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Rock Creek/Paradise Lodge development public hearing this Friday

December 8, 2010

The controversial Rock Creek area development project proposed by developer John Hooper for the old Paradise Lodge property goes to the county planning commission again this Friday.

The meeting will held be held at the Crowley Lake Community Center at 1 p.m., in the form of a public hearing on the project's environmental impact document and on the specific plan for the project.

A previous meeting on the issue in mid-October resulted in planning commissioners sending planning staff and Hooper back to work to answer some outstanding questions the commission had about water quality and other issues.

This meeting is the next step in answering those questions before the public.

Developer John Hooper is expected to be at the meeting.

Hooper's proposal to build new , high-end homes and rehabilitate or remodel some of the old buildings still standing, including the old Paradise restaurant and some old cabins, has met with both support and furious opposition from local Paradise and Swall Meadows residents.

In recent weeks, the area's county supervisor, Hap Hazard, sent out an informal survey asking residents how they felt about the project and if there was enough support for trying to buy some of the property outright, something some of his constituents suggested he look into, he said.

According to Hazard, of the 120 e-mails he sent out, he received 31 e-mail responses and one phone response, with support and opposition to buying some of the property 13-11 in support, with seven answers "unclear."

Based on the responses — and lack thereof —, Hazard said in his survey document, "Due to a need to obtain at least a 2/3 vote by the citizens to approve a special tax or assessment, I cannot support, in good consciousness, moving ahead with the costly process of exploring this option any further. I am sorry for those of you that requested I advance this idea."

According to county planning documents the project looks something like this:

The project "proposes to subdivide the parcel into 15 lots: 12 market-rate single-family residential lots (the applicant has already developed and would retain one of these parcels as a private residence), with two lots deed-restricted to require a secondary unit and one parcel reserved for sale as a workforce housing unit ... and two parcels devoted to complementary uses, including a trailhead parking lot and dedication of 5.7 acres of open space.

"The FEIR (Final Environmental Impact Report) concludes that the project would have potentially significant and unavoidable adverse direct impacts on critical mule deer habitat and movement along a regional deer migration corridor. The project would have significant and unavoidable adverse cumulative impacts on visual resources in the community."

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