We have made great progress on our master plan efforts this last fall. Our first step is to secure a Use Permit and Rezoning. The Use Permit establishes what specific activities at can take place on the property and the new zoning establishes the uses and provides for the definition of such things as such as height, density, setbacks etc. We submitted out Use Permit and Rezoning Application in late December and are awaiting initial comments from our Mendocino County planner. We also submitted a fire safety permit. Jay Kilgammon, one of our members from Canada who is a fire fighter assisted us in developing a well thought out fire response and safety plan. Thank you Jay!
As part of this process we have also been in discussions with the Building Inspection Department of the County. We will have to bring the Buddha Hall up to code as a public assembly building. What this will entail is still up to discussion and review with county staff. It is safe to expect that this work will need to take place sooner than later. It is estimated to cost about $140,000.
As part of this process we must also review our status, permits and system requirements for water, septic/wastewater, and utilities. Short term improvements are likely to include upgrades to our gray water system and water treatment systems. Water storage is also likely to be needed. The exact timing of these improvements has not been determined.
Once we have an acceptable application it will be distributed to a variety of public agencies including State and Federal agencies such as regional water quality and fish and wildlife. We had a botanical survey done on the property last year and there is only one potential plant that may have any protected status. This is good news.
Our application’s main purpose is to bring the property into compliance with County requirements as they relate to our actual uses and activities as a retreat center. We have requested a small amount of new development, including the conversion of the barn into a 12 room dormitory, two new retreat cabins, and new storage buildings to replace our existing storage sheds across from the Sangha House.
Other good news is that based on a legal review of our water rights, we have established legal rights to use all of the water interchangeably on the property, i.e., springs and water from Leggett Gulch, Cedar Creek and the Eel River. Exactly what water we will use has not been determined and will be based on the “demand” the county will expect to meet our uses and activities.
The rough budget for work is as follows:
Planning Studies, Engineers, processing fees, etc.: $142,500
Water, Sewer and Utility Upgrades: $130,000
Buddha Hall Code Compliance Upgrades: $141,000
Other buildings, roads, campground, etc.: $126,000
Total Short Term Budget: $539,500
This work is expected to take place over the next five years.
The Master Plan committee consists of:
Joanne Brion, Project Manager
Shabad Khalsa, Fire, Water and Utilities
Bruce Hammond, Building Codes, Design and Septic/Wastewater
Dorje Bond, Community Outreach and Building Code/Permits
Please let us know if you have any questions. Click here to email Joanne.