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Rural Jurors

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The Journal has done Humboldt County a tremendous service by publishing Thadeus Greenson's very informative article on the General Plan Update and the Humboldt County Planning Commission ("The GPU," March 13). I particularly liked that Mr. Greenson gathered input from scholars and former planning commission members. The GPU is a critical process, and I feel much better informed as a result of Mr. Greenson's article.

I also appreciated publisher Judy Hodgson's column, "I'm Still Worried," (March 13) where she contrasts the responses of Humboldt County Supervisors to questions posed by the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights in its Winter 2014 edition. I'm struck by 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass' response to the question, "What is your vision for rural living in our county 20 years from now?" Ms. Bass replies, "... That includes developing policies that ... encourage second units that may be more affordable for those who are not landowners."

How ironic that in 2010, when Patrick Cleary was running for supervisor against Ryan Sundberg, in a similar HumCPR questionnaire that asked, "How will you ensure that the General Plan Update (and other county policies) reflects a realistic view of Humboldt's rural living opportunities ..." Mr. Cleary replied, "Rural development also needs to take into account the potential impact on our rivers and our drinking water. I believe allowing blanket approval for two houses on every parcel in Humboldt County would make us profoundly less rural."

Ms. Hodgson is right: we do need a board of supervisors and a planning commission that reflect our desire — as Supervisor Mark Lovelace put it so succinctly — "... to provide for a strong rural economy by protecting our working forests, ranches, and farmlands from loss to development."

Duncan B. MacLaren, Fieldbrook


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