The following is a letter-to-the-editor from Wick Boyd of the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council. We could not send a reporter to their latest community town hall, but Boyd has been kind enough to recap the events of that night for residents of Redwood Valley who might be interested. We publish here recap here as correspondence from a reader, and have accordingly not fact-check it, nor substantially copy-edited it. Here is her account:
Over 80 Redwood Valley residents, plus children, attended the third Town Hall meeting to update the Redwood Valley Community Action Plan. Held on the evening of May 14, at the [Redwood Valley] Grange, the meeting began with a complimentary light scommupper at 5:30 p.m., and continued with a presentation and lively discussions until 8 p.m. The most controversial part of the draft update to the 2004 plan was the new section, “Design Guidelines for Redwood Valley.” The purpose of the Design Guidelines, which are intended for eventual incorporation into the County General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, is to establish more specific standards for commercial and industrial buildings in Redwood Valley. Currently, County codes enable issuance of permits by rule in areas zoned Commercial or Industrial, meaning there are few restrictions on the look and feel of new structures and no requirements that they fit into the community character or vision that Redwood Valley residents have for its future growth.
Most meeting participants were unfamiliar with the 20 pages of the Design Guideline document, and initially many wondered whether specifics such as exterior elevations, materials, color, lighting, parking orientation, and other provisions would be too restrictive upon property owners seeking to develop in Redwood Valley. However, participants also pointed out that recent construction would have been much more aesthetically pleasing and acceptable to local residents had they been subject to some of the proposals contained in the Design Guidance. Redwood Valley residents, at this meeting and the ones held in 2017 and 2018, consistently support a rural, farm-oriented character for the community, and continue to hope that a central commercial area will coalesce along School Way. Local business is preferred; formula businesses (chain stores) are not welcome to most Redwood Valley residents. Additionally, fire safety and affordable housing continue as high priorities in the community, and greater efforts are needed to make progress in these areas.
Five break-out groups discussed specific changes they would propose for the draft Plan and Guidelines, and also reported that they want to think further about the proposals and study them more closely. The Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council (RVMAC), which sponsored the event with funding provided by the County and PG&E, encourages all residents and business owners in Redwood Valley to provide additional feedback to the RVMAC. The plan is available for viewing on the RVMAC website (www.redwoodvalleymac.com) and comments may be submitted to the RVMAC at P.O. Box 243, Redwood Valley, Ca. 95470. Residents are also welcome at the monthly RVMAC meeting, held from 5-7 pm on the second Wednesday evening of each month at the RV Grange.