Supervisors to hear appeal against Bowman low-income housing

By: Jon Brines Journal correspondent
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A final battle over a controversial apartment development is expected Tuesday at the Placer County Board of Supervisor’s meeting. After months of delay, supervisors are expected to hear an appeal aimed at stopping the controversial low-income Miner’s Ridge apartment complex now planned for Bowman. The land is located off Silver Bend Way behind the Raley’s Shopping Center. Right now, three people are appealing the planning commission’s May decision to change the 2002 plan for townhouses into the proposed 64-unit development by USA Properties. The so-called Ridge View Villas were never constructed. Mario Ferrante, a retired Placer High School teacher, and William Prior, owner of Auburn Outdoor Sports, filed an appeal saying they’ll lose access to their adjacent properties. The planning commission, together with the developer, agreed to allow neighbors access to their property, according to county documents. Prior and Ferrante said the agreement is little more than verbal and not a guarantee. Community activist Dale Smith also appealed the commission’s decision because he said the county hasn’t addressed toxic soils on the site that could potentially endanger any future resident’s health. County officials said site clean up will come in due time, according to the staff report. Smith states in the appeal the project is not properly planned to allow for wildfire danger but the county said Cal Fire already signed off on the plans. Smith states the proposal breaches a 2002 court settlement agreement between an organized community opponent, called RAID (Residents Against Inconsistent Development), and the county. County officials contend the agreement expired in 2008 and did not prevent the current design changes. The supervisors are expected to weigh-in on the project Tuesday at the 9 a.m. meeting.