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
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 complete project description including site plans and maps is contained within the Initial Study.
REVIEW AND DETERMINATION: Please note: This is a re-circulation of an Initial Study/draft Mitigated Negative Declaration that was initially circulated for 30 days from September 21 through October 20, 2017. Based on comments received and minor amendments by the applicant to the project description, the Lead Agency determined to conduct an additional Biological Resources Assessment; add several mitigation measures under Section IV (Biological Resources); and re-circulate the Initial Study/draft Mitigated Negative Declaration. The Initial Study and the proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration will be re-circulated for public review for a period of 30 days, pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15073(a) and 15073.5.
This re-circulated 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 April 12, 2018 and ending May 11, 2018. 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: May 17, 2018 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: April 9, 2018
Published: April 12, 20
Posted: April 12, 2018