Update on Fire Safe roads: Fire Safety Concerns Agenda Item 40

Good Morning,

The result wasn’t really much of a surprise.

Still, when you work hard and get lots of people motivated to comment—people who made good, intelligent comments—it’s discouraging to have it yield nothing.

From a statewide perspective, our advocacy has apparently stirred up a hornet’s nest.

Gore said he was working closely with CSAC and RCRC. Hopkins and Zane basically said nothing nor asked any questions. Susan asked some hard questions and is obviously troubled. The Supes praised Staff for their hard work. Goldstein lauded Linda Schiltgen.

So now it’s on to the Board of Forestry in September. Sonoma County will again ask the BOF to certify the amendments approved yesterday. To make letter writing easier, tuck those wonderful emails you all wrote to the Board of Supervisors in a folder to use again.

In September we will also be invited to provide input to the Cannabis “cultivation” amendments which the Cannabis Ad Hoc and Berrocal will unveiled on Sept 7th.


ANOTHER LETTER: Fire Safety Concerns Agenda Item 40

To: Andrea Krout <Andrea.Krout@sonoma-county.org> <Andrea.Krout@sonoma-county.org>; district4@sonoma-county.org <district4@sonoma-county.org> <district4@sonoma-county.org>; Shirlee.Zane@sonoma-county.org <Shirlee.Zane@sonoma-county.org> <Shirlee.Zane@sonoma-county.org>; district5@sonoma-county.org <district5@sonoma-county.org> <district5@sonoma-county.org>; Susan Gorin <Susan.Gorin@sonoma-county.org>
Subject: Fire Safety Concerns Agenda Item 40

Another powerful letter. Signed by ten homeowners (everyone) on Matanzas Creek Lane.

It is my understanding that the Board of Supervisors is going to vote tomorrow to work around the recommendations of Cal Fire and the Board of Forestry regarding county roads and fire safety.  Is this true?  How can the county willingly and willfully put the safety of the residents at risk, especially given the terrible loss of life and property not even three years ago? 

Our road on Matanzas Creek Lane, or as the county calls us, “Marijuana Creek Lane” (cute, huh?), was built in 2005/2006 and is currently a 11 foot-wide, mile + long, dead-end road with no shoulders and steep drop offs maintained by the homeowners and not the county.  The purpose of the fire regulations is to allow firefighters to enter an area while residents can flee. You cannot do that on a one-lane road with no shoulders.

Everyone on Matanzas Creek Lane lost property in the 2017 fire from infrastructure, outbuildings, water and septic systems, guest houses, or homes.

Given the already approved or “temporary approval”, whatever that is, for Marijuana cultivation at 3803, to a resident of Chicago, not a part of the community nor paying any maintenance money for our road, has already added massive numbers of additional vehicles, for reasons one can only guess. These vehicles, especially for business purposes, exacerbate the problem, making a serious situation for residents far more dangerous.  (Needless to say, more cars turning onto Bennett Valley Road from Matanzas Creek Lane adds another extremely dangerous dimension too.) It is preposterous that Sonoma County claims it should be exempt from the Cal Fire and BOF rules.  Is the horror of the 2017 and Paradise fires, where so many people died trapped on one lane roads no longer relevant?  Really?

Please be aware that many residents on Matanzas Creek Lane are elderly and even having to continually back up, on steep narrow roads, for additional nonresident cars is a problem; imagine if they are required to flee on foot.

I am unclear if Governor Newsom is on board with the proposed dismissal of Cal Fire and BOF safety standards, particularly give the horrendous loss of life and property in Sonoma County and Napa counties in 2017, and the Campfire in 2018.  Now that he is representing the taxpayers who ultimately are assuming financial responsibility for PG&E fires, why would he support disregarding Cal Fire safety recommendations thus making it much more difficult to get fire trucks and first responders to residents on rural narrow roads, or blocking residents that are trying to flee?  It is hard for me to believe that the Governor and California taxpayers would support such a reckless position.

Please reconsider this irresponsible plan and consider the unincorporated citizens safety.  Thank You.

cc Governor Gavin Newsom

1303 10th Street, Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814