NeighborWorks appeal decision delayed until January

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors again voted to continue an appeal hearing for a self-help housing project in Arbuckle, which was denied by the county’s former zoning administrator, Stephen Hackney, a year ago.

In Nov. 2015, Hackney determined that the project proposed by NeighborWorks, a Sacramento-based nonprofit housing organization, did not comply with the county’s zoning code. The project would be located in the Wildwood Estates Subdivision of Arbuckle, a partially built-out subdivision that currently has five houses and 26 vacant lots. NeighborWorks purchased the vacant lots in October 2014.

NeighborWorks first appealed Hackney’s decision to the Colusa County Planning Commission in January of this year, which agreed with Hackney’s determination in a 4-1 decision.

The commission found that the housing plans submitted by NeighborWorks were not compatible with the existing residences in the subdivision, citing architectural design, scale, and non-compatible building materials.

The developer continued the appeal to the Board of Supervisors, who initially heard it in March. The appeal has been continued on multiple occasions — most recently at the board’s Sept. 20 meeting — while NeighborWorks and the county work toward finding a solution.

“As described in detail, the project is a continued appeal, and was continued from the Sept. 20, 2016 meeting. Since that time, NeighborWorks has submitted conceptual designs for the two-story home,” Greg Plucker, the County’s director of Planning and Building Services, said.

“Staff has met, and we developed a series of detailed comments in reply, in an effort to have the proposed design better match the existing two-story homes, as well as bring them in line with our peer-review comments that we had done for the single story homes. NeighborWorks has indicated that they have talked to the market rate developer. They are in the process of implementing the changes and developing alternatives. They have indicated that they are forthcoming; we haven’t seen them yet, but I anticipate that based on recent discussions with Donald Terry (director of real estate development for NeighborWorks) that we will get them very soon, at which point we will look at it again, meet with the board appointed representatives and respond accordingly.”

Because the entire packet from NeighborWorks wasn’t available at Tuesday’s meeting, the board voted unanimously to continue the appeal hearing to Jan. 24, at Plucker’s recommendation.

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net