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2007-04-18, Cohasset Area Workshop (Development Services Presentation)

Cohasset Planning Area Ordinance <added 2008-08-21>

Wednesday, April 18th at 6 p.m.
Cohasset Community Center
11 Maple Creek Ranch Road, Cohasset 95973

Butte County General Plan 2030 Community Meeting Summary

The Butte County General Plan 2030 Community Workshop for Cohasset was held on April 18, 2007 at the Cohasset Community Center.  This meeting is one of 20 community meetings scheduled to take place in all of the unincorporated parts of Butte County.  The meetings are designed to take input directly from community members about their area’s assets, issues, and consideration of land use changes by the General Plan 2030 process.

About 35 people attended the Cohasset meeting. Also in attendance were 2 members of Butte County's Citizens Advisory Committee (Bruce McClintock and Mike Evans). Butte County Department of Development Services staff Pete Calarco and Noel Carvalho gave an overview of the Butte County General Plan 2030 process as an introduction to the evening. For the next 70 minutes, they facilitated a discussion about the area's assets, issues, and areas for potential future change. The following summarizes the assets and issues discussed at this meeting (a complete listing of community assets, issues, and areas mentioned for change is also available):

Assets

Once known as a logging community and for its award winning apple orchards, the community of Cohasset treasures it historic roots. Located approximately 15 miles northeast of the Chico, residents enjoy the peace and quite the forested foothill community offers. While secluded from urbanization, they appreciate the short drive to Chico for daily or weekly needs not available in the community. Residents specifically enjoy the abundance of trees, creeks and riparian areas found in and around the community, providing habitat for wildlife including the migratory deer herd. The community is sheltered from excessive noise and light pollution from the valley and is not densely populated. Additionally, the general store and elementary school are greatly appreciated and recognized as an asset.

Issues

Cohasset is a community constrained by a limited and variable water supply. Little rainfall during the winter months can cause some wells to run dry in late summer while others are unaffected. A few concerns were expressed about ground water pollution resulting from parcels with high concentrations of livestock located adjacent to existing wells. Additionally, there is some fear that increased housing density will put more strain on the limited water supply. At this time, there is no alternative water supply to supplement households in need during a dry season.

The community at large agrees that Cohasset Road is an issue for several reasons. It is the main road in and out of the community. In the event of a wildfire, many doubt its adequacy for handling an evacuation. Neighbors agree it is in much need of widening and repair. Many cyclists use the road for recreation. Without bike lanes or shoulders there is little room for cyclists and drivers to share the road safely. Many voiced disappointed at the county’s failure to widen the road as promised in the past. Some members in the community ride share to Chico but are frustrated at the lack of a ride share parking lot. Additionally, during the snowy winter months, it was indicated that poorly maintained roads added to the safety concern and that snow removal equipment congests the roads further as a result of limited equipment staging areas. Aside from Cohasset Road, community members identified several unpaved county roads that generate dust and debris. Many bridges were also pointed out as poorly maintained.

There are a small number of poorly maintained mobile homes and trailers scattered throughout the area. Many are visible from the road. Neighbors would like to see these sites cleaned up to help improve the character the community. Additionally, trespassing, vandalism, partying, illegal dumping, vehicle abandonment and firearm discharging on private property is an issue. Many residents are forced to clean up the debris left behind as a result.    

One member noted that Cohasset is a foothill community with different needs from valley communities and that the county needs to recognize this difference by not applying a uniform set of goals, policies and codes across the county.   

Future/Vision

Proud of it history and character, the community agreed that maintaining and enhancing its identity through improved building and design standards is important. They liked the idea of some design consistency throughout.  One member suggested establishment of a gateway and roundabout with a historic monument along Cohasset Road to help identify the entrance and center of town.  Included in this improvement, residents would also like to see the roads widened to accommodate both vehicles and cyclists. Some members suggested a bike route separate from the road that connected Cohasset to the existing bike trail at the Chico airport. This would improve safety and provide transportation alternatives some desire.

Also suggested were County incentives for green building design and alternative energy, a future water reserve to serve the entire community during the dry months and a community park.  

While some residents favored little or no change, many residents were not opposed to future development as long as it is in harmony with the area, follows the communities envisioned identity and does not put additional strain on the water supply.

The information obtained from this meeting will be provided to the Butte County 2030 Citizens Advisory Committee, the Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors.  The information will be used to help create the Butte County General Plan 2030 land use alternatives that will be discussed in Workshop Series #2, which begins with a Public Workshop on May 17, 2007 at 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Oroville Municipal Auditorium.  This Public Workshop will follow with additional meetings with the Citizens Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Dan Breedon at 530-538-7629 or Tim Snellings at 530-538-6821.
 

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