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Placer County process broken

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Given Placer County’s officials’ unrelenting attempts to dump high-density housing in Penryn (the most recent being the approval of the Orchards at Penryn Project) and their refusal to comply with the Horseshoe Bar/Penryn Community Plan, one cannot help but conclude that when it comes to development they assume the haughty attitude of “we know best” and push the limits of non-participatory/ participation to extremes. Sherry Arnstein’s “ladder of public participation” is a useful framework for understanding the role of citizens’ participation in the planning process. Citizens • Citizen control • Delegated power • Partnership Tokenism • Placation • Consultation • Informing Non-participatory • Therapy • Manipulation The lower rungs are non-participatory/participation called manipulation and therapy. Examples include neighborhood advisory committees or boards that have no authority or power but simply represent a way to vent frustration. Placer County officials employ these non-participatory elements with great skill; throwing in elements of Tokenism wherever it suits their purpose while ignoring the elements listed under Citizens. Result? A totally broken process and one that cries out for citizen action, especially if the Placer supervisors reject the appeals filed by the Town of Loomis and a local citizens’ group. Charles Gragg, Penryn