The following excerpt is from a comment letter submitted to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors regarding the Draft Valley Springs Community Plan:

FLCR strongly supports the Council of Government’s (“CCOG”) proposed Valley Springs Community Plan. CCOG’s plan was the result of a data driven, democratic process, and as a result it better aligns with the County Board of Supervisors recent decision to encourage future growth in existing community centers. In addition, the CCOG’s plan identifies a far superior area for mixed-use development by identifying 106 acres of land located in the existing town center of Valley Springs instead of calling for urban sprawl on important farmland.

In stark contrast to the CCOG proposed Community Plan, the draft plan offered by Supervisor Gary Tofanelli suffers from two significant flaws.  First, this plan directs the rezoning of the Spring Valley watershed (located adjacent to New Hogan Lake and stretches to Lime Creek Road and new Hogan Dam Road area) from Agricultural Use to Commercial Use. We oppose this re-zoning from agricultural to commercial use because the proposed conversion of agricultural lands to commercial lands represents a significant area within the Spring Valley watershed, which contains the head waters of Cosgrove Creek – an important tributary to the Calaveras River.

The preservation of the Cosgrove Creek drainage is very important to us because it is the largest unregulated tributary to the Calaveras River below New Hogan Dam.  Cosgrove Creek provides important seasonal runoff to the Calaveras system which attracts Federally Threatened central-valley steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Chinook salmon (O. tschawycha) back to their natal river and assists them in passing the multiple man-made migration barriers found downstream.  Alterations of the runoff patterns and potential increases in sedimentation associated with development within this important watershed will undoubtedly have negative impacts to the nearby spawning beds of these important fish.

In addition, the Tofanelli Plan did not follow the same democratic, community-based process used by CCOG in the development of its proposed plan.  Instead, this plan was developed by a mostly anonymous handpicked group of people working behind closed doors, whose identity is not available in the public record.

Thank you, again, for the opportunity to express our support for the CCOG’s draft Valley Springs Community Plan option as the better alternative for the Valley Spring Community Plan.