Planners: Cancel Tamarack fest

December 21, 2001 12:00 am

By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

The curtain may come down on the Tamarack Mountain Music Festival.

After two years and two events, Calaveras County Planning Commissioners told festival promoters Thursday that because they have violated conditions of the use permit the county gave them for the three-day festival, the permit will be revoked.

Weve indicated that we want to revoke the permit, said Planning Commissioner Suzanne Kuehl, who represents District 2, which includes Tamarack. The commission unanimously voted to have county Planning Director Kim Hansen prepare a motion to revoke the permit, which the commission will vote on at its Jan. 17 meeting.

The Tamarack Music Festival and campground is the dream of Sonora residents Michael Germain, Danette Dawson Germain and Mountain Ranch area resident James L. Stearns. They own the 78 acres east of Tamarack Resort on Highway 4 in Tamarack, where for three days last summer musicians and music lovers gathered.

The Germains and Stearns produced a festival there in the summer of 2000 which attracted a crowd of about 1,000. Last July 20 to 22, their second festival drew 3,500 to an area with an official year-round population of nine.

There had been problems with that first festival, Kuehl said Thursday evening in a telephone interview. When they wanted to increase the number of (festival goers) to 3,500, the commission was concerned. We made it very clear that they had to follow every single condition of their permit.

Of the many conditions noted on the use permit, those commissioners claimed were violated included failing to comply with the festival site plan, camping in a day-use area and music after hours.

Michael Germain argued during the Thursday session that he and fellow promoters had, indeed, met nearly every condition and produced a fun and safe festival.

We were given 70 to 75 conditions and mitigation measures and we met 74, he said. If this were a test, wed get an A.