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Placer supes to mull Gold Hill Gardens community center appeal

Newcastle proposal raises larger policy questions for the county
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A second “community center” application in less than a month will be considered on appeal Tuesday by the Placer County Board of Supervisors.

The appeal of a Dec. 20 Planning Commission action to deny a minor use permit for a community center designation at Newcastle’s Gold Hill Gardens is being made by property owners Mike and Cindy Carson.

Unlike the board’s consideration and approval last week of a use permit for rural Lincoln’s Wise Villa Winery Community Center, county planning staff, the county agricultural commission and the planning commission have lined up against a Gold Hill Gardens community center approval.

The Carsons’ property is located south of the intersection of Wise Road and Gold Hill Road. Plans call for a guest ranch, including five cottages and a bed and breakfast in a residence currently on the property.

The community center designation would allow the Carsons to move forward with plans for a 5,250-square foot event center.

The Carsons state in their appeal filing with the county that the planning panel didn’t apply proper criteria in its determination to turn down the community center permit. They added that the agricultural commission’s decision was based on incomplete information.

The Carsons are not appealing a separate planning commission decision to approve a guest ranch-bed and breakfast designation and plant nursery on the site.

In a report to the board, Community Development/Resource Agency Director Michael Johnson said that the appellants will have the opportunity to present testimony on the merits of their project as well as air their concerns that process wasn’t followed leading up to Tuesday’s hearing. The hearing is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the County Administrative Center, 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn.

Johnson said the planning commission conducted two separate public hearings and considered oral and written testimony from the Carsons, county staff and the public before making their decision on Gold Hill Gardens.

Based on the county zoning ordinance and county general plan policies, traffic-volume concerns and inconsistencies with the character of the immediate neighborhood, staff is recommending denial of the appeal, Johnson stated.