SoHum Community Park Supporter Strongly Rebuts Earlier Letter to the Editor

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication. Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt.

TO COMMUNITY MEMBERS REGARDING THE COMMUNITY PARK-

Ed Voice’s recent [letter to the editor] does not accurately describe the plan for the Community Park.  By now, I think most people are familiar with, and do not give merit to, these antics. Don’t get misled by the distraction of emotional distress. The Park and community representatives of this project are focused on putting every ounce of positive energy available to best represent the majority of the community as a whole.

For 16 years the Park board has listened to all the concerns of the people and adjusted the plan based upon what would best suit the overall community, looking years into the future.

Southern Humboldt Community Park proposed sports complex.

Southern Humboldt Community Park proposed sports complex. [Image from the Draft Environmental Impact Report]

The most extensive EIR report the Planning Commission has ever seen was done on the Community Park; 1000 pages. It can be so incredibly challenging to make choices on a community level because you will never be able to satisfy everyone at once. Diversity is one of the things that makes our community such an amazing place and allows us freedom to be ourselves more than so many other places. However, to be able to make changes on a this level, the community as a whole must be taken into account. Several factors are considered. Representatives, county officials, Community Park members and community volunteers feel they are making the right choices based on the community as a whole.  Will every person be happy? No, never in a million years will every person be happy with any decision made on this level, but everyone is doing their best to address the majority of the community.At some point being a victim is something that should be questioned here. There are misleading accusations with zero show of responsibility or proof. Presenting one side of personal “attacks” does not constitute enough to create an accurate description of all the facts to an argument. Playing the victim does not always constitute a bully. Its our job to open our minds, listen and reach out for accurate information. The EIR link is on the Community Park’s website. Anyone can view it to read the facts. http://www.sohumpark.org/ The tent described in Ed’s letter has not been approved or even officially proposed to the park board yet. The events being allowed at the park start out only 2 smaller ones this year. Overtime the county will allow up to 5, only 1 being festival size. Parking for the events is provided there. One of the events this year is the Community Easter Egg Hunt, which is being organized to bring families from our community together and support local non profit schools and vendors. The only camping approved is for educational and environmental programs, like the youth camp, and if needed during a large event for vendors and staff only. In the current plans is a wedding venue, a stage area, farming land, trails (bike, hike and educational), a dog park, and a sports complex. The sports complex currently includes 2 baseball/softball fields, a shared full size football field and soccer field, a playground, a snack shack, a bmx track, a skatepark and a  location for a future indoor basketball/volleyball court.

One of the most important things I gathered from the information I found was that they do not intend on cutting any large trees to complete these projects. Some brush and possibly smaller trees may have to be removed, but they are constructing everything in a way that is best suited for the existing layout of the land. The sports complex is going on a location where the soil tested least desirable for farming. The big beautiful oak trees by the current parking will remain untouched. They have come up with the best layout for the least amount of environmental impact.

If you are concerned about the facts talk to someone on the board, look at the reports on the web page, message the Community Park on facebook. Make your own opinion based on facts. This is a very exciting opportunity to present to our children and community for years to come. It gives me hope for our next generation and the direction of our community. Im getting involved in this project 100% so I can follow the facts and have my voice heard. If you are interested, do some research so you can decide if you want to get involved.

Active community member and mother, Bonnie Mullaney

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78 comments

  • Well, that’s all very nice. I’d like to attend the next public meeting on the park development so I can give some input and hear what others have to say. When is that next public meeting?

    • Mach 28, 2017, See public notice below…

      • 54 Residential Development Credits to be sold in the future…I wonder who will recieve the profits from those….the “Community”? The Silent ” Investors”? Brilliant Master Chess moves…end game was planned from the beginning…

        • If there is ever a program which allows us to convey those rights for development elsewhere, the money will be used to create an endowment for the park. That is the plan.

          • Can the public read this plan? Nothing about an “endowment for the park” in any of your project documents or on your website.

          • Quick with your answers on a blog .When is that public board meeting for our input ? Which mateel event will you have vendors and staff sleeping on site ?

    • The Southern Humboldt Community Park Boards General Plan Amendment project Staff Report was posted and just made public for the March 28, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting. Click the link, of importance are items 1 and 13.

      https://humboldt.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2991609&GUID=0354E9F9-A938-47AD-B8FC-AE2A5D8C2BC5&Options=&Search=

      Please note in the Staff Report (item 1) the Planning Department does not support the 54 Residential Development Credits:

      “Staff recommends the Board of Supervisors follow the Planning Commission recommendation and not include the TDR program in the project approval.”

  • The begining of the letter is manipulative & insulting. I refuse to read more than the first few lines that pretty well states already the emotional abuse Mr. Voice has indeed suffered through for stating his valid concerns.
    I prefer to draw my own conclusions, from facts, not through manipulation.

    • Wow. Honestly. You have been utterly and completely duped by Ed Voice, if you really believe he is a victim of abuse. This man is scary. He has a nice, gentle affect in person, but he has serious problems telling the truth. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, but it is the truth. I’ve never been able to understand his objections since almost all of his coherent objections have been refuted by sound science. If that doesn’t convince him or you, it’s because you have a closed mind. Hence your comment: “I refuse to read more than the first few lines…..”

      I hope you’ll find it in your heart to agree that Southern Humboldt’s families deserve what the Park has been working on.

      • “I’ve never been able to understand his objections since almost all of his coherent objections have been refuted by sound science.”

        Please provide your talking points, please provide what “sound science” has “refuted” my “coherent objections”?

        Please explain:

        “but he has serious problems telling the truth.”

        I back up everything I state with documented facts and public records, so there is no question or no doubt, just the truth. If that is “scary” to you, I can only conclude you have a “closed mind” or a vested interest in the Park Boards development scheme?

        • Man, how many more times to people have to show you evidence that PEOPLE DON’T MAKE MONEY OFF THE COMMUNITY PARK! Ugh dude, get a life.

          • What “evidence” are you talking about?

            According to the Park Boards IRS 990 tax returns and State RRF-1, the following people “MAKE MONEY OFF THE COMMUNITY PARK” between 2002 thru 2015:

            Kathryn Lobato, Tim Metz, Jennifer Metz, Stephen Dazey.

            According to the Park Boards State RRF-1, the following people have private secured loans with interest:

            Peter Ryce, Dennis Huber and Tim Metz.

            According to the Park Boards IRS 990 tax return, the following people had private loans that were secured with notes against the Park property and paid interest:

            Buck Mountain Ranch, Gilbert Gregori, Mark Drake, Tim Metz.

            And, between 2010 to 2015, the Park Board shows they have paid out over $350,000.00 to rezone the Park on their IRS 990 tax return(s). Someone made “MONEY OFF THE COMMUNITY PARK” with that money, who was it, they don’t say…

            Now, if you have “evidence” that shows “PEOPLE DON”T MAKE MONEY OFF THE COMMUNITY PARK”, please tell me where to look!

          • Brendan~

            Please read the Park Boards own assessment:

            https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1qq4OlQcPfdeHQ0NmNqZjlPTGM/view?ts=58d560ef

            If the “community” supported the Park Board and their development scheme by making donations, then how come the Park Board paid out approx $5000,000.00 just in interest between 2000 to 2008? This interest was the profit only a small select group pf people made “OFF THE COMMUNITY PARK”

  • The undisclosed & underlying financial plan of the “investors” is like Donald Trump’s tax returns. Way more to this story…

  • Veterans friend

    DAZEYLAND is not my idea of “community”

  • A road through the middle? Another playground? More non-organic grapes that someone personally profits off of??
    I thought this property was supposed to be a refuge for wildlife. Where are the wildlife corridors? Putting roads through areas used by wildlife displaces and confuses them. This area is used by many critters. Wheres the promise no chemicals that kill critters will be used on those vineyards? Sound like land practices will displace and kill birds.
    Not cutting down big trees does not ensure habitat for certain birds and ground species.

    If they actually follow thru on plans, thatd be a new one. People put literally thousands and thousands of dollars to try to get a skate park going over ten years ago. The board said oh yeah great we want that.
    Volunteers built a ramp, painted it over and over, asked to get a cover for winter, and werent able to so it got ruined. Literally no less than 10 grand went into a project that park folks wouldnt move on nor really support. But they took the money.

    And why put a playground so close to the lot where everyone takes their dogs? Does creation of a dog park mean that walking dogs on the trails wont be allowed? I thought they needed permit to start building kids area by kimtu lot, why is it happening already? Wouldnt park be sued if kid got hurt on a non-permitted play area? Thats no good for the park.
    Hey just a reminder theres a kids playground across the street that could be expanded and is already high use. Why do we need to use more resources to build another one? Not setting a goid example of sustainability. I think the majority of us who gave a lot years ago would like to have a quiet relaxing place to go walk and think, This plan looks like thats not gonna happen anymore.

    To the writer of article, you come off sounding pretentious, and the emotions of the situation are pouring through your words, just like Ed. No offense, just a little constructive criticism. You’d do better by rising above, as your words made this long time since the start supporter decide supporting the park is not a good idea anymore.

    • I walk my dog there all the time and enjoy the quiet beauty so close to town. I see this map and my first thought was, “Really a gated off poop square, oh boy!” Time for me to find another place to walk.

      Bye Bye Birdies also makes a good point. How is anyone to trust anything will be done right, the attempted skate ramp was a joke and a waste $. Why was a simple cover, never supplied to maintain a simple ramp? Who dropped that ball? How can anyone believe, the proposed new park will be maintained properly, if they couldn’t take care of a simply ramp, kids once upon a time did use?

      Another good point I’ve heard…..Bad road, bad access!
      And another……….No kids can walk down there!

    • You have obviously never been to a community park . Go check them out sometime . They have lots of wildlife , and area for the wildlife to prosper . Birds are attracted to the grass and water features . The other 99% of humboldt has plenty of area for birds .
      You will find the paths will be nicer for walking and jogging once they are being taken care of . Currently you need mud boots . This park is a blessing to our youth .

      • “Birds are attracted to the grass and water features. The other 99% of humboldt has plenty of area for birds”

        Can you spell out what you are trying to say?

      • But if the dogs are restricted to a disease square, why would I or any other dog owner want to walk there anymore? Forget it!

    • It was never intended as a refuge for the wildlife. It was intended to be an environmentally sensitive park and agricultural project.

      • I hear Mr Kirk You don’t even live in the community anymore do you ?

      • There were plans drawn up in the year 2000 for residential development. What they were doing in a Marin county developer/supervisors hands then is anybody’s guess.

        • To hide the endgame plan from Humboldt… Investors get first pick of the residential options for their own elite clique….why else would anyone go thru all these 16 years of planning- not that they ever thought it would take so long, but who cares when you are making good interest on your money?

      • the ducks are in line.

        not true, eric kirk. its intended to be a money maker, and the public will foot the bills.

    • You know, I never had a problem with that Skate Ramp, what I had a problem with is what was called a “fundraiser” for the Skate Ramp. Back when the Park Board was allowing illegal and un-permitted events/concerts and calling them a “fundraiser”. Some of the loudest music events at the Park were the “PipeJam” concerts. I love Fishbone, but not at the Park, unless its acoustic…

  • There is one thing you all forgot .It’s gonna end up being another bum skid row,and Encampment .

  • Who is going to build this sports complex? Do the sports enthusiasts think the park board is going to build it for them? That is not the park board’s stated business model. The park board wants “advocates” to fund, build and maintain projects. (See skate park comment above for an example of how well that works.)
    Does the park board think the sports enthusiasts are going to build it for THEM?

  • decide for myself, indeed.

    the first several paragraphs of this editorial offer nothing but wordy assurances, and the rest of the editorial basically says “look into it and decide for yourself”. only a couple of the many valid points raised in the other editorial are even mentioned, and not fully addressed at all. sorry, this editorial is feel good fluff.

  • I so hope so Killa potamus that never happens too

  • I so hope so Killa potamus that never happens too ,so where is this park going to to be .all I caught was it’s in so hum ?

  • Thank you for your letter, Bonnie. There are always two sides to every story, and I find it more productive to focus on positives and work on changing any negatives. I have read both Mr. Voice’s opinions and yours, and I will be voting to support the park’s future for the betterment of our community and kids.

  • The Sports Fields/Complex is only one aspect to Park Boards development scheme , here is the figure and plan for Parking lots and roads at the Park, page 602 of the EIR…

  • Here is the main parking lot for large events, page 604 of the EIR.

  • EIR showing project and surrounding noise sensitive areas, page 260:

  • Here is the Special-Status Animal Species Observations, page 137 of the EIR…

    • Lots of work there Ed…previously you had quoted their articles of incorporation. Have you checked to see if they’ve amended them?
      On the website they have posted the various Form 990, the report to the IRS. What they don’t post is anything to do with their report to the Attorney General about what they’re doing as a charity.
      You can look them up here:
      http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Search.aspx?facility=Y
      It will provide a history and background (such as the AG’s office wants) which includes various reports they have to file. The latest is the annual registration. Do take a look at it. It’s a pdf and I can’t do a copy/paste or I would.
      (1)Timothy Metz, (2) Peter Ryce and (3)Dennis Huber have all loaned money to the corporation. The loans were to have been paid back at various times. There is the provision that if the loan(s) is not repaid by the due date that X% will be assessed on the unpaid balance. (1) has 2 loans, $5k & $10,811 @ 7.25% annually (2) $15k $7.5% annually (3) $5k Not due until April 1, 2018. Current rate of interest is a complex calculation based on being 4% above the rate for a Money Market Account with Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt>
      The loans were made on the basis of Promissory Notes.
      I am not a forensic accountant but just looking at this paperwork I’d like to know how
      much this non-profit owes these three men, how the current board is planning on paying these loans off and when will the debts be paid in full?
      Making big plans with ‘hidden’ debt is a very bad idea.
      Were I a F I’d also like to see the promissory notes and maybe call for a public meeting to discuss the financial situation before any plans which require funding go forward.

      • LynnMae, you are correct, you are looking at their RRF-1 (ANNUAL REGISTRATION RENEWAL FEE REPORT) on the State AG’s website and the only reason those loans are listed is because they were or are “Officers” of the corporation. They are also listed on their 990 IRS tax return. Those loans you named are current on their 2015 tax records and made public. The Park Board does not allow the public to view anything, unless its required. What they don’t disclose, are the private and secured loans (deed of trust) against the property, they have with people not on the Board. And according to their 2015 tax return (most current), they have $214,469 in “Secured mortgages and notes payable to unrelated third parties”, the Park Board does not disclose who, what, why when or where…

        If you can get a public meeting with the Park Board, please let me know.

        Those Articles of Corporation I posted came from the SHCP website, so if they made an amendment, they do not publish one.

        One of the things I’ve been looking at lately, the SHCP is exempt from paying property tax under a state welfare law on the majority of the Park property and what I’m finding out, the Park Board does not disclose to the Assessors office that they lease some of that exempt property for a 10 acre private vineyard or 30 acres for private cattle grazing or when the Garberville Community Farm (private/for-profit) was leasing 12 to 15 acres (John & Lisa). They do pay property tax where Randall is leasing Park property, which is about 13 acres. The Assessors office did say, if the Park Board does have commercial concerts, events or festivals on the property, they would not be exempt and would be required to pay property tax on that portion of the property.

        http://www.boe.ca.gov/lawguides/property/current/ptlg/rt/214.html

        Good luck…

        • Sorry, not a resident, just someone who lived in Humboldt (WC), loved it…still love it, but I really hate people who claim they’re doing something ‘for the community’ while the truth is something quite different.
          I lived in WC and a local nonprofit had organized to buy what was known as ‘Flowers Flat’…one of the few pieces of property which was flat and available in the area. The only recreation place was the local elementary school…
          People who cared (as it seems this ‘park’ started also) organized, started raising funds and doing things to improve the place. Bigfoot Days was one such event which helped pay the yearly mortgage; TT motorcycle races, you name it, they did it. When I moved there I knew I’d want to associate with people who did things and happened to volunteer for one activity and that was that, I was in. But it was becoming more and more difficult to raise money and there was real concern about losing the property. There was an outdoor recreation bond act passed (I forget when but I know it was known as the Roberti-Z’berg Act) and if the Commission (the nonprofit) would sign over the property to the local community services district (WCCSD) and they activated their power of recreation, and the district could apply for a loan grant to pay off the property. Some people opposed it, most supported it, and it happened. And since then, other park and recreation services have been developed:
          http://www.willowcreekcsd.com/parks-and-recreation/
          Willow Creek Recreation Commission was a nonprofit corporation just as this one is and were the people who served on the WCRC board and those who supported them not as dedicated to their community, there might have been another outcome. I consider the time I put in as one of the best investments of my life. I came to respect people I didn’t like but we shared a common goal and that was not just enough, it was a valuable learning experience that helped me in my working life later. And supporting Little League over Pop Warner is a pretty silly thing to argue about, looking at it now.
          Ed, I didn’t know if you (or anyone) had looked up what I had found, I’m glad you’ve already done that work (and much more) so that those who are concerned can be aware of questions that need to be asked.
          When we bought land in Trinity County I did a full title search myself (I learned from Les Scher’s book) and if I’m ever up in that area of the North Coast (my friends are all still in Willow Creek) I might do a title search on the parcel…

          • LynnMae, the Garberville Sanitary District (GSD) made the same pitch to form a recreation district under its powers and Humboldt LAFCo, to include and incorporate the SHCP into GSD, but according to GSD and then GSD Board Chair Herb Schwartz, everything fell apart, of course none of the meetings were open to the public, so no one knows the reason why. Here is some of what Herb Schwartz wrote to the SHCP Board:

            “As I have stated on more than one occasion, SHCP should retain skilled assistance to consider creation of a Park District, or a joint powers agreement with GSD, so that SHCP would have access to the governmental authority and possible umbrella funding for public monies to realize its vision. As it stands now, from my experience with SHCP, it has failed to show it has the wherewithal to realize its vision. This is not a critical statement. It is an assessment which I hope the SHCP considers as a remark that is made by a friend who is frank and direct and honest to another friend.”

            In part, included in a letter from GSD Board Member Dennis Bourassa to the SHCP Board, its states:

            “The GSD Board is disappointed that the SHCP Board feels it is necessary to hold the easement hostage by attaching conditions to granting this easement that cannot be approved. 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 does not seem in keeping with the SHCP’s efforts to serve the best interests of the community.”

            So yes, I know what you mean. I would have liked that the SHCP be included into the powers of GSD and a new recreation district be formed under those powers and LAFCo. That way it would have been a real public and community park, on public property, public meetings, public accountability, transparency and public records.

            The SHCP Board is a great example of what happens when a 501c3 uses the business model and management plan of a black market underground economy…

  • Some reason for the change in bird populations is because the birds that used to hang out there had a symbiotic relationship with the cattle, horses, and other livestock that are now gone. The birds eat the leftover seed from feeding cattle and the cattle dung. Disgusting I know, but birds just have no couth.

  • All you negative people should take a look at yourselves and ask why you’re so unhappy.
    Yes, I gave 6 large for acquisition of the park, I would prefer no development, but whatever happens will be better than not having the park, right?
    (To be fair I’m probably unhappy also but I’ll try not to lay my negative trip on you.)

    • I thought it’s fine the way it is now. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Oh that’s right, you don’t make $ off it!

  • Tara Sutherland

    Love this!!! Thank you Bonnie!

  • Thank you Bonnie!

  • Thank you Bonnie. I grew up here, and as a youth, there was nothing to do but get in trouble, hanging out around town, which isn’t even safe for kids these days. My kids want sports fields, they want playgrounds, they want walking areas, and a pool. They want to have things to do after school and on weekends, and they deserve it. Does anyone know how many soccer teams are crammed into one field every year, and those kids only get to practice once a week because there are so many teams and not enough space? Do any of the opposing people have young or even teenage children? Did they in the 70s 80s and 90s when there was literally nothing to do? I’m sorry for the people who want zero development, that’s not what any park is intended for. Parks are for people to enjoy. One thing though…As a community member that enjoys the walking trails, bit has a full time job, it’d be nice if the park were open later in the summer. I got closed in more than once last summer, and nasty notes were left on my vehicle. People want to walk the park in the evening when it’s cooler, not midday when it’s 110°. Otherwise, I’m all for all of it. Let’s do this, and I’d love to help if I can.

    • Park Supporter, I grew up “here”, from 1961 (I was 4) until I graduated from South Fork in 1975. Maybe it was a different time, but I guess we had more to do than “get in trouble”? I never remember getting bored. My brother and I were always finding something to do and allot was outside. As we got older, we used the basketball and tennis courts behind the old Garberville School and we had the bowling alley, which we used almost every day in the winter. We had the river and the river bar for hiking, swimming and fishing. We made stuff out of wood, played allot of horseshoes (at Tooby Park). We rode single speed, 20″, banana seat bicycles everywhere. I learned fly tying, must have made and used hundreds of my own fly’s (didn’t have the money to buy them). We leaned to reload our own ammo and did allot of shooting. Same with most of my fishing lures, I made them. We went back packing down the coast allot, from the Mattole down the coast to Shelter Cove two or three times a year. We back packed in the Marble Mountains & Trinity Alps and did allot of caming all over the place. Played allot of sports etc. I don’t remember soccer growing up, we only had track & field, wrestling, tennis, baseball, basketball, football, and bowling. And we had the Saturday & Sunday movie matinee double feature at the Garberville Theater. We split allot of fire wood, did allot of yard work and we also worked in both Redway and Garberville. And this was all before we started driving…

      I’m sorry you or your kids don’t have anything to do “here” anymore. But the river cannot support the irrigation requirements the Park Board has planned for ball fields at the Park. Unless they install a subterranean drip irrigation system per field (which is 3 to 5 times the cost and maintenance of above ground sprinklers) its going to take 2-3 million gallons of water per month from May to October, when the river is at its lowest flows, on top of all the other water use at the Park for farming, vineyard, livestock, parking lots, roads, concert & festival area etc…

  • There aren’t enough kids in southern humboldt to fill all those fields . What a scam money for the dazey family and a place for the Mateel to put on shows then go to the county and ask for a greater attendance level and really destroy the place .The water quality control board will also be interested in all the projects being it is basically wetlands . Go check out the water flowing through the place right now

  • Private property is not a community park .A park is owned by the public not a private group don’t drink the koolade

  • Bonnie, you said:

    “The tent described in Ed’s letter has not been approved or even officially proposed to the park board yet”

    First, how would the public know what is or is not “proposed to the park board” since NO meeting are open to the public or allowed any comments?

    And if you listen to the link below, you will hear Tim Metz (SHCP Director Emeritus) on KMUD (Monday Morning Magazine), who was promoting and talking about the Park rezone and his plan for that real big tent for events. He does not disclose it needs to be approved or not “officially proposed to the park board”!

    http://archive.kmudfm.org/archive/mp3/kmud_170227_070005goodmorning1.mp3

  • Save the EEL is correct. There are not enough young people to fill those fields. They would be nice, but the truth is we have a community of self serving parents. A typical southern Humboldt parent would travel to South Dakota to protest a pipe line they know nothing about while not attending their son/daughter soccer or baseball game. By high school most young athletes have stopped playing. Thats a fact!!! Just look at the number of players per roster. Any kind of large playing fields would be underutilized and probably not taken care of. Don”t even THINK about another !#@@#$#$ parcel tax!!!

  • No insult, just truth. Eric Kirk is a yuppie lawyer, paid by people to defend their actions, right or wrong. I agree it is funny how quick you respond in a comment section on a news blog… really professional. Anyway, maybe suggest they don’t call it a community park,call it a park locatrd in the southern Humboldt community. But it’s privately owned. It’s the same silly yuppie motives driving the town square and farmers market. We don’t even have a space for farmers to set up and offer their produce without them having to pay more just to stand their and sell 2 dollar lbs of potatoes. Kinda silly. Free the food!!

    • I wonder how often the park board members actually take their kids/grandkids to the park…they live in NoHum!

  • I’ve not yet read any comments about this property being in the flood zone where all improvements could be wiped out in a moment.

    • Not to mention the price of mandatory flood insurance…

      • The Park Board has stated in their EIR, none of the development included in their plans are located in the flood zone, but I guess they never looked at the FEMA Flood Map, because the Park is in Flood Zone A & C. It will be interesting when those local sports leagues and or the Park Board try and get grants for this project and the grantor finds out the Park property is in the flood zone. I guess they will find out what a LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) is all about…

  • At one of the park board’s few “community meetings” years ago, that was held at the old Masonic Hall on Locust, Jim Truitt presented this drawing of the sports complex he had designed for the park. It is basically the same plan the park board is showing now, but originally proposed for the northeast corner of the flat, by Bob McKee’s portion of the parkland, near where the water treatment plant is now, but on the other side of the park road to McKee’s subdivision.
    (Later one of the agencies told the park board it could not be there because that area is a protected wetland.)
    People at the meeting were flummoxed when Jim said that he wanted the sports complex for adult leagues. He said adult sports leagues from all over the state would come here to play and hold tournaments.
    So who is going to build this sports complex and who is it for?
    How will it be maintained? How will invasive weeds and grasses that grow all over the rest of the flat be kept out of the playing field? Will it require a full time maintenance person? Will there be a charge for using it since it is on private property?
    One change I noticed in the current plan from the original one is that it does not include a central “fields house” that Jim said would be three times bigger than the Mateel Community Center. Many people at that meeting groaned when he said that.

  • Since the Park Board has now leased its disc golf course to the Par Infinity Disc Golf Club, here is the new and improved 18 hole course Par Infinity has proposed. There is nothing wrong with a disc golf course, however, Par Infinity has stated they want to conduct large tournaments thru-out the year. So how does that work? The last time there was a disc golf tournament at the Park (years ago) they camped at the Park. What is Par Infinity’s plan, now that the Park Board has proposed a camp ground and a big parking lot for RV’s? Does it mean they will have live music, food & beverage vendors and a big party through-out the night?

    I wonder how that is going to work, when that hay field will be filled with vehicles for events, concerts and festivals?

  • I’m glad all you negative people are here venting, therefore you’re not out somewhere doing real damage. So gather under School Marm Kym’s big umbrella and show us why you’re so sad and miserable. (What next Ed? Want to try to stop us from having a new hospital too?)
    Long Live The Park!

    • “negative people” is such a relative term. And by “doing real damage”, do you mean asking uncomfortable questions that they don’t want to answer without incriminating themselves or just making public comments?

      The purpose of public oversight is to protect charitable assets for their intended use and ensure that the charitable donations contributed by Californians are not misapplied and squandered through fraud or other means.

      If the Park Board cannot comply to the tax code laws, rules and regulation, e.g. tax exempt, charitable, public benefit and non-profit corporation, then they need to transfer all their assets to someone who can!

      https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/charities/publications/CharitiesSolicitation.pdf?

    • Love the park…what was the purpose of your comment, but a childish antic, to hopefully hurt? Nice try but your demeanor speaks a thousand words & does not help your side but pushes it further from it’s goal. Step forward not 3 steps backward but if you insist to fuel the opposition’s fire, go right ahead. Good luck with your antics.

  • [edit] the park is showing in the FEMA Flood Map, Zone A & C. = no Grants [edit]

  • Every time I pass south on 101, it’s a pleasure to look down at that beautiful open flat. I’ve visited the park a number of times with my SoHum friends and appreciate it as it is: public open space with trails. The park management states they saved that beautiful flat from subdivision, but I’m not sure the traffic, noise and development under proposal is an improvement.

    TRAFFIC. There are serious concerns about traffic. Sprowel Creek Road runs a mile with no large vehicle turnaround between Garberville and the park. It has a sharp turn with poor sight lines. Shoulders are narrow to non-existent in places, with a steep drop-off, not very safe for pedestrians. It’s also not a safe road for lots of buses. While tables and standards may suggests otherwise, anyone who knows the road can tell you narrow Sprowel Creek Road was not designed to carry the sort of concentrated traffic that will emerge from an event attended by hundreds or thousands of people. Emergency access for the park site or the hundreds of people who live further out Sprowel Creek Road will be difficult during congestion before and after major events. Locals will be seriously impacted just for routine access to town. Traffic studies may suggest otherwise, but if you know the road, you can see the problem.

    NOISE. The proposed plan is dependent on income from public events to support extensive infrastructure. These events will involve outdoor amplified music. The immediate vicinity of the park is rural residential, and the town of Garberville is less than a mile away. Nearby residents will certainly experience thudding bass from rock, reggae, and electronic dance music concerts. Music is a noise unlike any other. It can’t be compared to the noise of a freeway, a factory, or an airport. It’s harder to ignore: the sound is meant to be compelling and foster an emotional reaction. Over distance, only the bass notes carry, often producing an irritating repetitious throb. The park already has a history of not honoring agreements about noise and ending times. What the neighbors want is not 25 pages of documentation, but assurance that noise from the park will not diminish their quality of life, and consequences for violations.

    AGRICULTURAL LAND. Level terrain with naturally productive soil is scarce in much of the county, nowhere more so than in southern Humboldt. The park’s current farm share project is an excellent use of this land, generating food for local food programs. So is its production of organic hay, a product in high demand, entirely in keeping with the “Humboldt brand.” On the other hand, the vineyard, 20 acres on a long-term lease, is a questionable privatization of what is supposed to be a community facility, not providing public open space or wildlife habitat.
    Conversion to sports fields is not a suitable use of this important resource.
    Parking hundreds of cars several times a summer will compact the soil and reduce productivity.

    WATER. There are concerns about heavy water withdrawals from the Eel River to irrigate the vineyard and sports fields, in a watershed already beset by uncontrolled water consumption. This could aggravate the Eel River’s problems with toxic algae, which thrives in nutrient-rich warm water. The same effects will impact endangered salmonids, which need cold, clean water to survive. The on-site water system does not currently meet state standards for a public water system.

    I have to question the need for the proposed recreational developments. Does southern Humboldt, with its small and scattered population, really need an elaborate, tournament-level sports complex? Is it worth sacrificing 16 acres of prime agricultural land–scarce in mountainous southern Humboldt–for two baseball fields, a soccer field, and a football field, when such facilities are already in place at local schools? A collaborative effort to to enhance existing facilities could benefit the impoverished schools, and provide opportunities for local adult teams, at much lower cost financially and environmentally. School fields are much more accessible to children, who are bussed there every day–kids will have to be driven out to the community park. The same is true for the skate park: virtually all users will need to drive (or be driven) there. For tournaments, Rohner and Newburg parks in Fortuna and the Hiller Sports Complex in McKinleyville have excellent facilities, close to population centers.

    The Environmental Impact Report is inadequate because it does not seriously consider an option without this extensive development. Without the expense of maintaining a sports complex, the controversial outdoor music events would not be needed.
    The EIR does not propose mitigation for the loss of 16 acres of prime agricultural land.
    The EIR discusses the noise issue at length, but does not answer a basic question: what if the concerts continue to be too loud and too long? There were no consequences for previous excesses, and the EIR does not offer any plan for mitigating violations in the future.
    One good thing in the proposal is straightening out the zoning of Tooby Park, entirely appropriate.

    It’s important to remember that while the name “Southern Humboldt Community Park” suggests that this is public property, whose managers are answerable to the public. That is not actually the case. The people of southern Humboldt have had very little say in this project. The park is a private holding controlled by a board of directors, whose meetings are not open to the public. The public has no say in the selection of these people and cannot vote them out if they are unhappy with what they do. Park management has largely excluded public input. There has been no public vote on the park, or on this management plan. Park management has publicized positive comments but not those with objections.

    I hope the supervisors will weigh the opposition’s concerns carefully as they consider the proposed zoning change, because the planning and zoning change process has been the only opportunity for the community to participate effectively in determining the future of the property. Many feel that their concerns about traffic gridlock, loud noise at night, water, etc. have not been sufficiently addressed.

    I urge the supervisors to reject the requested zoning change until the outstanding issues have been fully addressed.

    Thank you,
    Susan Nolan
    McKinleyville

  • The proposal to rezone has, unfortunately, not been judged by many on its merit alone. Rather, it has been turned into a simple question of do you or do you not support “the park”. Luckily, people like Ms.Nolan have been able to see clearly what it actually is: an attempt by a property owner to forever change the landscape to the detriment of plants, wild animals and birds, a precious water source, and human beings as well for the mundane and crass purpose of making lots of money and throwing big parties. At this point I have no doubt that the rich people pushing for this change will succeed because that is what our politicians favor—cash over the environment. Everyone will happily be able to get high in public during the “special events” and the consequences for any medical emergency, fire , or traffic “accident” will be absorbed as part of the cost of doing business. I foresee the day when you will be able to drive on a smoothly paved road inside the “park” to a video station, push a button, and watch footage of all the things that used to live there.

  • I am not the only person(s) that has concerns about using Sprowel Creek Road for commercial events ~

    I have reviewed the Southern Humboldt Community Park Plan of Operation document. The CHP does not support the size of the proposed events being held in this location. In my opinion, Sprowel Creek Road leading down to the park is narrow and in its current condition, is not adequate to allow for the increased traffic flow these proposed events would bring. In addition, I see some real public safety issues with vehicles exiting US 101 S/B and N/B. On the S/B US 101 Sprowel Creek exit, event traffic would have the potential to back up onto US 101 causing a hazard. On the N/B US 101 Redwood Drive exit, traffic has the potential to back up as well. The Plan does not address the other US 101 exits, N/B and S/B or signs and traffic control on US 101. Garberville traffic is already congested on Redwood Drive with businesses, especially during the summer months. If event traffic is added, there could be real problems as vehicles travel S/B and N/B on Redwood Drive and have to stop at Sprowel Creek Road and make a right/left turn onto Sprowel Creek Road. This intersection is especially congested with businesses on each corner.

    The alternate emergency route of using Old Briceland Road to Briceland would not be in the best interest of public safety due to being narrow and curved. Allowing these types of events is going to increase traffic flow on these roads even when there is not an emergency, as there will be a certain percentage that will want to avoid the congestion in Garberville and the possibility of having law enforcement encounters.

    The Plan of Operation does not adequately address traffic concerns in the town of Garberville, the lack of parking in Garberville and/or Redway, traffic on US 101, the amount of traffic proposed traversing down Sprowel Creek Road to the park, and the public safety issues of event goers leaving the park at night and traversing these roads, especially if alcohol is being served to event goers.

    If the re-zoning of this area is allowed, the Garberville CHP Area would be taxed with traffic control at Redwood Drive and Sprowel Creek Road intersection, US 101 S/B exits at Spowel Creek and Redwood Drive, both US 101 N/B exits, on Sprowel Creek Road to enforce no pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians who normally have the right to traverse Sprowel Creek Road, the intersection of the park entrance and extra patrol in the area due the increased traffic flow and potential of under the influence drivers. In addition, the CHP would be called upon to migrate concerns of property owners who can not access their property, illegal parking, illegal camping, and provide assistance to the HCSO and local/state fire agencies.>

    Thank you

    Lt. Adam Jager
    Garberville CHP Commander

  • In the interest of presenting diverse viewpoints regarding the Southern Humboldt Community Park’s application for a General Plan Amendment, I would like to share some observations from the comments on the Environmental Checklist that I submitted to the Humboldt County Planning Department on October 5, 2010:

    One of the speakers at the 9/8/10 scoping session undoubtedly expressed the feelings of many when he said, “We want a park run by the people, not by the government.” Unfortunately, since the Southern Humboldt Community Park is a non-membership non-profit corporation with a self-appointed board governed by self-written by-laws, the only legally effective input community members have is through the county planning process and the state CEQA process. While the SHCP board holds public meetings from time to time, it is in no way required to consider seriously, let alone act upon, the input it receives unless that input is also part of a state or county government process.

    In short, this park is not “run by the people.” However flawed, government provides the only resource for persons wishing to participate meaningfully in shaping the park’s future. SHCP is in exactly the same category as any other private development group, except that it does not pay taxes.

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

    Regarding athletic facilities, there is a real need for adequate facilities for youth and adult sports teams. Local school fields are too small and too few to provide enough opportunities for everyone who wants to play baseball, soccer, and basketball. Unfortunately, since the entire portion of the park that is flat enough to make ball fields feasible is also prime agricultural soil, any sizeable sports area would result in a conversion of agricultural land. Such conversion has been acknowledged as a “potentially significant impact” under CEQA, but proposed mitigation measures are either inadequate or do not actually address the problem. Some recreational facilities, such as the swimming pool, would in be better sited in other locations, where infrastructure is already available.

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

    Please note that the above are my comments only and do not represent the opinions of any other person or organization. The complete text of my comments on the Environmental Checklist are included in SHCP’s files at the Humboldt County Planning Department.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Virginia Graziani

  • Dear Park Board,

    Real words and thoughts from Eric V, Kirk/Park Board Member. And if by “cherrypicked” you mean the attachment, then good luck with that…

    I thought this quote from Eric sums up the Park Boards fallacies about water consumption and diversion from the South Fork Eel River, and I quote:

    “Whatever doesn’t evaporate will go straight to the river”.

    And then you have this gem:

    “Now, we could use the property for agriculture activities which would use much more water, and no agency, local, state or federal, could tell us to do otherwise because ag gets a free pass”

    So my question is simple; instead of spending $375,000 from public donations for your GPA/CUP and EIR, how come you just didn’t stick to “agriculture activities”? Since as you say, “because ag gets a free pass”.

    You know, one of the biggest misconceptions was and still is; how come it had to be a community park and not just a community farm?

    Thank you for your time and just for the record, I have two children and two grandchildren, just say’n…
    Ed Voice
    formally from Garberville.

    https://kunsoo1024.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/southern-humboldt-community-park-is-a-thing/

    March 31, 2017 at 9:41 am
    Eric Kirk
    Garberville. Other than that there are some clusters across the river next to the gravel business and airport, and there is Kimtu.
    And most of those people support the park, and events at the park. One Kimtu resident said to us, “Please turn the music up!”
    Again, you haven’t read the EIR. A couple of detractors have cherrypicked from it, and they don’t really understand it.
    The water use is going to be pretty minimal compared to the straws all around sucking it up for weed production and other uses, and really, all we’re going to be doing is diverting water. Whatever doesn’t evaporate will go straight to the river.
    Now, we could use the property for agricultural activities which would use much more water, and no agency, local, state, or federal, could tell us to do otherwise because ag gets a free pass.
    This is a really good thing, and most in the community are very excited. The primary opposition is coming from people who are afraid of change, have unreasonable expectations in what is hardly a remote rural area, or are just cynical and unhappy. None of the detractors of record has children – not one.

  • I guess the Skate Park has a jump on the Sports Teams and what about the 2017 Rodeo, will it be at Benbow one more year or the Community Park?

    http://www.redwoodtimes.com/general-news/20170605/insurance-fundraising-to-come-for-skate-park

    http://tonyhawkfoundation.org/faq/

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