Union Democrat staff

Calaveras Gen. Plan leads to pessimism

I am very pessimistic about our Calaveras County General Plan Update. Individual choice and property rights are not included in that grand vision of our future. Getting a permit from any planning department is an expensive and daunting process for even tiny, mundane projects.

My experience with planning tells me that land planning in California is not about planning. It is about control dictated from Sacramento, Washington D.C. and ultimately the UN. For example, an organization of planners and "experts" called the Local Government Commission (LGC) met at the Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite and compiled a document called The Ahwahnee Principles.

Ahwahnee Principles say we are impairing our way of life by intruding on open space and polluting the air with our cars. It would rescue us with strict government controls over how we live and develop our property. LGC promises Livable Communities, meaning high density Agenda 21 Smart Growth communes. In effect, we will live as the planner wishes rather than how we, ourselves choose to live. What a rotten bill of goods. They deem us incompetent to make our own life decisions without strict, overreaching government oversight.

If you own land where you hope to build or develop, I strongly recommend that you visit the planning department soon to get a list of the requirements, restrictions and fees before you proceed. Otherwise you might spend thousands of dollars just for the privilege of hearing "NO." Even if you do clear all the hurdles, the process could take years. Be warned.

Robert L. Mulvany


Chris Gibson, a hero

To the Editor: Chris Gibson is our hero. On March 23, after leaving DMV, we lost our wallet with all our personal information and $1375. We searched the whole area but it was gone.

When we got home there was a message from Chris Gibson, he found it. When we met with Chris and his wife, it not only was very emotional, it was uplifting. He said he had been laid off and could use the money, but it was more important to return it. We offered him $100 as a reward, but he refused it. What he said next changed us. He said, "Just pay it forward." He also wanted to use this experience to teach his daughter the right thing to do.

We learned a lot as well. We had lost hope of ever getting our money back, but Chris has given us back so much more. Thank you, Chris Gibson.

Sarina Rojas

Twain Harte