Minor modifications proposed to subdividing Scotia

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Subdivision plans for Scotia are being reconfigured to be less disruptive to neighborhoods and commercial businesses, more affordable, and more logical.

There were five phases in the original subdivision project approved in 2009 and the modified plan also includes five phases, but as proposed, the phases will now be smaller, more feasible, and more manageable.

The phase plan reconfiguration was filed Jan. 15 and must be approved by the Humboldt County planning director. "Town of Scotia has requested that the reconfiguration be found in 'substantial conformance' with the subdivision approved by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors," said Scotia President Frank Bacik. "As such, we believe that the reconfigured phases may be approved as a ministerial action by staff," he added, "without further discretionary review or adjudicative process."

Bacik said it is not unusual for most subdivision projects to require some phase modification before being completely implemented. Several circumstances have changed since the original subdivision was approved, to warrant the proposed reconfiguration.

The original phase one of the subdivision project included almost the entire central residential neighborhoods in town. "At the time the tentative map was first prepared, the economy was yet robust," Bacik said, "and the market promised to absorb as many homes as might be made available for purchase ... . " The new phase one includes a smaller residential area and the Scotia Shopping Center.

Another change is with property ownership in and surrounding the town of Scotia. When the subdivision plan was first approved, the Pacific Lumber Company was the sole owner of the property, which is not the case today. At least three new lots have been established by an approved merger and lot line adjustments. These are the Humboldt Redwood Company sawmill parcel, the cogeneration power plant parcel, and the Scotia Inn parcel.

New information gathered from a survey, engineering study, and design work performed since the 2009 subdivision approval also supports modifications to the project for technical and practical reasons. This is related to storm drain and sewer system improvements which need to be developed, implemented, and operated in the context of gravity

"We are proposing the subdivision of Scotia be taken in smaller bites," Bacik said. "We foresee this reconfiguration producing fewer traffic detours, limitations on noise and dust, and less heartache for residents. Overall," he added, "it may also move up the time when some of the smaller phases are completed and homes may become available for sale sooner."

Photos by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Both these houses on Church Street and the businesses in the Scotia Shopping Center are included in the first phase of the original subdivision plan and also in phase one of the proposed reconfiguration.