IN RECENT MONTHS, the Strawberry Recreation District Board of Directors and staff have received numerous communications from our community members expressing deep concern and requesting that the district help remove Strawberry from the county’s “Priority Development Area” designation.”
In light of this, the district board sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors expressing their utmost concern and the urgent need for the board to be more responsive to the Strawberry community.
Concerns include but are not limited to the following:
• Strawberry community members have made numerous attempts to improve direct communication with the Board of Supervisors and our supervisor, Kate Sears. Citizens attended 13 Board of Supervisors meetings, requesting removal of Strawberry from the PDA designation be placed on its agenda, prior to supervisors agreeing to do so.
• Similar requests to be removed from PDA designation have been discussed and met by the supervisors for Marinwood, Manzanita, Tam-Almonte and other communities. Requests brought forth by hundreds of Strawberry citizens to be removed from the PDA designation have been ignored, resulting in perceived unfair treatment of Strawberry community by the supervisors.
• An initial Strawberry communitywide meeting was initiated by the citizens in September and attended by over 350 residents. The county has made no attempt at continuing this communitywide meeting process or providing sufficient follow-up regarding the PDA designation in Strawberry.
• The PDA is clearly inconsistent with the Strawberry Community Plan regarding zoning and development in Strawberry. The county’s investment in infrastructure has been very limited relative to the financial revenue the county gets from Strawberry. The PDA designation is not a viable solution for this financial inequity and exacerbates the infrastructure problems by placing additional strain on limited community resources.
• There is no local representation prior to the creation of county policy (i.e. PDA and transportation items) or submission of projects for permit and county authorizations. This creates avoidable delays on community input for these numerous projects until the 11th hour, by which time it is almost too late for the community to weigh in.
In support of the voices we hear from our community, we requested the following outcomes from the Board of Supervisors:
• Immediate removal of the entirety of Strawberry from the PDA designation.
• Fair and equal treatment for the Strawberry community, consistent with other unincorporated areas.
• Increased communication by the county with Strawberry citizens.
• More responsive county representation on behalf of the Strawberry community.
• Timely discussions, responses and actions to Strawberry community requests and concerns.
Strawberry community members consistently tell us of a lack of representation at the county level on matters relating to public works, building, planning, transportation, land and development. The conflict and controversial process has caused considerable distress throughout Strawberry and greatly impacted the district operations.
The PDA designation is voluntary and is to be determined by the consent of the local community. It is well documented that the Strawberry Community residents clearly oppose the PDA designation. In fact, of all the comments received at the district, not one has been in favor of the PDA.
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