Special use permit granted

Special use permit granted
Posted on 12/11/2019
Zoning administrator hearingPlumas Charter School Executive Director Taletha Washburn announced an important step in the process of building a permanent facility for the school: a special use permit has been granted to PCS and the Central Plumas Recreation and Park District. This means that active negotiation can now commence between the two entities regarding the sale of CPRPD property and shared use of the recreation facilities.

During the Dec. 11 regular meeting of the Plumas County zoning administrator, a hearing was held regarding the application for a special use permit to build a “permanent learning facility” at 1425 and 1495 E. Main St. in Quincy.

A staff report by Associate Planner Tim Evans touched on the proposed division of the parcels, which are currently owned by CPRPD. The report also mentioned the need to assess a drainage ditch, and indicated that the special use permit process is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.

Evans also mentioned deed restrictions stemming from the National Park Service, which limit use of the 1495 parcel (currently a parking lot). According to Evans and CPRPD Director James Shipp, NPS personnel have indicated that the agency has a “favorable opinion” of the proposed use, contingent on a program of utilization being sent to the agency.

Fifteen-plus people attended the meeting in support of the PCS and CPRPD project, including PCS parents, community members, teachers, staff, and students. During the public comment portion of the hearing, six audience members spoke.

Scott Davis, a CPRPD board member, announced that he was there to “listen to comments” from the community. Comments included opinions on PCS’s new facility project in general, the proposed sale of the CPRPD parcel, and a possible agreement between PCS and CPRPD for school use of the rec district’s facilities, including the adjacent Pioneer Park.

Longtime PCS parent Karen Kusener said that the “fortitude Taletha has shown has been incredible” in working toward finding a permanent home for PCS. She said that community support for PCS “is a testament to the need in the community.”

PCS parent and community swim coach Paul Vaughn said that from his perspective of working with both PCS and CPRPD, this project represents a “great win for both sides” and “extra opportunities for the whole community.”

“The goodwill of all involved can make this a great thing,” he said.

Plumas County Sheriff Patrol Commander Todd Johns shared that his two children had different educational needs: one thrived at Greenville High School, while one thrived at the charter school. He said he supported the project as a “wonderful opportunity to provide the charter school a place to go” and saw no concerns professionally about access or response.

“I think this program will expand the services already available, and more services and more facilities bring more kids to the community.”

Kinderlin Hoznour spoke next; she is a PCS parent, local education professional, and East Quincy neighbor. She said that in her experience, Pioneer Park is not heavily used, and potential use of the park facilities by PCS would not be detrimental.

Casey Peters, PCS teacher and athletics director, shared his view that more exposure to parks, facilities, and recreational services will spread, meaning more kids will get outside and use parks.

Planning Director Tracey Ferguson clarified several points with Washburn and Shipp, who confirmed that they would continue negotiating an agreement that would address additional costs CPRPD would incur related to the project.

“I hear cooperation occurring; things can evolve,” Ferguson said.
She closed the meeting by announcing her approval of the special use permit, contingent on a 10-day waiting period, due to the fact that the project is environmentally, socially, and economically compatible with the surrounding area, and consistent with zoning and planning guidelines.