More than 55 people, some toting protest signs, from the West Hilton Drive neighborhood met with Supervisor Bruce McPherson’s legislative analyst Robin Musitelli on Wednesday night at the SLV Museum to voice concerns.
The neighbor’s concerns center chiefly on safety as large logging trucks traverse the one-lane roadway. They say there are no places to pull off to allow trucks through, and that children often play or walk on the roads because there are no sidewalks. Concerns over the current condition of the road, and water infrastructure underneath the roadway were brought up, too.
Additionally, the neighbors do not feel they were notified properly of the plan, a 112-acre timber harvest project numbered THP 1-13-082 SCR, when it was first proposed last September.
Musitelli updated the neighborhood on what McPherson’s office is doing to help aid the effort.
“We’re working with (The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) to get Hilton Drive taken off altogether. That’s the goal.” Musitelli told the crowd.
She said Bloom Grade Road has been evaluated as an alternative route, but that nothing has moved forward.
Musitelli said McPherson’s office has little authority over the approval of the plan, but that efforts will be made to change the plan. Cal Fire has the ultimate authority to approve timber harvest plans.
Musitelli said she will set up a public meeting with McPherson and representatives from Cal Fire to discuss the concerns, ask Cal Fire to re-circulate the Timber Harvest Plan for public comment, ask Santa Cruz County Public Works to repair West Hilton Road’s many potholes and to continue efforts to have Bloom Grade Road used as the logging truck route, instead.
Musitelli said she would update neighbors who sign up for an email list on the progress of the application. For information or to sign up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 454-2200.
Additional information can be found at www.fire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_forestpractice_thpstatus.php