Target is getting soaked in controversy in North Auburn, CA. because of their plan to asphalt a wetlands. In 1996, citizens’ groups in North Auburn sued Target and the Placer County Board of Supervisors when the latter voted to approve a conditional use permit to allow a 105,000 s.f. Target sprawl on 11 acres of land off Highway 49. Target’s plan includes paving over wetlands in the northwest portion of their lot, so they can add an extra 35 to 40 parking spaces. But the Friends of Placer County pointed out that the County’s General Plan land use policy stipulates that all new development must result in a “no net loss” of wetlands. The Plan goes on to say that the most “desirable” way to achieve “no net loss” of wetlands is to avoid building on them in the first place. The Supervisors, however, found it more “desirable” to allow destruction of the wetland and requiring Target to spend $371,000 to buy nearly 8 acres of land as a “wetlands mitigation land bank”. Target also offered to spend another $50,000 for on-site drainage improvements. Lawyers for Target announced on January 5th. that the company was prepared to toss in another $100,000 for more drainage work in the area to help residents get over losing another real wetland. But the lawyer for the Friends of Placer County replied:”$100,000 won’t mitigate this project.” The Supervisors have asked the County Superior Court for a delay in their court case beyond the February 2nd deadline. The Court wants the County to show how the “no net loss” is being resolved by that time. Groups like the Sierra Club, the Friends, the Fiddler Green and Mountain Shadows homeowners association are convinced that the only “net loss” Target is worried about is financial. To add insult to injury, the Friends has been fighting off Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, and it was recently announced that the Border’s Book chain store wants to locate here too — and guess where they’ve decided to splash down? In a wetlands, of course. Another “net loss” for the community.
For further details about the Placer County Follies, contact Dale Smith at 530-885-8487. And scroll down to the August 13 and July 30 newsflash entries for more on North Auburn battles.