On Tuesday, October 24, the Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 1 to approve the re-zoning of a plot of land in Millville so that Board Chair Patrick Jones could turn the residential property into a gun range and sports shooting center. Here is my statement in response to this decision:
The High Plains Shooting Sports Center is an exciting project, for which there appears to be both a need and significant demand in Shasta County. I believe it could be a tremendous asset for our community and the surrounding area – at some point and in some location.
However, we should not be having this conversation now as the applicant is the current board chair, granting him influence or at minimum, the perception of influence on those responsible for making the decision. While the applicant does not appear to have crossed any legal lines, I would hope he, as one who has been so quick to accuse others of corruption, would hold himself to a higher standard and avoid setting this dangerous precedent that political power can lead to massive personal and professional windfall.
Further, when making changes to our community that will dramatically impact the lives of some residents, both the applicant and the supervisors voting in favor of such a change should do what they can to accommodate the requests of those most directly impacted by the change. Based on Tuesday’s board meeting, the vast majority of Millville residents living near the property strongly oppose the rezoning. The applicant should have waited to bring forward this project for approval until he is no longer on the board, spending the added time meeting with his neighbors to understand what could be done to make this project work for them.