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Sierra County News

Posted on: September 25, 2017

Big Springs Garden Notice of Availability


and Intent to Adopt Proposed

Mitigated Negative Declaration 

In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Sierra County Planning Department has prepared an Initial Study to determine whether the following project may have a significant adverse effect on the environment.  On the basis of that study, the Sierra County Planning Department finds that the proposed project will not have a significant adverse effect on the environment and will not require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report.  Therefore, a draft Mitigated Negative Declaration has been prepared and has been filed with the County Clerk’s office prior to final adoption, pursuant to Cal. Code of Regs. (CCR) section 15072, and is available for review and comment prior to the public hearing on the matter as set forth below.

PROJECT TITLE:                                Big Springs Meditation Retreat Center-Conditional Use        Permit & Site Plan Review

LEAD AGENCY:                               County of Sierra
      P.O. Box 530 / 101 Courthouse Square
      Downieville, CA 95936
      (530) 289-3251


PROJECT DESCRIPTION:                The Big Springs Meditation Retreat Center project is a proposed expansion of the existing Big Springs Meditation Center, which is located on an approximately 118-acre property located directly off Highway 49 on a privately maintained road, approximately 1.9 miles northeast of the community of Sierra City, in Sierra County, California.

The proposed project consists of an amendment to an existing Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and Site Plan Review to allow expansion of the current commercial day-use facilities (outdoor dining and special events) to allow overnight accommodations and indoor meeting facilities, for up to a maximum of 41 guests and staff (in addition to the existing permitted day-use facilities).  The proposed CUP amendment is consistent with the General Plan and zoning, with a site plan review for development within the scenic corridor. The proposed project is anticipated to result in a maximum area of disturbance of approximately ten acres in the south-eastern portion of the 118-acre property.  No part of the development is visible from the highway.  The proposed project includes 8,904 square feet of new structures, including: a 2,800 square-foot guesthouse with seventeen guest rooms; a meeting hall; a campground with ten tent platforms and associated facilities; a house for onsite staff; a bath/laundry house; a screened dining area; and a service barn.  A more complete project description including site plans and maps is contained within the Initial Study. 
REVIEW AND DETERMINATION:           The Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration will be available to the public, responsible agencies, trustee agencies, and other interested agencies or parties for review beginning September 21, 2017 and ending October 20, 2017.  Copies are available for review at either the Sierra County Planning Department or the Sierra County Clerk-Recorder’s office located (respectively) at 101 & 100 Courthouse Square in Downieville, CA, and will be available for download on the County’s website: www.sierracounty.ca.gov [Home > Your Government > Planning and Building > Planning > Projects].  The Planning Department welcomes any written comments during this review period.  There will be a public hearing on the matter before the Sierra County Planning Commission at which the final decision will be made to adopt, modify, or reject the Mitigated Negative Declaration in conjunction with a decision on the project itself.  The public hearing will be on a date and time to be set by the Commission. The public hearing before the Planning Commission has not yet been set for this project and is subject to change, but it is expected to occur on or about: November 16, 2017 at 10:00 am in the Downieville Courthouse Supervisors Chambers.  A separate hearing notice will be posted and published at least ten (10) days prior to the public hearing.  All persons interested in the project should submit written comments to the contact above during the specified commenting period, to allow time for response and incorporation into the final staff report and recommendation.

Notice date:    September 21, 2017
Published:       September 21, 2017
Posted:             September 21, 2017

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