The term “community center” envisions a public facility hosting voting booths, 4H fundraisers, or grange meetings.
When developers read “community center” in the Placer County Code, they see 200-person weddings, parties, or other events with outdoor music and entertainment, several times a week, as late as 10 p.m., all for private profit. Currently, there are three for-profit community center applications under review in western Placer County. All are located on parcels zoned “Residential Agricultural” or “Farm,” yet Placer Planning Services is not requiring the functions of these facilities be associated with agriculture. Without the requirement that these businesses contribute to and be compatible with the character of rural Placer County, approval of any of these applications will set the precedent for developers to buy cheap agricultural or residential property and convert it to uses normally confined to Commercial zoning.
The Planning Commission will consider the application for the first of these for-profit community centers (Gold Hill Gardens in Newcastle) on Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. Please write the Board of Supervisors (BOS@placer.ca.gov) and request that no for-profit community center applications be approved until the Placer County code can be amended to include new definitions and standards of operation for them.
Carol Rubin, Newcastle