Mary Callahan, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Cal Fire has approved plans for selective logging of redwood and Douglas fir trees on 224 acres above the lower Russian River between Guerneville and Monte Rio, raising the prospect of legal action by opponents who hope they still might prevent the Silver Estates harvest from going forward.
The state agency granted approval late last week after months of public scrutiny, plan revisions and state delays that critics say reflect the proposal’s fundamentally flawed nature.
But in a Nov. 17 letter, Eric Huff, staff chief of Cal Fire’s Forest Practice Program, said the final version — some 500 pages of reports, descriptions, maps and other information — conforms with state Forest Practice Rules. The decision authorizes landowner Roger Burch and his family to carry out its provisions any time over the next five years.
What happens next appears to depend in large part on whether Burch and his representatives decide to begin operations this winter, within the restrictions permitted for the traditional wet weather season.
Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/opponents-likely-headed-to-court-to-block-newly-approved-timber-operation-b/
Rollie Atkinson, SOCONEWS
120-room destination project has been proposed since 2008, delayed by local economy cycles
A 10-acre riverfront parcel at the center of Guernewood Park has set vacant for almost 50 years since the half-abandoned Ginger’s Rancho resort was torched by vandals. Before that it was the site for almost a century of the Guernewood Park Resort that hosted big band dances, tourists debarked from excursion trains, beach revelers and bowling and roller rink enthusiasts.
The current owner of the property, Kirk Lok, of Lok Hospitality, has been trying to win final approvals to build a new resort since at least 1998. On Oct. 28, Sonoma County’s Board of Zoning Adjustments will hold a public hearing to consider approval to allow for a streamside conservation plan and riparian zone encroachment for his 120-room development. Most of the approvals for a Guernewood Park resort have been previously granted as ebbs and flows of the local economy and tourism business have stalled Lok’s timing to break ground.
Lok recently brought in a new investment partner, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, which owns and manages high-end destination properties on the west coast and beyond. The firm is based in Kirkland, Washington.
The Oct. 28 hearing will begin at 1 p.m. and is a virtual meeting hosted on Zoom. The meeting I.D. is 962-4871-2760 and the passcode is 693832. The project was the subject of a recent a Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council meeting where concerns were raised about increased traffic on Highway 116 and a shortage of nearby worker housing for the proposed 37 employees. Several MAC members also voiced support for the project that includes public access to the river and the preservation of hundreds of mature redwood trees. The site is bordered on the east by Hulbert Creek.
Read more at https://soconews.org/scn_sebastopol_west_county/news/guernewood-park-resort-developers-seeking-minor-land-use-changes/article_82afdbd4-342d-11ec-bf71-6361653fa09d.html?