By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
Arnold-area Rotarians want to build an amphitheater at White Pines Park and asked Calaveras County Water District directors yesterday to support the plan.
Because the district owns the White Pines Park property and leases it to the White Pines Park Committee to maintain, Rotarian Ron Glass sought CCWD's approval of the 500-seat amphitheater.
But directors, concerned about CCWD's liability and certain that the county Planning Department could require changes to the plan that the district might not like, directors voted instead to approve the plan "in concept."
White Pines Park stretches along the shore of White Pines Lake, near both Hazel Fischer Elementary School and the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum.
Glass told CCWD directors the amphitheater would be unobtrusive, built on a scale to match the rest of the park. He said its proximity to the school just across Dunbar Road from the school parking lot would make it convenient for students to use for educational events. That location would also provide easy parking on the weekends or other times when the amphitheater would be in use but school would be out.
He said the Arnold Rotary Club wants to build the amphitheater in celebration of Rotary International's centennial.
"Our main purpose is to have an outdoor educational forum for the community," said Glass.
Don Anctil, president of White Pines Park Committee, and Karin Lubin, principal of Hazel Fischer School, spoke passionately about what the amphitheater could
offer students, their parents and the White Pines community.
In response, CCWD Board President Jeff Davidson acknowledged that the project would benefit many, "but there are going to be consequences. More diverse groups will want to use it. We don't want this to reflect on (the district). We want to be protected from any discrimination lawsuits."
Davidson also said he expects the Planning Department to require "parking for about 50 cars."
Glass said the plan is flexible, and the number of seats can be reduced.