every day!

    I would be curious to find out how many of these comments are one person masquerading as a couple of different commentators. The verbiage is very similar.

    Anyway, yes we want camping, FOR A SUMMER CAMP! This is a highly requested use of the park. Its not like its going to be a fricken open to the public KOA camp site. Not on my watch.

    If we dont do enough agriculture at the park, the agriculture crowd starts getting up in arms about the loss of agricultural land to public trails and parks. If we do allow agriculture, the walking trails crowd get up in arms about the loss of their nature walk. We must farm this land. It is prime agricultural land which is rare in so hum. People want to have permaculture fairs, and a CSA for the community which are good ideas. We cant do these without a rezone. It is not allowed, but they would bring in revenue.

    The vineyard will be established in three years and at that time will have roots deep enough to not require watering of any significance. We currently are farming less than 1% of the park for food, but have a growth plan for the food production to increase as the farm gets more profitable. It will not happen fast, because we do not have the money to expand. Therefore, the water that would be used to produce food on this farm, can reasonably be used to establish a vineyard, which is a long term and guaranteed source of income for the park. We need a few of those for financial security.

    Making this property financially stable into the future is my highest obligation as board member. I have spent the last three years fundraising for this park to stay open and I can tell you, we are not hiding any money under the mattress. This is an expensive piece of property requiring constant maintenance. Yes, we have one full time staff position, an assistant, and a farm manager all for less than $100k. Does this seem unreasonable? I for one have seen every board member donate thousands of dollars worth of time and money into this project. We supply thousands of meals to local seniors and poor. Ask any of our farming partners how much produce we buy with the cal-fresh money. It’s real, and documented. Cal-Fresh uses our program as a model! There is nothing wrong with feeding people, but it does not make money. We must be able to do public functions to generate revenue. You think I am looking forward to the amount of work that will make for the board?? Sheesh. It is just necessary folks.

    NEWS FLASH: no rezone and all we are allowed to do is farm! The conditional use permit is only valid while we pursue the rezone. How much water will be used when the only source of revenue is farming?? What will the park look like then?? No public use will be legally allowed. No walking, biking, weddings, disk golf etc. etc without conditional use permits. It will just be agriculturally zoned property that can legally be broken up into 5-20 acre ranchettes like it is now.

    People need to stop acting like their particular use of the park is the only one that should be allowed. This is about balancing all the desires. We collected years of data on those desires, and wrote a document within the most strict enviromental laws on the planet (CEQA) to get them implemented.

    You know you are being a balanced politician when no one group is happy…guess we are doing a good job.

    Thanks for the lively discussion folks.

    • I had no idea there was a switch, as a Park Board member or just a regular citizen you can just flip a switch and be one or the other. That is truly amazing Ross. That you can speak from the heart and not as a Park Board member. let me ask you, how many people had a private wedding at the Park in 2016, with a private wedding reception in the barn and the whole place to yourself, your guests and wedding party, big bon fire and dancing, was that you? Can anyone do this, or do you have to be a Park Board member?

    • We supply thousands of meals to local seniors and poor

      No Ross, Calfresh pays you through a contract with the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services to provide these services, you make money with this contract, so far since 2012, $245,000.00…

    • NEWS FLASH: no rezone and all we are allowed to do is farm! The conditional use permit is only valid while we pursue the rezone. How much water will be used when the only source of revenue is farming?? What will the park look like then?? No public use will be legally allowed. No walking, biking, weddings, disk golf etc. etc without conditional use permits. It will just be agriculturally zoned property that can legally be broken up into 5-20 acre ranchettes like it is now.

      You are so full of BS Ross, the only thing that needs conditional use permits are the size and scope of your proposed concerts, festivals, camping and sports tournaments and for that reason you need to rezone, not the everyday, walking, hiking, bicycling, horse back riding, swimming, boating, fishing, nature study by individuals, families or small groups, picnics, weddings, celebrations, memorials by families or small groups, and impromptu recreation by families or small groups. That activity can be done on AE zoning in Humboldt County. And whats wrong with only farming?

      • Wrong. We could not even get the county to guarantee that we could keep Tooby Park. It is all zone agriculture, and every time we’v asked if we could maintain trails and Tooby Park without the zoning change all they said was “you need to be rezoned if you want to operate it as a park.”

        Have you received anything in writing which says anything else Ed? If so, you’ve never shared it with us. Has anyone in the county said that we could keep Tooby Park open without a rezone? Please show us that email or letter.

        • Have you received anything in writing which says anything else Ed? If so, you’ve never shared it with us. Has anyone in the county said that we could keep Tooby Park open without a rezone? Please show us that email or letter.

          Kathryn Lobato and Members of the SHCP Park Board were sent a letter from Steven Lazar, Community Development Services Department dated Febuary 18, 2009. Cc’ed were Cliff Clendenen 2nd District Supervisor, County of Humboldt Office of County Counsel, Kirk Girard Director CDS and Claude Young Code Compliance Unit.

          And I quote:

          “It is important to point out that while similarly zoned (AE) as the balance of the SHCP lands, the Department recognizes that within the ownership exists the area known as ‘Tooby Memorial Park’. This subarea has a long history of public recreational use(s). Until fairly recently, this land was leased by the County from the Tooby family and included as part of the Humboldt County Parks system managed by the Public Works Department. Public use has clearly continued to occur following acquisition of these lands by the SHCP. §314-131 of the Zoning Regulations provides for the recognition and continuation of lawfully established non-conforming uses. Therefore, use of Tooby Memorial Park for recreation may continue provided it does not exceed historic levels of use of the property.”

          I can send Kym the whole PDF, maybe she knows how to post it as an attachment?

          I have lots of other ones too…

          Your welcome!

          • Eric, your silence is deafening. The County has never ever taken Tooby Memorial Park off the table or out of the mix to be used by the public as a park, it was only the Park Board that is taking it hostage, using it to extort $ exploit for private use and your own “vision”, using it only to get what the Park Board wants. You can only cover up the facts for so long, and that day has come…

        • Boy Eric, I thought one of the first things they taught you in Law School was never ask a question you didn’t know the answer to?

          Anyway, you do know what he meant by “Therefore, use of Tooby Memorial Park for recreation may continue provided it does not exceed historic levels of use of the property”?

          When Tooby Memorial Park was a County Park (1967-2004 RIP) there was NO overnight camping. amplified music events or alcohol beverages allowed, them were the rules. And that’s when it was a real Public Park. However, what was allowed was walking, hiking, bicycling, horse back riding, swimming, boating, fishing, nature study by individuals, families or small groups, picnics, weddings, celebrations, memorials by families or small groups, and impromptu recreation by families or small groups. Just like what is stated in your compliance agreement with the County for the SHCP.

    • Anyway, yes we want camping, FOR A SUMMER CAMP! This is a highly requested use of the park. Its not like its going to be a fricken open to the public KOA camp site. Not on my watch

      That’s funny, its not what your GPA/DEIR stated on page 3-27:

      Environmental Camp: Area 4B

      Area 4B would be the environmental camp that would be used for campsites.

      Hours of Use
      The environmental camp is 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.

      • Yes. That’s much different from KOA.

        • Why, because its not called “KOA”? I bet. if KOA offered to lease that property for a KOA, you would take their money in a New York minute and ask for more. Just like you did with the 10 acre vineyard, 30 acre cattle grazing, Disc Golf, Labyrinth, Skateboard Ramp and River Bar Gravel mining leases…

    • Some of these comments on the article are nuts. These people have no idea what they are talking about!

      And who’s fault is that Ross? You have not had any project scoping meetings open to the public since Sept 2010, nor have you allowed the public to attend your Board meetings since Aug 2010. Maybe the Park Board needs to do a better job educating the public, share and disclose all information and become less secretive…

    • You invite people from Southern Humboldt to read your comments, but no invite to people that live in other parts of Humboldt who may concerns about how the park is rezoned and manage. Thankfully this is a county re-zoning issue and even people like Ed Voice who may live in another county are allowed to comment. I like Ed he does do his homework and his family was in the county staring in 1961. I really do not give a damn where Ed lives he knows first hand the history of the Toby Ranch and the park land and no doubt he is aware of some other land deals McKee has had his hands in the county. I welcome Ed’s Voice and his input it is sad that you take it as a smear and your attacks against him and Kristen are unfair.

    • How come the Park Board never finished paying off the original debt? That was stated a long time ago as the board’s first priority. Besides owing former board members various amounts (with interest), there has been $250,000 owed on the original debt for many, many years.
      When do they ever plan on paying that off in order to “secure the park”?

  • Yes, we have one full time staff position, an assistant, and a farm manager all for less than $100k. Does this seem unreasonable?

    Yes Ross, it is “unreasonable”, given the fact its half of your yearly operation cost and funded by Calfresh. How does this benefit the public?

  • Generally I am not a blogger, and my personal policy has been not to engage Mr. Voice in futile dialog. I have been on the Park board for almost nine years. I taught in the Southern Humboldt public schools for 21 years, and after retirement I wanted to serve the community in a different way. I love the concept of a Park that can be used by the community in a variety of ways, respects the natural landscape, and at the same time has a model agricultural program – which currently serves as food security for those in need. As a board member it did not take long to realize that Mr. Voice has his own agenda which seems to be to create controversy in our community and divide our community through manipulation. He distorts the truth, uses quotations out of context, and tries to discredit hard working folks who are trying to serve the community. Sound familiar? And, Mr. Voice seems to have a very personal mission: to engineer the failure of the Southern Humboldt Community Park. I know after my responses to his misinformation in these posts he will be writing diatribes against me and will try to discredit my reputation. I ask for your support. I have become convinced it is my civic duty to caution our community, correct just a few of the distortions, and expose a Lake County resident who is trying to harm us.

    • My facts speak for themselves Carol. All you have done here is repeat the same propaganda…

    • Carol, maybe you can clarify something for me? In this letter to the editor you say:

      “For too long now, the Park has been operating under a special temporary permit that allows folks to use the land for limited recreation activities (use of trails for hiking, biking, walking and horseback riding), small gatherings like birthday parties and the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Even Tooby Park playground is only allowed through this special permit. These changes will establish a zoning that is consistent with the community’s expressed desires for a true community park with various recreation opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy.”

      Do you have a copy of this “special temporary permit”? The County Planning Department has no “special temporary permit” on file for the Park. Do you mean the “compliance agreement”, that prohibits public assembly, amplified music, commercial performances, motorized recreation, construction of non-agriculturally related improvements and other uses not allowed in the Agriculture Exclusive Zone?

      You see Carol, no one has a problem with low-impact passive activities that have occurred on park property; for example, walking, hiking, bicycling, horse back riding, swimming, boating, fishing, nature study by individuals, families or small groups, picnics, weddings, celebrations, memorials by families or small groups, and impromptu recreation by families or small groups. The problem started when the Park Board included commercial events to these low impact passive activities, i.e. pay-to-play events and becoming a rent-a-park. You got to aggressive with your events and it got out of control. Who is to blame for that? The neighbors?

  • Please folks, be aware that Ed Voice who lives in Lakeport has his own agenda and is not a friend of the Southern Humboldt Community. Why does he purposefully lie and distort the facts about what the Park is currently doing and proposing for the future when he knows the truth? He, better than anyone, knows the facts about the Park and what the General Plan Amendment is asking for. Through use of the Public information Act he makes Humboldt County send to him any document or communication that concerns the Park, costing the county (and taxpayers) a pretty penny. He has read everything that has anything to do with the Park, yet with all that information just about everything he says is untrue.
    Here are some examples of flat out lies and/or purposeful misconstruing of the facts from Ed Voice’s recent posts:
    1. The Park has no goal of having 800 people attend the park 365 days a year. The Park is asking for its own control over the scheduling of small gatherings, and Humboldt County defines a small gathering – UP TO 800 people. Of course it is insane to think a small event would be scheduled for everyday of the year, and every small event would be 800 people. Local birthday parties with 800 people? Weddings or a memorial with 800 people? A non-profit fundraiser with 800 in attendance? Don’t we wish our non-profits could garner that number!
    2. The camping area will not be open 365 days a year, nor will it be open to the general public. As a former teacher I love the idea of a specialty camping area to be used by local groups, such as our schools, for educational workshops. When I was teaching in the local schools, I would love to have been able to take my class to the Park for a one or two day out-door education program combined with an overnight. 4-H or environmental groups could schedule a two day workshop in perma-culture in conjunction with the farm and have participants sleep and eat right in the specialty camp. A lovely idea for those interested in community education and organizing.
    3. Quality playing fields and facilities in our Park that would enable the youth and adult leagues to hold tournaments in Southern Humboldt is a good thing. Obviously Mr. Voice has not raised a family in Southern Humboldt. One of the first things that I became aware of as a new resident and teacher in 1983 was the great disadvantage the area had because there were no playing fields of tournament quality. Parents (and I was one of them) and schools had to always travel to other towns and cities for tournaments – paying the fees to the other town’s leagues that would build their sports program and paying for motels and food in other towns. Now over 30 years later, after the Park rezone is approved our sports community will be able to implement their dream of creating state-of-the-art low maintenance, low water consumption fields. It is time that our community can host a tournament and our kids can have decent fields.
    4. It is a plain lie that the Park Board has had “no time in the last 6 years to meet and have a public meeting, open to the public concerning their development project.” We have had annual publicized, public meetings – several times with guided tours to show folks the areas designated for the rezone – to keep the community abreast of progress on the Environmental Impact Report and the GPA application. Mr. Voice has attended several. However, he did not drive up from Lakeport for our most recent meeting held at the barn this July (2016).
    5. Mr. Voice quotes, out of context, the environmental sound engineer from the EIR, but then fails to list the mitigations that will be required by law when having amplication. These mitigations are in place so that the amplified sound will not have a significant harmful effect. The EIR, which must meet the standards of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and is attached to the project, assures the community and the County of a very high standard of environmental protection.
    I could go on and on. Mr. Voice’s posts about the Southern Humboldt Community Park to this blog, or any publication, should not be trusted. And, I believe, he posts under several names because I am well aware of his repeated exaggerations, misinterpretations of documents, faulty talking points and unjustified accusations. No one should trust the numbers he throws around – many are exaggerations. He repeatedly accuses The Park of not operating under the legal guidelines of a 501 (c3), but since he studies documents and laws thoroughly, I can only assume he purposely makes false accusations to cause mistrust, divide the community and to make County personnel and Park staff scramble around (wasting taxpayer dollars and Park resources) on senseless investigations. Mr. Voice has sent thousands of misleading, accusatory e-mails to board members and agencies with whom the Park tries to partner, so I am familiar with his themes and style. A style which I see as harassment and bullying.
    That’s it. I said my piece, and have no intention of responding to whatever nonsense he writes: be it more false accusations or manipulations of the truth. Beware!

    • BTW, I have never lived in Lakeport Ca, heard it was nice and its no secret I live in Lake County. Since 1979 I have never told anyone I live in Southern Humboldt or anywhere else in Humboldt County, just say’n…

      FYI, the Voice Family came to Garberville/Redway in 1961, did you know my parents, Dick & Patsy Voice? My brother and I attended all grades of public school (K-12) and graduated from South Fork HS, its called Alumni. And since January 2015 we no longer own our house in Garberville. However, many people in the area, knowing my history and knowledge with the Park Board asked if I could continue making comments to the SHCP rezone, GPA, DEIR, and CUP. And anything else is just an urban legend.

      As for your items 1-5, they are the same old regurgitated propaganda the Park Board has been say’n about my Family since 2004 and they don’t represent the truth or the facts, only fear-mongering and fake news.

    • Carol,
      I for one am glad Ed is on the case to keep you guys honest, I doubt that Ed is using another name to comment on this board , will the next accusations be that he forged most of the 600 signatures on Kristen petition.

      • Thank you Andy, however the Park Board has already stated publicly and I quote:

        “The 600 imaginary people that signed the bait and switch petition that nobody has ever seen have spoken”

  • The county does allow low impact recreation on agricultural land at the discretion of the landowner, which is what we have in this case only if the park board gets their agenda through.
    CSAs (community supported agriculture) and farm stands and events that relate to agriculture are allowed on agricultural land. Look it up, it is in the county general plan.
    If the park board is having such a hard time making this cockamamie thing fly maybe they should rethink their private (and privatizing) agenda. Having all board meetings open to the public would help.
    I went to the first ever park meeting when the public was introduced to the board that Steve Dazey had appointed. People at the meeting were shocked when we found out that it had already been decided that it was going to be a concert venue. A lot of people lost interest then.
    When people asked the park board to have their meetings open to the public or a publicly elected board, we were told that you can get a lot done with a dictatorship.

  • I read and submitted this request to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors last Tuesday:

    Date: December 6th, 2016
    To: Board of Supervisors and the Planning Department to request that the upcoming SHCP GPA DEIR Planning Commission Meeting be held in Southern Humboldt.
    From: Kristin Vogel, advocate for over 600 petitioners from the southern Humboldt community who love the Southern Humboldt Community Park and who contributed to its purchase, but don’t want it to be rezoned for amplified events and camping.
    Purpose: I’m here today to represent over 600 petitioners who want a quiet Park next to Garberville. We would like the upcoming GPA, DEIR/CUP public meeting of the Humboldt County Planning Commission currently scheduled for January 5th, 2017 (or later) to be held in Redway or Garberville. This meeting will determine whether a General Plan Amendment applicant, the Southern Humboldt Community Park Corporation, will be approved or not to rezone 405 acres next to Garberville for high impact public use, most controversially for staging amplified events. This is the biggest land use decision in Garberville’s recent history. People realize how much is at stake and would like to attend the meeting locally. There is no bus service to Eureka and back at the usual time of the monthly Planning Commission meetings. We would like the meeting agenda to be dedicated just to the Park issues. There have been many declarations by the Park Board that there would be public meetings with them before their project went before the final decision-makers. In fact this has not happened. None of the Park Board’s own meetings have been open to the public for the last six years and no open public meetings with the local community have been proposed by the SHCP Board to discuss their rezone project.
    The Redway Elementary School Auditorium might be available on January 5th or later dates if there is another postponement. The Redway school secretary has the schedule and will know by Dec. 12, if their auditorium will be available on the 5th of January.
    Another possible venue for the Planning Commission to meet in southern Humboldt is the Redwood Playhouse in the former old school on 286 Sprowel Creek Road.
    I’m registering this request today because I was told that the first step in getting a Planning Commission meeting to happen in southern Humboldt is to submit it in person to you, the Board of Supervisors, during Public Comment.
    Thank you for your time on this request.

  • Eric,

    Here is a passage from the Park Board’s letter to the editor in the Redwood Times; “Community Park clarifies some concerns”. Submitted by the SHCP Board of Directors, dated 10/15/08. As you might remember, I had posted “A Letter to the Neighbors of the Community Park” above, this is what followed it:

    “Events at the Park”

    “We’d like to clarify a point found in a couple of other letters in last week’s letters columns. Both could be taken to imply that the reason for holding concerts at the Park is specifically to raise money for the Park, and that therefore it was pretty much a matter of: “accept the noise or lose the Park” so that any complainer about the noise has to be an enemy of the Park. No way! First, though we certainly welcome and need every bit of income we can generate, the main reason for the events is that people ask for them, enjoy then, and thank us for making them possible”

    “Along with the gardens, hiking, and biking trails, and so on, public entertainment events are a part of a wide range of “different strokes for different folks” services that we want to facilitate for their own sakes — so long as they are compatible with one another and don’t become a nuisance”

    “It ought to be recognized that the incident that provoked the bad feeling (and the related conspiracy theories) that have been directed at the Park Board in the last few weeks was the Outlawz and Angelz concert on Aug. 15, which went to 1:45 on Saturday morning. We addressed the neighborhood disruption that event caused in our letter published in the local papers on Aug. 25. Here is a shorter way of putting what we meant to get across: The event was much louder than the Park expected from past experience, and went on far later than it was scheduled. The headliner did not go on stage according to schedule and the sound crew ignored instructions from the Park’s representatives to lower the volume. Because of the fact that the concert attendees had not yet heard the main act they’d paid for, there was concern that an attempt to pull the plug might cause disorder. In fact, one of the distant neighbors who was impacted by the high noise level and unreasonable hour was a member of the Park’s Board, who vouches that this sort of imposition on the involuntary audience was unreasonable and must not be repeated. We’re now implementing various means of assuring control over the loudness, timing, and nature of any future musical events scheduled at the Park. That sort of focused response to the complaints might have been more useful in alleviating concern that we’d gone astray”

    “Let’s not make the Park another symbolic community issue”

    “While we really appreciate the recent letters in the papers lately, some telling us how we’re getting it wrong and others supporting what we are doing, we really want to discourage the Park from becoming another symbolic issue that encourages people to take sides and start throwing rocks at each other”

    Submitted by the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board of Directors: Tim Metz, Peter Ryce, Kathryn Lobato, Stephen Dazey, Liz Lewin-Arnoul, and Doug Wallace

    If you notice, Park Board never admits they did anything wrong or ever secured permits for any of their events and concerts at the Park in 2006, 2007 or 2008 that were “un-permitted” and illegal! However, the Park Board seems to have blamed everyone and their brother for everything that went wrong.

    And you wonder why we question the Park Board, why we don’t trust their judgement or lack of accountability?

    Please Eric, point to anything stated in this letter that has helped the issues between the Park Board and the neighboring property owners that do not want Amplified Commercial Concerts and Festivals at the Community Park?

    What has changed since this letter? Nothing, except more idle threats from the Park Board!

  • Sorry, forgot to post the article

    And here’s one more quote from the same letter to the editor:

    Keeping the community informed

    “We are currently working out the arrangements for a catch-up public meeting, occasional follow-up meetings, perhaps a newsletter from time to time and importantly, a functioning website which would provide easy access to information and documents such as the Master Plan, our minutes, and so on and as a way as get more up to date information out to the public quickly. Our recent radio show brought forward a couple of volunteers who offered their skills to help us with the website”

    So hows that work’n for yah…

  • Amazing what the Park Board is saying on their facebook page:

    “There are forces at play in our community (a very loud and vocal minority) that would like to see the zone change denied for reasons that are essentially personal to them and do not take into account the benefit this will have for the whole community. Your presence is greatly needed!

    Wow, “forces”? And I guess more than 600 people is a “minority’?

    Notice how they refer to any one who questions the Park Boards vision for a Park as “them”?

    And by “take into account the benefit this will have for the whole community”, you mean private investors and private for-profit businesses? These are the only people who will “benefit” from your rezone!

    Park Board, what is your definition of “whole community”, do you include wildlife habitat, flora, fauna, creeks, streams, river, e.g. South Fork Eel River watershed? Do you include neighboring property owners?

    Whole ~ hōl
    1. all of; entire.
    “he spent the whole day walking”
    synonyms: entire, complete, full, unabridged, uncut “the whole report”
    2. in an unbroken or undamaged state.
    “owls usually swallow their prey whole”
    synonyms: intact, in one piece, unbroken, undamaged, unmarked, perfect “they unearthed a whole humanoid skull”

    1. a thing that is complete in itself.
    “the subjects of the curriculum form a coherent whole”
    synonyms: entity, unit, body, discrete item, ensemble “a single whole”
    2. all of something.
    “the effects will last for the whole of his life”
    synonyms: all, every part, the lot, the sum, the sum total, the entirety “the whole of the year”

  • Answer to the Park Board’s Corrections

    Dear Park Board,
    I would like to respond to your open letter to me and the Planning Commission. You are correct on one point. “It is true that Ms. Vogel collected 600 signatures in a petition that states opposition to amplified music at the park and the entire rezone project.”
    As for the rest of your claims and suppositions, you reconstruct the past to suit your most current set narrative. It obscures how things were in 2000 and how they are now in 2016.
    When funds were raised in the community to buy the Park land from Bob McKee, Steve Dazey offered a list of suggestions of what dreams could come true on the property but he left out the fact that the Park was (AE) zoned land which is the most restricted in Humboldt County. All the realtors including Dazey were cognizant of this fact. They knew that changing the zoning and land use of AE would be very difficult. It certainly looked like the next great place to make a fortune in residential real estate but it was AE and it would cost a fortune to change the zoning and connect it with treated water. Maybe that’s why this was not brought up in Dazey’s public campaign for donations. This knowledge did not deter the Park founder from his invitation to everybody to realize dreams like a highschool or hospital or venues or a swimming pool or sports fields to be built out there. The dream was freely used to attract donors even though the County General Plan does not allow any of that on AE, much less on a wetland which is what most of the Park has turned out to be. Buying into the Park dream has caused much confusion, indignation and misunderstanding in the last 17 years. Many people in the community may have lingering feelings that something like the great urban Parks could have happened here, like Golden Gate Park, but the Tooby Flat, as the park land used to be called, is limited by Nature both geologically and hydrologically from being like suburban or urban parks.
    So where the Park Board’s letter says, “But many possibilities were presented, and there is nothing in the present application that is different from the original intent” I find it a bit frightening that they still believe that. A lot has been learned about the park from going through an environmental study process. That should help us all now get more real about what is appropriate and respectful and healthy for the park. Many people sensed immediately in 2002 that the Park was worthy of saving as beautiful open space and donated for that reason.
    What we are reading in the Park Board’s letter comes from a new young Park Board and their Executive Director who don’t remember when the community asked that the Park be preserved as open space. I was there. I heard what was asked and answered. Open space was and still is the goal of many people who love the Park and helped purchase it. Open space is their dream for the Park, its wildlife and our struggling river. Is this a selfish, personal dream that deprives segments of the community from their dreams? I don’t think so and neither do the 600 people who signed my petition. Keeping the park quiet and beautiful means going to amplified outdoor concerts at the other locations that stage them near here every year. No one is deprived and the park offers its quiet to you, to see and hear birds, see the farmers, paint, walk your dog, ride your horse, hike. We can still do all the things that are now allowed in both parks. Let it continue as it has been. Bring back the special combining zone that was offered to the Park in 2008, an R-Combining Zone that was suggested by Steve Werner of the Planning Department and rejected by the Park Board.
    The threat of ranchettes is repeated frequently now. Rezone or it’s Ranchettes! Ranchettes are not allowed on AE Agricultural Exclusive land. And for the record, the Park is forbidden to sell off its charitable assets to private parties. If they read their Articles of Incorporation they will know this restriction applies to them as a 501c3 public charity.
    As for the annual meetings cited in the Park’s letter, only one in the last six years was a public meeting. It was held at the Park on September 9th, 2010. It was called the NOP Meeting. It began the project to rezone the park for intense commercial use. Thirty-two people spoke at that meeting, half for the project, half against. Michael Richardson hosted the meeting for Humboldt County Planning. It can still be heard in its entirety from a link on KMUD. There was no overwhelming support for the rezone.
    Since the NOP the Park has held two open houses, neither of which included a public meeting or group discussion. Six years have passed since the NOP meeting and the new plans for a rezoned Park will increase the size and frequency of amplified events significantly beyond what was proposed in 2010 at the NOP meeting. This rent-a-park is bigger than ever.
    I moved here in 1987 for the peace and quiet. In 2007, the Park Board took it away with their unpermitted amplified concerts. And I live four miles from the Park.

    Kristin Vogel

  • Dear Park Board,

    So the question would be, would the overwhelming support you claim you have from the community for your project approve the Park Board “investment” of more than $300,000.00 of tax exempt donations for this process? When does the end justify the means?

    As you have stated before, how can you justify spending over $300,000.00, when you have publicly stated:

    “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.”

    I bring this up because of what I read in your Response to Comments in the Final EIR, its from page 77, letter C7-3, 3rd paragraph;

    “Viability of long-term maintenance is not an issue addressed in CEQA documents. Any project has the potential to result in limited funds, and this potential cannot be projected as part of the analysis. At the present time, there is no evidence that funds would not be available to keep the park operating. A large investment has been made on the part of the applicant to go through the environmental review process alone in order to allow the project to move forward. It is assumed that funding would be available to keep the project viable, especially if the requested venues at the site are permitted. These venues would result in income at the project site.”

    1. By “investment” you mean using tax exempt donations?

    2. What did you mean by “alone”? I thought you had the overwhelming support of the community?

    3. “These venues would result in income at the project site”. So are you saying that the Park Board’s “investment” in the GPA/CUP/FEIR was only to keep the Park operating and viable? I thought the whole reason was; “These changes will establish a zoning that is consistent with the community’s expressed desires for a true community park with various recreation opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy”.

    According to IRS rules, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit must be organized and operated for purposes that are “charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.” Although these groups may make a profit to help them stay in business, including from stock investments, IRS rules prevent charities from making money as their reason for existence. Nonprofits are not permitted to use their profits for the benefit of shareholders or other individuals. Nonprofits have no owners, as for-profit businesses do. As the IRS’s regulation states, the nonprofit must be organized and operated for charitable purposes. This means any excess funds left at the end of an accounting period must be plowed back into the nonprofit’s charitable work. The IRS can penalize members of a charity’s management and the people who benefited from profit-sharing with a special excise tax.

    Have you ever read your Articles of Incorporation, they say the same thing…

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  • Letter C7-1: “Weed control measures that may be applied to the sports fields to control weeds are not currently known and may vary over the life of the project. The Park has an organic practices policy in place at this time and is not planning to use chemical herbicides. They may include mechanical removal through mowing or tilling, or may involve the application of herbicides. However, any chemicals used at the project site would be required to be applied in accordance with strict California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) rules to protect human health and the environment. No additional mitigation is required in the DEIR. Please refer to the response to Comment C6-20 for more information regarding the DPR pesticide regulatory framework”.

    C6-20: “The Community Park has a policy in place prohibiting the use of herbicides on the property. This restriction is included in all agricultural lease agreements for the site. Also, herbicides and agricultural chemicals are highly regulated by the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) to ensure that their use does not affect surface water resources, such as the South Fork Eel River. This process begins before the chemical is registered for use in the State of California. Several branches of DPR, including the DPR Surface Water Program, analyze potential risks of the pesticide to water resources and risks are continuously evaluated and reevaluated based on surface water monitoring and new scientific research. Each agricultural chemical must be applied by licensed applicators in accordance with rules designed to protect human health and the environment. These rules are implemented and enforced locally by the County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. No additional mitigation is required in the DEIR to address this issue”.

    My question; how come the public can not see and read all your “agricultural lease agreements” to support your claim? We have asked and no one will comply, why not? Do you plan on grazing livestock on those sports fields?

    Here’s your Response to Comments and the Final EIR for the Park, the Park Board supports these comments, right?

  • OMG, now the Park Board is asking for “Kids” to defend them, WOW! How low can you go Park Board?

    The Southern Humboldt Community Park will come before the Humboldt County Planning Commission at a public hearing on Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Board Chambers at 825 5th Street in Eureka. The SHCP board urges the community to come to support the rezone of approximately 80 acres of your Southern Humboldt Community Park from exclusively Agriculture to Public Facilities with a Public Recreation Overlay on the remaining acres. This rezone will allow the Park to legally have playgrounds, sports fields and spaces for public gatherings. The new land use designation will allow the Park to continue to have trails on agricultural acreage as well as on the newly rezoned acreage. Kids are especially encouraged to attend, as this decision will affect our active youngsters who want to recreate at the Park.

    1. “This rezone will allow the Park to legally have playgrounds, sports fields and spaces for public gatherings.” NOPE!

    2. “The new land use designation will allow the Park to continue to have trails on agricultural acreage as well as on the newly rezoned acreage.” NOPE!

    Let me state this one last time, the rezone and land use changes are only required for the following events and activities requested by the Park Board:

    A) Increased daily park attendance up to 800 visitors a day with Parking onsite.
    B) Unlimited events with amplified music up to 800 attendees per day with parking onsite.
    C) Five (5) events per year with amplified music up to 2500 people daily with parking & camping onsite.
    D) One (1) 2 day event/festival with amplified music up to 5000 people per day with parking & camping onsite.
    E) Year round Camping 24 hours a day.
    F) Events on Friday/Saturday will end at midnight.

    Now I ask you, what do these activities have to do with “Kids” and or “affect our active youngsters who want to recreate at the Park”?

  • If you want to see and read the Park staff report for the Planning Commission hearing on January 5th, here you go. It also includes all the support letters and petitions the Park Board has collected over the years…

  • Dear Humboldt County,

    I know your plate’s are full. However, I hope you can take just a few moments out of your busy day to read through the links below. They include 16 issues of what was called the “Constant Comment” newsletter, that was published between 2001 to 2004 by Virginia Graziani and John LaBoyteaux, both of whom donated $4000.00 each to the creation of the Southern Humboldt Community Park (SHCP) property.

    The purpose of this news letter was to provide a forum for information, ideas and commentary on the SHCP, emphasizing local use and community recreation. After all, “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been”.

    With that being said, I truly hope you can find a moment to read through these newsletters, since, you will be reviewing and taking public comments on the SHCP General Plan Amendment (GPA) that will convert significant prime agricultural farmland, open space and wildlife habitat into year round commercial concerts, festivals, camping and parking lots included in the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

    The “Constant Comment” newsletters provided transparency, history of events, facts and holding the SHCP accountable to the public and community they claim to benefit. And that themselves (SHCP), did not provide then and does not provide now. This fact is evident, given the fact the SHCP has not allowed the public to attend Board meetings since August 2010,

    Please do not just listen to one side of the story, look to all sides of the issue, from all prospective and opinions This private organization (SHCP) has a controversial 17 year history with the community and the land, please educate yourself before making your decision And please do not forget there are over 600 people in Southern Humboldt that want their voices heard.

    “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it”

    Thank you for your time and attention to this matter,

    Ed Voice & Voice Family
    Formerly from Garberville/Redway 1961-2015
    Class of 1975, K-12 Southern Humboldt Unified School District

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