After three contentious public hearings where the majority of speakers were against the project, the Tulare County Planning Commission broke a tie and voted 4-2 for approval. The vote came at the Wednesday, October 30, meeting in the Board of Supervisor’s chambers in Visalia.
The Sunshine Paradise Ranch was granted a special use permit for a “guest ranch” in AF (Foothill Agricultural) zoning with conditions. After acquiescing on a setback variance that would have allowed camping in tipis within 50 feet of the river, the applicant agreed to relinquish the right to use two homes on the property as short term rentals when they were not occupied by the owners.
The permit also stipulates that the maximum amount of paying guests allowed per day be capped at 15. Had the vacation rental houses been approved, there could have been 26 or more visitors at the site with day-use guests also allowed to assemble at the site.
Other conditions that were approved with the permit include no open fires from March until November or later if the local fire season is extended. Site inspections and an annual review of findings must be reported on a regular schedule to the Planning Commission.
What it means: Both sides have 10 days in which to appeal the Commission’s decision. It also demonstrates a willingness of the Commission to restrict or deny commercial activities even if they are appropriate under the zoning.
Disclosure: John Elliott is the Tulare County-District 1 (Three Rivers) planning commissioner. He voted to approve this project as amended.
Groundbreaking for new restrooms
It’s been nearly five decades since Three Rivers has had public restrooms. That restroom building was located along North Kaweah Drive at an abandoned location of a county park adjacent to the former Three Rivers Airport.
On Friday, October 18, a group of supporters, friends, and contractors gathered on the site of new public restrooms to be built near the west boundary of the Three Rivers Historical Society property on Sierra Drive.
The $500,000 project will consist of men’s, women’s, and unisex bathrooms with a travel path and two new ADA parking spaces. Major funding for the project is being provided by the County of Tulare.
What it means: Come spring of 2020, barring unforeseen circumstances, Three Rivers joins the ranks of communities that when you’ve got to go you’ll have a clean, comfortable place to do so.
Micari visits Three Rivers
Larry Micari, a self-professed candidate for Tulare County Supervisor (District 1), was in Three Rivers for a “Meet and Greet” on Tuesday, October 22. The gathering of several dozen supporters and District 1 voters was held in the banquet room of the Gateway Restaurant. Micari spoke to the group on his background, his tenure with Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, and what constituents might expect if/when he is elected.
Micari’s candidacy cannot become official to run in the 2020 primary until the filing period begins in January 2020. As a resident of Exeter, Micari’s experience working in Visalia gives him name recognition where there is the greatest concentration of District 1 voters.
What it means: Micari’s career in Tulare County law enforcement and the fact that he is well known in Visalia could be advantages to win enough votes to unseat incumbent Kuyler Crocker. No incumbent has ever been unseated in a District 1 supervisor’s race as far back as anyone can remember.