Planning Director Tim Beals stated he was concerned with respect to the clean up of the property and plans to request a formal enforcement action.
THE RENAMING OF SIERRA COUNTY ROAD S-520, Jim Crow Road to Crow City Road was again discussed during the Board of Supervisors’ meeting held May 4th through WebEx.
Board Chair Lee Adams explained this item was put on the agenda to see if they should hold a state required hearing in the future to consider a name change. He said this item is about four property owners who date back 20 years to over 50 years and are tired of the street name, including one business who paid $10,232 in TOT taxes to the County in 2019. Adams stated this item was not about the gallows, his personal license plate, his email address, the County retirement system, Sierra County Historical Society members, or geographical names, adding it was simply about changing one word in a street name.
Jim Steinbarth, a property owner over 20 years on the road, stated this issue has come up over the last 40 years. He felt a goal of the supervisors should at least be sensitive to these types of issues. The name Jim Crow is offensive and should be considered. He was in favor of the name change because the sign is on Highway 49 and people have taken offense to it. He’s heard it many, many times and had to explain it. He was aware many individuals in our county and country are concerned about keeping our historical heritage alive. He felt a pretty simple solution was to change it to Crow Canyon Road, or Crow City Road. Supervisor Sharon Dryden made the motion to hold the public hearing on June 1st at 10 a.m. Approved unanimously.
SIERRAVILLE DISTRICT RANGER Quentin Youngblood reported to the Board of Supervisors at its meeting on Tuesday, May 4th they shut prescribed burns down due to dry conditions. He stated they wouldn’t do any until they receive a lot of precipitation. Youngblood said they had a good meeting the day before with Sierra Valley Enterprises regarding future mill operations in Loyalton and what they are planning with a small log mill. He stated they are looking at different ways they can support the facility and was excited about the potential opportunity there.
Youngblood was happy to report opening of the front desk at the Sierraville Ranger District on Thursdays and Fridays with a sliding window to help customers.
RESOLUTION authorizing acquisition of Sierraville School from Sierra-Plumas Joint Unified School District was approved unanimously during the Sierra County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday. Planning Director Tim Beals stated it was a long time in coming and finally got to an agreement. He said they agreed to pay $41,400 for the acquisition with said funds to provide the acquisition to come from the reserve funds set up from Verizon rental payments since Verizon occupied the site to present day ($41,400. This will not require any general fund contribution. In turn, the school district will convey the property to the County, including the modular office building and its interest in the Verizon Wireless lease which includes all future revenues generated from those two leases, and the School District will obtain a lot book guarantee or title report showing proper vesting; will deliver title insurance; and; will prepare and deliver a grant deed for the property conveying it to the County of Sierra. A new State Park Bond Act provides additional funding and Sierra County Board of Supervisors has allocated $200,000 from that Bond Act to the Sierraville Recreation Center (Sierraville School) for which there is a 30 year land tenure requirement.
Board Chair Lee Adams felt the school was a real jewel for the County. Supervisor Sharon Dryden sat on the school board when this school was closed. She said school districts do not run community centers, they run schools and was glad the County was able to obtain it, adding it is a wonderful facility.
CHANGES TO CHAPTER 8.50 of the Sierra County Code - Sierra Brooks Water System Regulations, to allow for delinquent water use charges to be added to the users annual tax bill was discussed during the Board of Supervisors’ meeting held May 4th. Assistant County Counsel Sean Cameron had discussions with staff about certain properties not paying their water bill to be put on their tax bill. He added if they don’t pay their tax bill there would be more “teeth” to it than putting a lien on the property. Planning Director Tim Beals stated this system is currently in place with the Downieville District. The Board gave consensus to bring the item back.
A PUBLIC HEARING to determine the existence of a nuisance for property owned by Timothy Diltz located at 523 South Lincoln Street in Sierraville was held Tuesday, May 4th during the Board of Supervisors’ meeting through WebEx. Assistant County Counsel, Scott McClaren stated Counsel learned the written mailed notice was returned and not delivered to Mr. Diltz, adding he was required to be given a ten-day written notice. Counsel stated Diltz was prepared to proceed even though he didn’t receive the notice, and recommended Diltz state he was waiving any notice defect before proceeding. Diltz understood and agreed to waive the 10-day notice. Sierra County Planning Director Tim Beals explained the issue that was of paramount concern was the long history of seeking remedies to the worsening conditions of the property that has been ignored. He said the property is in such a condition it could be defined as a blight. Beals stated it was an eye sore to the community and public and compromises public health and safety. He toured the property a couple days ago and noticed there was a difference, but not so much that it wasn’t still causing a nuisance. Beals stated the adjacent property was at their wits end with the conditions of the Diltz property and if they wished to sell or just enjoy their property they are constantly reminded of these conditions, which caused them to submit the formal complaint.
Beals stated the Board’s obligation is to determine if there is a clear set of findings of a public nuisance and there were abatement options once the hearing closed. He hoped for a satisfactory resolution.
Diltz stated he agreed fully with Beals that it is an eyesore. He talked to the neighbor and she told him what she wanted cleaned up. Diltz was ashamed of it, stating it is a dirty piece of property. He’s taken 40 loads out to the dump, adding there was probably another 40 loads to go. His family has backed off and hasn’t helped him because they are ashamed of it. Diltz stated it has been hard with COVID and lost his dad the day before. He said he’s working on the property and felt there was a big improvement from what it was, adding he still needed a little bit more time. Diltz donated some cars, but they only took two because of the cost to get a tow truck out here.
Shirley Holstrom stated she and her husband who is almost 90 years old would like to sell their house so they can get into assisted living, but no one wants to buy it with their next-door neighbor.
Adams gave his condolences to Diltz and added neighbors have been pretty tolerant for over five years, since complaints go back to 2015 on this property.
Counsel explained the Board could determine a nuisance exists, or does not exist. If a nuisance was determined the Board could order an abatement and a proposed resolution with findings was prepared for the Board’s consideration. Counsel stated there was discussion over the progress already made and to extend the abatement if determined by Beals. Supervisor Sharon Dryden understood a lot of challenges Diltz has faced and wanted him to know they were giving him 30 days with a 30 day extension.
Adams added it had to be really good work to get the additional 30 days. He stated if the board adopted the resolution, Adams encouraged Diltz to hit it hard and heavy. Beals said the task was much greater than a pick up load a week, adding the amount of material that needed to be moved is stunning. Beals told Diltz the first 30 days was critical to get this resolved. Diltz stated he agreed and understood.
Roen made the motion to pass the Resolution, which passed unanimously.