Board of Supervisors - District 1

Nevada County District I Quarterly

ISSUE 2                                                                                          OCT  2018



High Fire Danger

Yuba River Fire Ban  

Doing everything we can to prevent fires in Nevada County continues to be a high priority for the Board of Supervisors (BOS).  After a year and a half collaboration, we are implementing a multi-step series of efforts to prevent fires in the Yuba River Canyon, and to make it easier for emergencies in the Canyon to be addressed.  We put up new signs at parking locations to ensure emergency vehicles can get through, restriped parking areas, increased both ticketing efforts and the fines for parking in no parking zones, installed an emergency call box at the Hwy 49 Bridge, provided grant monies to local community nonprofits and increased patrols along the river at the busiest times.  There will be more actions taken in the future.

In this letter, I want to highlight another action we have now officially implemented.   We have passed an ordinance to prevent fires where they have not been prevented in the Canyon, on private land.  The Board of Supervisors adopted this urgency ordinance on September 11, 2018 that prohibits open fire, with some exceptions, in the Yuba River Corridor in Nevada County during fire season.  We did this with Urgency Ordinance 2454, adding Article 6 Chapter XVI to the Nevada County Land Use and Development Code, which prohibits open fire on private property within ¼ mile on each side of the ordinary high mark of the river in Nevada County. This applies to  the confluence of the South Yuba River with Kentucky Creek below Bridgeport, to Lang’s Crossing, and is in effect from Memorial Day to the end of the declared fire season in 2018, and again from Friday, May 24, 2019 through the end of 2019 fire season as declared by Cal FIRE and the United States Forest Service. The Urgency Ordinance will only be in effect for two fire seasons as a pilot program.

 

"Doing everything we can to prevent fires in Nevada County continues to be a high priority for the Board of Supervisors."


The proposed urgency ordinance was developed with the input from the Yuba River Public Safety Cohort members, using all applicable federal and state codes. The Urgency Ordinance was reviewed and recommended via consensus by the Yuba River Public Safety Cohort, a multi-agency work group that includes Federal, State and local agencies and departments. The Cohort includes  me, District IV Supervisor Hank Weston, the Sheriff’s Office, the  County Executive Office, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, Nevada County Public Works Department, California Highway Patrol, Cal FIRE, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, North San Juan Fire Protection District, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Federal Bureau of Land Management, Yuba Bus, and various non-profit and community organizations such as SYRCL and the Friends of Purdon.

For more detail, here is some of the specific language on the exceptions for open fire that have been carved out within the 
Urgency Ordinance. They include: a) allowing wood and charcoal fires in permanent provided pedestal grills and fire rings in a designated developed recreation site (i.e. organized campground) in an area that is cleared of all non-structural flammable material at least 10 feet in all directions from the fire’s edge; b) wood, charcoal, gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel fires inside enclosed stove, grill, barbecue or portable brazier that are located in a designated developed recreation site (i.e. organized campground) or improved parcel with readily available access to an emergency water supply system within 30 feet of the fire in an area that is cleared of all non-structural flammable material at least 10 feet in all directions from the fire’s edge with an occupying resident or owner present on the property; c) wood, charcoal, gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel fires inside permanent fire ring or pit no larger than five (5) feet in diameter on an improved parcel that is located more than twenty-five (25) feet away from a combustible structure with readily available access to an emergency water supply system within 30 feet of the fire in an area that is cleared of all non-structural flammable material in all directions at least 10 feet in all directions from the fire’s edge, with an occupying resident or owner present on the property; and d) smoking within an enclosed vehicle or building, or while stopped in an area that is cleared of all non-structural flammable material in all directions at least (5) five feet in diameter.
 

PG&E Community Wildfire Safety Program  

PG&E Wildfire Safety Work

Over the past month, I have received multiple inquiries from folks regarding the work that PG&E is doing under its Community Wildfire Safety Program that includes tagging, cutting, and removing trees and other hazardous vegetation within 12 feet of every power line in extreme high-fire danger areas. Specifically, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a High Fire-Threat District Map (http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/firethreatmaps) after working with CAL FIRE and other experts to identify the most vulnerable areas within the state.  CPUC identified Tier 2 and Tier 3 threat areas with elevated and extreme risks to wildfire, respectively.

Subsequently, PG&E has expanded and accelerated its vegetation management and is working to take immediate action to remove any overhanging trees, branches or other vegetation that could come into contact with the power lines for at least 12’ feet from the power lines with full clearance to the sky above. Current law permits PG&E as an Investor Owned Utility (IOU) to clear vegetation within their easement on private property.  However, PG&E is not stopping there and is working with willing property owners to partner to create 15’ feet fire defense zones around power lines in Tier-3 areas. 

 

"...locals can expect that if you live in an area that is designated as a Tier 3 Area, PG&E...[will] send a professional team or qualified individual to access their easement on your property and tag any trees or other vegetation...for removal..."


The general process that locals can expect is that if you live in an area that is designated as a Tier 3 Area, PG&E will:  1. Come and try and meet with you to discuss the Community Wildfire Safety Program and what it might mean for you; 2. Send a professional team or qualified individual to access their easement on your property and tag any tress or other vegetation that is identified for removal; 3. Send a professional team to cut down, chip, and remove the tagged trees and vegetation; and 4. Send out a team to collect any large debris that was not able to be removed from the property initially. Currently PG&E is trying to get its users to ensure that their contact information is up-to-date so that folks can be notified of their efforts. To learn more about PG&E’s efforts, please visit pge.com/enhancedveg or call 1-866-743-6589
 

Highway 174 sign

Highway 174 Caltrans Safety Improvement Project Update

 

On September 11, 2018, the Board received an update presentation from Caltrans on the Highway 174 Improvement Project. At the meeting, Caltrans reported that since October of last year, they had met/ corresponded with the Save Highway 174 Community Group four (4) times and had made some substantial revisions to the project’s design with the community’s input. The design now includes different slopes, clear recovery zone (CRZ) and right of way limits, meaning less disruption and widening of the road. Specifically, the design now includes a 1:1 cut/2:1 fill, no CRZ beyond the cut/fill limits and only a catch point of 10’ feet, instead of the 2:1/3:1 slope, a CRZ of 20’ feet, and a catch point with 10’ feet or more originally proposed in the initial design of the project.

At the meeting, the Board encouraged Caltrans to continue its efforts working with the community group. While the design is not perfect and still has some work to do, it should be noted Caltrans stepped up to the plate and really took the community’s input seriously,  making  significant changes to their project after hearing from the community. It is clear that Caltrans Program Manger Jonathan Pray took a strong leadership approach to working with his team and the community to address the concerns of the community and the Board last year. Additionally, the expertise offered by the Save Highway 174 Community Group was essential to understanding the design and what could be done to reduce its impact. Without them, I do not believe that the revisions to the project would have been as substantial as they are.  While there is no doubt that we have not made everyone happy on both sides of the project, this  has the potential to be a success story of a community working with  a public agency and what compromise really looks like.
  

Caltrans HWY 174


ANNOUNCEMENTS


As a mid-sized/small rural county, we are often presented with challenges of the “economy of scale”, meaning we don’t have enough people to make some investments by the state that are essential to us here in the County, but which look excessively costly per person to the State number crunchers.  

 “Huh?,” you might be asking.

Another way to put it is that Nevada County has approximately 100,000 people, which means we have a large enough population to require  various services and amenities like public safety, social services, road maintenance, etc. but  not a large enough population to bring in large amounts  of additional revenues to support major increases of services or programs. In order to overcome that fiscal  challenge, the county works to leverage as many grants as possible. Our staff are stellar at this work. 

I am pleased to announce a couple of grants that have recently been awarded to the County, and more that staff are working on.

First, the Sheriff’s Office received notification of approval for a Body-Worn Camera Grant. The grant will cover startup costs associated with a body-worn camera program. Second, Nevada County Behavioral Health and Public Health Departments are working together on a prevention and treatment program to reduce the impact of the opioid crisis in Nevada County.  This joint effort was recently recognized with the award of a Rural Health Opioid grant from the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration. 

 

Committees and Commissions: We have a constant need for people to serve the public by sitting on one of numerous committees and Commissions run by the Board.  Two vacancies I would like to highlight this quarter are:

  • ADULT AND FAMILY SERVICES COMMISSION: (3 vacancies ) One Low-Income Sector vacancy to fill an unexpired term ending April 30, 2019, and two Private Sector vacancies; one to fill a 2-year unexpired term ending April 30, 2019, and one to fill a 2-year unexpired term ending April 30, 2020. This Commission shall operate under the Nevada County Board of Supervisors as the primary advisory body relative to health and human service’s needs, and performs the responsibilities of the Board of Directors as described under Title 42 USC Chapter 106 § 9910 - Tripartite Boards. For further information contact Mike Dent, Social Services Director,
    (530) 265-1627.
  • ASSESSMENT APPEALS BOARD:  (1 vacancy) One alternate member to fill a 1-year term ending September 30, 2019. Specific qualifications are required per Section 1624 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. The function of the Appeals Board is to determine the full value of property or to determine other matters of property tax assessment over which the Appeals Board has jurisdiction. The Board acts in a quasi-judicial capacity and renders its decision only on the basis of proper evidence presented at the hearing. The functions of the Board are outlined in Section 1620 et seq. of the Revenue and Taxation Code. Compensated per Administrative Code Chapter II, Article 13.11. For further information, contact the Clerk of the Board, (530) 265-1480.

 
 


COUNTY SPOTLIGHT


Magnify Glass Photo

A recent County Project Spotlight worth mentioning is the Voters Choice Act (VCA) that was recently implemented by our Clerk Recorder/ Registrar of Voters, Greg Diaz. The California County Information Systems Directors Association recently awarded Nevada County with a 2018 Innovation Award for the implementation of the VCA. The project team that was awarded included both staff from the Elections Office and our Information and General Services Agency.  For more information on the Voter’s Choice Act, please visit https://www.mynevadacounty.com/2320/Voters-Choice-Act. This program is why we now have a full month to mail in ballots, numerous places to drop off ballots, and the ability to vote in one of multiple locations.  Voter turn-out last June was 57.03% which was the highest voter turnout in the state, and we expect it to be great this November as well.  Nevada County, along with Sacramento, Madera, Napa and San Mateo, were the first counties in the State of California to conduct elections under the VCA. All of the VCA counties experienced remarkable results with higher voter turnout rates than the statewide average of 37%, the highest statewide voter turnout percentage in a midterm primary since 1998. The total ballots cast in June 2018 was 38,792 with 68,023 registered voters. 
 


THE BOARD'S AGENDA & REQUESTS FOR ACTION


Board Chambers

How to submit an Item on the Board’s Agenda

Routinely, the Board receives public comments at our regular meetings requesting that the Board take up an item on its agenda for discussion and potential action. And while the Board Chair does consider every request, there is an established procedure that the public can follow to get an item considered for the agenda. First, it is strongly recommended that you first contact me, as your District Supervisor, to see if I am willing to carry the item before the Board. This will also help uncover any issues, questions or activities that need to be addressed beforehand. It is best to submit your request in writing, either by email or letter, stating the issue of concern and what you would like the Board to do.  More than likely, I will request to meet or discuss with you the matter and will at that time indicate how I am willing to move forward. If I am willing to carry the item forward, then the item will need to be approved by the Chair before it can be placed on the agenda.

However, if the item is not jurisdictional to my Supervisory District, you may need to send your request to the Chair or the Clerk of the Board. Please note that these types of requests should have support of some type or from the applicable County Department Head before it is considered for the agenda. For additional information, please contact the Clerk of the Board by calling 530-265-1480 or emailing
clerkofboard@co.nevada.ca.us

Shaking hands
Heidi Hall

Request for Action

District I Town Hall Meeting Survey 

 

As your District I Supervisor, I would like to invite you to reach out to me on the issues that are important to you and the community. Please feel free to also contact me by emailing heidi.hall@co.nevada.ca.us or calling me at 530-265-1480.  Moreover, please let me know if there are any events or community meetings that you think I should attend or be aware of.

I am pleased to continue to serve you for a second year and am eager to hear from you.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
 
Heidi Hall
Supervisor, District I  

 



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CONTACT:

Supervisor Heidi Hall
Nevada County, District I 
950 Maidu  Avenue,Suite 200
Nevada City, CA 95959
Heidi.Hall@co.nevada.ca.us

(p) 530-265-1480
(f) 530 - 265-9836

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