Boyle Road (adjacent to the proposed project’s southernmost boundary), is most likely named for Mr. George Boyle, who with his brother, homesteaded in the area in 1894 and raised cattle, horses, hogs, and turkeys. In 1900, Mr. Boyle purchased a ranch from Alfred Estep at the junction of Swede Creek Road and North Cow Creek. This ranch became established as a popular stopping place for travelers from Redding to Buzzard Roost. The project property was acquired by J. G. and Ella Chatham in the early 1940s and operated as Chatham Ranch until recently.
By Judy La Russa
On Tuesday evening, braving stormy weather, a group of over hundred community members gathered for a town hall meeting at Cow Creek Church regarding the proposed Tierra Robles Subdivision hosted by developer Robert Geringer of Shasta Redd LLC. On hand to speak or answer questions were owner/developer Robert Geringer, Project Manager/Engineer Steve Nelson of S2J2 Engineering, Surveyor/Forester Frank Lehmann of Lehmann & Associates, Shasta County Planning Commissioner and Natural Environmentalist Steve Kerns representing Wildland Resource Managers, Wastewater expert Nick Weigel of NorthStar Engineering, and Traffic/Outreach Russ Wenham of GHD (formerly Omni Means.)
GHD Project Manager Russ Wenham was the evening’s moderator. GHD, that merged with Omni-Means in 2017, is the company that performed the traffic study for the Tierra Robles Subdivision project.
Wenham presented a power point presentation while taking questions as he went. After introductions, the first issue addressed was a timeline that began when Shasta Red LLC purchased the 715.4-acre Chatham Ranch property in 2005, ending with the future dates of public hearings at the Planning Commission slated for July 11, 2019, and then subsequently, the Board of Supervisors public hearing and decision tentatively set for August of this year.
The crowd was then presented with their goals for the evening’s meeting— 1) apologize for poor communication and outreach; 2) inform; 3) be accurate and actual; 4) hear and learn; 5) respect audiences time; and 6) identify ways to do more.
Wenham’s try at his comedic humor with a touch of sarcasm to the question/comments asked of the audience did not sit well with the crowd. Except for a few bursts from the emotional crowd, the majority of the subdue audience members listened with respect to the various speakers. At one point during a break, one gentleman told Geringer that it did not help his cause by hiring Wenham to speak at this event.
After the commentator mentioned how rezoning is being proposed to accommodate for some of the 166 homes plotted, a community member says, “We moved out here to live in a rural area, why are you taking that away from us.” At one point, Wenham mentioned several times that the smallest lot propose is 1.4 acres, but Palo Cedro resident and PATROL organizer Brad Seiser corrected him by saying that the new changes have incurred a lot of 1.1 acres.
One of the main concerns voiced by the crowd is the traffic issue. Some of the proposed projects that Shasta Red LLC developer will be responsible for portion or total costs are a traffic light or roundabout at the Old Alturas Road and Old Oregon Trail intersection; an all-way stop control at Deschutes and Boyle Roads; construct a traffic signal or roundabout at Airport Rd and Hwy 44 westbound ramps; and to contribute a share of the cost to the proposed traffic light at Deschutes Road and Cedro Lane. Also proposed are eight warning post signs at Lassen View Drive, Beryl Drive, Sunny Oaks Drive, Wesley Drive, Robledo Road, Oak Meadow Road, Oak Tree Lane, and Coloma Drive. One audience member asks, “Why are there not any changes being done to the two-lane Boyle and Old Alturas Roads entrances to the subdivision?” The commentator agreed, “No changes would be made to these roads. That there will be no separate turning lane, that it would cost millions of dollars to widen.”
Some of the other issues addressed during the evening were water, wastewater system, fire concerns, density comparison, road access, and resource management.
The Shasta Red LLC developer may have had good intentions as wanting to calm the community, by explaining the project and hopefully being able to answer their questions, but most guests left feeling no different or more infuriated as when they came in.
A second Developer’s Town Hall public meeting is tentatively slated for 7:00 p.m., June 18 at Cow Creek Church.