The Redwood Valley community town hall will be held Tuesday evening, May 14 at the Redwood Valley Grange, with a light dinner at 5:30 p.m. follow by a two hour meeting to discuss a draft of the new community plan.
MENDOCINO Co., 5/13/19 — Like many small communities in Mendocino County, Redwood Valley lacks a city government to centralize planning and decision making, meaning residents rely on the Board of Supervisors to speak for their interests. However, there is form of governance for residents of unincorporated areas to organize in their communities, that is in between full incorporation and having no local organization at all, called a “municipal advisory council,” or MAC, which allows members of a designated area to make recommendations and propose policy to the supervisors. Five different communities in Mendocino County currently have a MAC, and there have been several recent meetings in Covelo about forming one there. (You can learn more about MACs, and the Redwood Valley story, at our Mendocino Maps project and podcast.)
In 2016, after a proposal to build a Dollar General store caused much consternation in the community, Redwood Valley members formed a MAC in order to have a greater say in planning and design decisions in their area. Now, the group is aiming to finalize the “Redwood Valley Community Plan” with input from as many residents as possible. Residents are invited to submit comments about the draft plan, and attend a community dinner on May 14 to talk with their friends and neighbors about their visions for Redwood Valley’s future. The draft community plan will establish guidelines for the future development and design in the Redwood Valley area.
Here’s more information about the plan, and a letter from MAC member Wick Boyd about the upcoming community dinner:
You may have heard of us or attended a monthly MAC or other special meeting. If not, we have a website at redwoodvalleymac.com so you can read about our little group. We were officially appointed by the Board of Supervisors in 2016—to represent YOU! When the Board, other County staff, or state agencies and officials want to know what YOU think and feel, they come to the MAC! And when YOU want to tell something back to them, you can come to the MAC. It’s a pretty simple concept: create a representative body of citizens, let them be a focal point for communication, and see what happens.
1—Redwood Valley has a Community Plan. It’s old (2004), and we had 2 public Town Hall meetings in 2017 to update that plan. Then the fire came and it slowed us down a bit, but we’ve been back at it and now have an updated DRAFT plan that you need to see. It’s at the website, on the home page, along with a new document: Design Guidelines. The point of all this is that we in RV want more control about what kinds of commercial and industrial developments come to our town. Most of us opposed the old Dollar General store, and thanks to the Chahada brothers who bought the Dollar General lot, it was never built. I have heard from many residents who very much dislike the giant storage facility being built across from the Fire Station, but we couldn’t stop that—the lot was zoned for a commercial/industrial development since the County’s last General Plan was adopted in 2009, and no one opposed the zoning back then (yeah, who knew?!). We can only hope that some RV residents will find value in being able to store stuff locally, perhaps as their homes are being rebuilt, and that the owner will maintain the site and keep it landscaped in some way. But if we want more “say” over future developments in Redwood Valley, we need a new Plan and design guidelines with some “teeth” in them. So we could use participation, input, and support from the Redwood Valley community (residents and businesses) to finish these documents, and get them adopted and implemented by the County. Can you help?
2—Community Town Hall and Complimentary Supper. Mark your calendar for Tuesday evening, May 14 at the RV Grange, because after a free, light supper at 5:30, we will hold a 2 hour meeting (6-8 pm) to discuss the Draft Plan and Design Guidelines. The presentation will include some review of the current drafts, and opportunities for YOU to comment. Want to include more on Housing, or add Multi-family housing to the Design Guidelines? Did fire safety get enough discussion, or water, or farming? Should we encourage more businesses, and of what kinds? Should subdivision be limited, expanded? How about use of the old RV School? The issues are wide-ranging and so are the opinions—and ALL opinions are welcome. We try to keep all meetings fact-based, respectful, focused, and open, so take a look at the documents on the website (we’ll have some PRINTED copies available locally very soon) and think about these things.