The Madera County Planning Commission will hold a special public hearing, 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the Madera County Government Center, concerning the formation of a Planned Development District (PDD) for 113 acres on North Fork’s old mill site.
The 113 acres represents about 2/3 of the total old mill property according to Jamie Bax, county planner.
The request for two tentative subdivision maps, a general plan amendment, and rezoning from heavy industrial to a Planned Development District (PDD) is being made by the North Fork Community Development Council (CDC), owners of the property.
The PDD would include areas designated for light industrial, medium density residential, mixed use, and open space for recreation.
Dan Rosenberg, president of the CDC’s Board of Directors, said the CDC is going through the planning process to clear the way for the PDD and receive the entitlements for the density for up to 81 lots on the property - and then the council would list the various lots with approved densities with a realtor for other individuals or groups to purchase and develop.
Rosenberg said funds received through the sale of lots will be used to build infrastructure needed on the property.
The way the submittal has been structured offers potential developers maximum flexibility in developing their projects at the site according to Rosenberg.
“I am thrilled that the project of creating marketable, and develop-able parcels at the North Fork mill site is nearing completion,” Rosenberg said. “It has been a very long process that has benefited from the hard work of many volunteers, community members, agencies and supporting professionals. The County of Madera Planning Department has been a cooperative team member in getting this project done.”
Rosenberg said the proposed project before the county is the culmination of 15 years of work to redevelop the North Fork mill site, located at the intersection of Road 225 and Douglas Ranger Station Road.
“That work included gaining title to the property, obtaining funds and implementing the cleanup of contamination on the site, demolishing and removing crumbling structures, facilitating community meetings to discuss potential uses for the site, maintaining and improving antiquated site infrastructure, obtaining planning grants, and complying with a myriad of federal, state and local regulations,’ Rosenberg explained.
Rosenberg said the subdivision project was paid for using an $80,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Agency along with an $80,000 cash match from the CDC. The CDC obtained the funds from the sale of a 9.5 acre parcel to a local business.
“The project was quite complicated and included studies of traffic impacts, drainage, water, and electrical distribution, roadways, sewage treatment, and lighting,” Rosenberg said. “Many consultants were required to design the project.”
“The goal is to attract businesses to the site and to North Fork,” Rosenberg said. “The CDC’s mission includes promoting the economy of the town, and creating living wage jobs for its citizens.”
Bax said there is a privately owned water system on the property that served the mill when it was in operation, and currently serves the fire department and North Fork Rancheria tribal offices.
The council will be represented by its consultant, Oakhurst realtor and general contractor John Reed. Reed, a member of the planning commission, will ‘recuse’ (remove) himself from commission decisions on the project, so as to avoid a conflict of interest.
A draft Mitigated Negative Declaration, and a Initial Study of the proposal is available for public review at the Madera County Community and Economic Development office in Madera, 200 W. 4th St., 8 a.m - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Written comments concerning the project and the negative declaration must be submitted to the planning division, 200 W. 4th St., Suite 3100, Madera, Calif., 83637 by Sept. 25.
Details: Madera County Planner Jamie Bax, (559) 675-7821.