Milling complaint whittled away

By From page A3 | December 18, 2013

The El Dorado County Planning Commission decided against a hearing regarding a special use permit after the reason for the hearing became moot.

A contentious matter that pitted a homeowner against several business owners, Placerville resident Bert Keeler wrote multiple letters, including one to the Mountain Democrat, claiming that Sundance RV, Boat & Mini-Storage was in violation of its special use permit because of the amount of milling work that was taking place at the site.

Zoned for commercial use, a special use permit had originally been approved by the Planning Commission in 1999 to allow an outdoor lumber storage area in conjunction with Lodi Lumber Company’s building supply store. A cutting saw was available for a limited amount of cutting for customers.

In 2000, a revised special use permit was approved for the site that allowed RV and boat storage and self-storage structures, a temporary mobile home, outdoor sales of manufactured homes, a manufactured home that served as a sales office and storage of outdoor building materials.

Since 2012, the county has received numerous complaints from Keeler, whose property adjoins Sundance. In his letters to the county, he described excessive noise created from saws, planers, an air staple, nail guns and hammers used in the process of constructing sheds and other items.

Subsequently, planning and code enforcement staff visited the site and viewed some of the saws. However, one of the owners told them they were to be sold. Additional noise complaints led county staff to believe that manufacturing was taking place at the site, which the special use permit does not allow.

Based on their visits, the planning staff concluded the use of the power equipment was not in compliance with the special use permit and that a hearing should be held to determine if the project complied with the conditions of the permit; if the use violated those conditions and a hearing should be established to revoke it; or that the applicant was eligible to apply for a revision to the special use permit to bring them into compliance.

Tom Van Noord, one of the owners of Sundance, said he didn’t believe their business was out of compliance. Only one individual has complained about their operation, he said, and that was Mr. Keeler. Since the complaints have been made, the objectionable equipment has been transferred to El Dorado Northern Lumber Company, Van Noord said, adding that Sundance currently consists of just the lumber business and storage.

Reaffirming that was Rod Pimental, owner of El Dorado Northern Lumber Company, who said since August, he had been doing all the milling for Sundance at his site.

Steve Jobson, another owner of Sundance, said all the big saws had been moved but they continued to do some cutting with a miter saw as needed.

Keeler admitted that since September, everything had been cleaned up at Sundance. “I’m happy. The last couple of months have been a joy,” he said, although he went on to say that the company should do something about their overhead lights and a fire hydrant was needed.

The commission agreed there had been problems at the site but because of the changes made subsequent to Keeler’s complaint, the commission voted unanimously that the company was now in compliance with the conditions of the special use permit and no further action was required.

In a separate motion, the commission directed staff to follow-up on the conditions originally approved in the 2000 Special Use Permit. That motion was approved 4-1, with commissioner Walter Mathews voting no.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

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