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Tuesday, 17 October 2006 02:00

Jackson Planning Commission

Jackson Planning CommissionThe Jackson Planning Commission meeting began with discussion surrounding a variance for a parcel located at 135 Center St. The applicant Ethel Smallfield requested a variance to allow construction of a new single-family residential detached garage to encroach 5 feet into the required five foot side yard setback and ten feet rear yard setback. Currently there is a temporary structure erected essentially in the proposed located. Apparently, Ms. Smallfield applied for the variance because her lot is irregularly shaped and has a Center Street address despite the fact that he house fronts West Lane. According to the Staff report there are other structures along West Lane that are either on or within a few feet of the rear property line. The Commission decided last night to grant the request. The Commission then considered draft development code policies pertaining to lighting regulations.
Prescribed BurningResidents living in the Shake Ridge Rd, Upper Hwy. 88, and Cook’s Station areas of Amador County could expect to see some lingering smoke throughout the rest of October as the Amador-El Dorado Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection have announced that they will be conducting prescribed fire operations in Amador County in the area of Upper Shake Ridge Road and Upper Omo Ranch Road. CDF will be conducting burning operations as a part of the statewide Vegetation Management Program in support of community and watershed protection for Amador County. The prescribed fire will be utilized to reduce heavy fire fuels which in turn will reduce the intensity of wildland fire and subsequent damage to watershed values. The primary objectives of the project are to reduce fire fuels and promote watershed improvement through the use of low intensity prescribed fire.
Amador Water AgencyThe Amador Water Agency’s request for a zoning change for a piece of property located in the Camanche area is causing quite a bit of concern among surrounding residents. The agency’s request is for a general plan amendment from PS, Public Service to A-G Agricultural-General; and a Zone Change from “X” Special Use to District to R1A Single Family Residential and Agricultural District on property located off a private easement about ½ mile east of Curran RD, in the Dry Creek Lane area near Lake Camanche. In December of 2004 the AWA applied for a Zone Change from “X” special use district to “R1A” Single Family Residential Agricultural District and General Plan Amendment from P-S, Public Service to A-T, Agricultural Transition (one family per five acre population density) for two parcels totaling 80.60 acres in size.
Monday, 16 October 2006 01:11

State and National News

Gov. SchwarzeneggerAccording to the AP, Gov. Schwarzenegger will sign an executive order today that joins California's landmark global warming law with the Northeast's program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The governor plans to sign the order in New York. His spokesman says it will create a carbon trading market between the two regions that will help industrial plants cut their greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 25 percent by 2020. The Northeast system currently involves seven states that plan to reduce emissions beginning in 2009. It allows power plants to trade emissions credits as a way to reduce overall emissions in the region. Linking California to that program could help power plants here meet their obligations under the state's new global warming law.

Amador County’s future will be the subject of a public meeting sponsored by the Amador branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on Wednesday, October 25. The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 PM in the large conference room of the Amador County General Services Building, 12200B Airport Road, Jackson. Refreshments will be served. Spearheading and co-moderating the meeting will be Patrick Blacklock, Amador County Administrative Officer. Mary Thorpe of AAUW will co-moderate. Speakers will be Francisco Rodriguez, President, Consumnes River College, who will discuss the future of higher education (ie, a possible community college) in Amador County (5-5:45 PM);Susan Grijalva, Amador County Planning Director, who will discuss the forthcoming Amador County General Plan (5:45-6:15 PM); and Roseanne Chamberlain, Executive Director, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), who will discuss LAFCO’s role in land use planning from 6:15-6:45 PM. All speakers will answer questions following their presentations. For further information or to submit questions for the panel in advance, the e-mail address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the FAX number is 245-3886.

AAUW For Futher Information

Monday, 16 October 2006 01:09

Add More Postage To That Absentee Ballot

Absentee BallotsIn California, the deadline to register to vote for an election is 15 days before Election Day, so for the Nov. 7 general election that means the last day to register is Monday, Oct. 23. You can register to vote by contacting the elections department office at 223-6465 or stopping by the departments offices at 12600 Airport Rd- just follow the signs on the building. Voters please note: In Amador County if you are one of the thousands of residents whom vote absentee and you decide to return your voted absentee ballot by mail, you will need 63-cent postage this year because the lengthy ballot will weigh slightly more than 1 ounce. 


Silver LakeConcerns over speed limits and water craft safety on Silver Lake dominated a recent El Dorado Irrigation District meeting. Silver Lake is a popular Amador County destination just east of the El Dorado County line. The lake is part of Project 184, a system of lakes, canals and a powerhouse that the El Dorado Irrigation District purchased from Pacific Gas and Electric in 1999. Like most alpine lakes, Silver Lake is characterized by numerous boulders and rock outcroppings and a fluctuating water level, said Don Pearson, the irrigation district’s recreation director. Boaters face hazards beneath the water, and from logs and fallen trees along the shoreline, he said. Because the lake sits in a bowl, noise from boat motors and personal watercraft "booms off the mountains," Pearson said. There are no posted speed limits or restrictions on the types of watercraft allowed on the lake, according to Pearson.
ACUSD Board of TrusteesThis Wednesday night the Amador County Unified School District Board of Trustees will take a look at the District’s Independent Study Program, Northstar. The district will look at the NorthStar program and consider the option of declaring the program a “high priority” school. Currently, state law compares and judges a school’s performance through the Academic Performance Index (API), a statewide ranking system to measure school performance. The ranking system is based on student’s performances on the STAR test, generally administered in the spring. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the approval of the State Board of Education, to rank all public schools in decile categories by grade level of instruction provided, based on their pupils' API results. Various provisions of existing law designate a school as a "low-performing" school, based on its decile rank. Because of a recent change in law instead of those schools previously designated as low performing schools, the schools are now called "high-priority" schools.
Monday, 16 October 2006 01:06

Operation Valley Predator A Success

Amador County Sheriff's DeputiesBeginning last Wednesday, Amador County Sheriff's deputies participated with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department in a sting of known sex offenders. The sting was in accordance and cooperation with several other law enforcement agencies. In addition to Amador County and Tuolumne County Deputies, the sting included officers from San Joaquin, Calaveras, Stanislaus, and Merced. Wednesday kicked off the three day operation to increase federal prosecutions of violent sexual predators and to reduce the number of Internet crimes against children, including child pornography. In the course of Thursday's and Friday's operation, called Valley Predator, law enforcement officers contacted 160 people required to register as sex offenders, according to a press release. During the operation, detectives raided pre-selected homes of registered sex offenders living in several counties. The purpose was to ensure that the offenders are in compliance with the terms of their releases and to search for any evidence relating to additional crimes.
Monday, 16 October 2006 01:04

Jackson City Sign Ordinance Clarified

Jackson City Sign OrdinanceConfusion over the Jackson City sign ordinance has now been clarified by City Manager Mike Daly. Daly has instructed city staff that temporary signs, such as paper and fiberboard signs typically used for temporary advertising, can only be placed on the property of the business they advertise, irregardless of their size and shape. This means no signs to advertise sales at local business will be appearing on roadsides inside the city of Jackson. The issue came to a head in the last week because of ambiguity over the city’s current sign policies. The City Council recently reviewed the sign ordinance in reference to political signs popping up in the city because of the November 7th election. The ordinance as written allows only two political signs per property, no larger then 18 x 24 inches. The city council was reviewing the ordinance to see if the current policy was too restrictive.