Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Western Slope Animal Shelter

EDITOR:

I thought we, the residents of the Diamond Springs area, had already fought our battle to keep the county from making the area their favorite dumping ground. But no, they want to dump on us again. Approximately 100 sites in the county were investigated for the new Western Slope Animal Shelter and — surprise — Diamond Springs is again the chosen location. This time the project will be situated even closer to homes than the MRF proposed in 2008, a fact glossed over in the Planning Department’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).

Be aware, I love animals and completely admire the mission of the People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County (PAWED) — caring for unwanted or abused animals. They, unfortunately, will have to deal with very unhappy neighbors, namely, the homeowners in the residential sub-division and much of the businesses in the business center.
The public is being told, “Don’t worry about it, all problems are minimal and will have little or no impact.” When you read the DEIR, however, it is apparent that proper investigation was not done and the writer’s lack of knowledge of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) standards and the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have not been taken into consideration — or even thought of.

According to the project manager/planner from the county, the Diamond Springs site was chosen since it is close to the freeway and that makes transportation cheaper. Locating the shelter close to the freeway is the same argument county officials attempted to use to prove the MRF should be located in a residential area. Barely 200 feet away from homes, the shelter will actually cost the county money, not save. Any realtor — and I was one — can tell you that houses located near facilities producing odor, noise and attracting flies and vermin, while creating groundwater problems, will cause both residences and business to lose property value. These issues are not addressed in the DEIR, assumed to be of no sufficient impact, and are in direct conflict with the county’s own standards.

While the main focus of the shelter is dogs and cats, large animals will also be housed there. According to the project manager, from 25-28 horses are housed each year. He thought the maximum stay was three days. Is that one horse at a time or a group of horses? The urine and liquid from manure seeps into the ground. You can’t just pick it up and place it in plastic bags. What about recommended groundwater standards for the urine soaking into the ground? No one checked. The EPA could tell them.

Even if picked up twice daily, the flies and odor last. A single cow drops 120 pounds of wet manure daily with a horse dropping about two-thirds that amount. Again, the Project Manager was not aware of this and said he didn’t check it out. But, again in county-speak, “We don’t think that will be a problem.”

I love the shelter’s purpose and have four rescued pets myself. But this project is really badly planned, if planned at all. For example, the project people don’t think flies and vermin will be a problem at all — seriously? This plan is from the same county that lies to us, changes the General Plan at will and has created such an atmosphere of corruption and abuse of power at high levels that it has absolutely no credibility. If this is indeed the best place for the shelter, they sure need to prove it to us. Gone are the days when we give this county’s government our blind trust.

LAUREL STROUD
Placerville

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 8 comments

  • go back to the cityJune 25, 2013 - 6:18 am

    @ Laurel Stroud-go back to the suburbs. NOW

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  • WhattheheckJune 26, 2013 - 7:34 pm

    Laurel......keep up the fight......they were also thinking about moving the animal shelter to Shingle Spring, but we would scream really loud. Why can't the "powers-to-be" figure out a place to put this shelter that is away from people? Laurel's concerns are real and the county should listen to the existing people who's life will be affected by this shelter........

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  • toni beersJune 27, 2013 - 10:57 am

    It would be great to know what strategy was the most effective in stopping them from putting the shelter in Shingle Springs.

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  • John StaleyJune 27, 2013 - 11:19 am

    Why did the county change it's plan from the one approved in 2006 located at Mother Lode Drive and Pleasant Valley Road, behind the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) station? Especially after spending nearly a half a million dollars to purchase the land and another 1 1/2 million dollars to build a road to the property? That location is approximately 10 acres and can accommodate, with no impact to a residential area, all the animals, including livestock. Livestock doesn't belong next to a residential area (approximately 100 feet!). Dogs and cats in a building are okay and welcome, but livestock is not! Keep fighting for our right to live in an area free of contamination from urine and feces, as well as vermin and bugs, that will become a huge issue with livestock. The bigger issue - rotating livestock in pastures to control dust, etc. is not feasible with a property of less than 5 acres and the plan to build at least two additional buildings. There already is a 10,000 square foot building that takes up significant acreage! That doesn't leave very much land to create more than one pasture for rotating livestock, does it?

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  • TataJune 27, 2013 - 4:50 pm

    It would cost more to move the dirt so they can build than the property is worth.

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  • KC StaleyJune 27, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    They should have figured that out before they spent $2 million of our tax dollars on it.

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  • John StaleyJune 27, 2013 - 11:33 am

    The existing building is actually over 21,000 square feet and there is also an existing parking lot that takes up acreage. Again, that doesn't leave very much land to create more than one pasture for rotating livestock, does it?

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  • KC StaleyJune 27, 2013 - 11:43 am

    An acre is 43,560 square feet. With an existing building of over 21,000 square feet, existing parking lot, planned building of two additional structures, including a barn, the remaining land for pastures to accommodate livestock very minimal. Looks like the 10 acres purchased in 2006 is a much better fit for the needs of the animal shelter.

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