By Thea Skinner
Triplicate staff writer
With the possible addition of a Wal-Mart Supercenter and the Coasta Norte condominium, local committees and commissions are considering how to plan for the evolving face of Del Norte County.
Some residents are welcoming the proposed buildings while others are concerned about the planning process and losing the land they live on.
The Crescent City Planning Commission on Thursday moved consideration of the Coasta Norte condominium development permit and variance to its July 12 meeting. The commission instead heard public comments on the condominium and related traffic concerns.
"As a young native that was born and raised here and taking over my dad's business, it is discouraging to hear ill feelings toward someone who wants to add a higher standard of living," said Del Norte County resident Angelina Countess. "People my age are trying to build a family and life, and all we hear is ¬Ďno.'"
She believes that Randy Baugh, president of El Dorado Hills-based Development Consultants Inc., who is seeking to construct Coasta Norte, should have the support of the community.
"You have to think about the large number of baby boomers that need a place to live," she said.
She suggested that if residents do not want the condominium they can "buy the property and build something else on it."
Crescent City resident Susan Roberts held up a picture of the view from her house before construction and another picture of the view after construction.
"What percentage will be condos and what percentage will be homes? What constitutes multi-use commercial stores?" she asked.
Roberts said that at a public meeting earlier this week, Baugh told residents that "if you fight him it will cost him more money. He promised to build a park.
"He said Crescent City deserves the building, not Brookings. Maybe we deserve it. It resembles Pelican Bay."
Resident Natalie Fonde said, "We need accurate plans. There is no accurate plan for parking.
"Where are the boats and RVs going to go?"
At the same time that Baugh seeks a permit and variance to build, the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission is preparing a development plan to improve passenger facilities at bus stops.
Key development areas in the plan include improvements at the Cultural Center, Safeway and Wal-Mart.
Gordon Shaw, executive vice president of LSC Transportation Consultants, a professional engineer and planner, presented a developing plan at the commission's Thursday meeting.
He cited a California case where a store was built across from a bus stop and people would run across the street to the store. A person was hit, and the transportation commission that handled the bus stop was held liable.
"The transit authority would be picking up the liability. Putting up a sign saying not to cross the street will not work," he said.
In light of that case, Shaw said that redesigning the bus stop near Wal-Mart's possible expansion is a top priority. A subdivision also is planned for north of Summer Lane near Wal-Mart.
"Wal-Mart is going to redesign that whole area," said Shaw. "We need to be working with Wal-Mart."