Some people in Paradise concerned about proposed log yard

In Paradise, there are still 9,500 parcels with dead or dying trees that need to be removed, and now the planning commission has to choose five yards to start logging and processing wood.

Posted: Apr 28, 2020 8:56 PM

PARADISE, Calif - In Paradise, there are still 9,500 parcels with dead or dying trees that need to be removed, and now the planning commission has to choose five yards to start logging and processing wood.

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Some community members expressed concern to Action News Now about their concerns for one of the proposed sites:

"Someone's gotta pick up the flag and take the charge," Bill Hartley, a resident from Paradise said.

Retired police officer Bill Hartley said over the years he's investigated many wrecks at this curve on this Skyway just east of the Crossroads, "And in police circles, we call this Deadman's Curve."

The project estimates about 285 trucks a day dropping off and stacking log piles 20 feet high."12 hours a day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. creating traffic noise and air pollution, this is the wrong site," he said.

Hartley told Action News Now the planning commission ok'd this site without a traffic plan.

"I felt this was putting the cart in front of the horse the traffic study should've been done first," Hartley said.

Action News Now spoke with the property site owner Dave Anderson with Anderson Brothers. He said he understands concerns for traffic in that area, but the trees need to be removed as soon as possible and could cause further damage if this keeps getting put off.

Anderson said if they don't get dead pine trees that haven't been removed since the Camp Fire down soon, an infestation of *bark beetle* could jeopardize the living pine trees and this spread will activate the most during the summer-time.

Anderson said Cal trans still needs to submit a traffic plan for his company to move forward, and then the town council has to approve it.

"This is a residential area and should be moved to an area where there are no homes around it," Hartley said.

Hartley said he suggested to the town the property at the Tuscan Ridge Golf Club, an area that he said is already deemed a commercial site.

"This is a residential area it was zoned residential it was not zoned for this purpose," Paul Farsai said.

Paul Farsai is the property owner of the Blue oak Terraces which is located right next to the proposed logging site.

"It will affect the air the water system over here – the noise, " he said.

Farsai told Acton News Now he submitted documents to the planning commission that they did not address, he said they only addressed to need for a traffic study.

Farsai said he's concerned they are breaking the law.

"It's very unusual and frustrating to all the members here and we communicating through email and many of them wrote their opposition and it appears they were all ignored," he said.

"It's important that we safeguard as many people as we can and that we have the ways to do this and we can do this," Hartley said.

Both Hartley and Farsai filed an appeal against the site on Thursday.

The town council will hear the concerns at their meeting on May 12.

Farsai said if the council doesn't side with him he will take this to court.

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Dead and dying trees could pose a danger to living trees:

It's an insect called the bark beetle, they latch onto dead and dying pine trees and lay their eggs.

Certified arborist Tom Gomez says with the beetles thrive in warmer weather.

While these pine beetles have been around for years, Gomez says the stress from the Camp Fire and the lack of rain is making the trees more vulnerable and the beetles more active.

Gomez says the only way to slow the spread is to get the dead trees out now.

"They’re somewhat the size of a ladybug they will move onto another stressed pine tree and make an attack on it so they’re moving from green tree to green tree and if the trees weak which these all are – they can make a successful attack," he said.

While bark beetles burrow under the bark of the dead or dying tree and lay their eggs, the danger comes from beetles that attack living trees – damaging or killing them.

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People in favor of the proposed log site on the off the Skyway near the Crossroad:

This lot right off the crossroads is where they’ll stack the wood from dead and dying trees.

The town chose these sites to haul the trees too that don’t fit under Cal OES's program, mainly those trees on private roads.

Dave Anderson of Anderson Brothers owns this property.

He says they submitted a temporary use permit to the Town of Paradise.

It’s good through the end of the year and allows them to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, using up to 285 trucks a day.

Anderson says they most likely won’t work that long or use that many trucks. he just put down the maximum because once approved he can’t add to it.

Also originally the company was going to collaborate with Cal OES, but now they aren’t and operation will be based on how much funding they receive with their non-profit.

"I think people need to realize that one it is temporary and two we gotta get this cleaned up it’s a serious hazard and it's just going to get worse and we’re running out of time," Luke Bellefeuille, lives in Paradise.

"It will affect the air, water system, the noise," Paul Farsai is the property owner of the Blue Oak Terraces – located right next to the proposed site.

"The state program is going to put stuff on the property right next door the old Walmart piece so the objections people have about noise and traffic it's going to exist with that state program anyways, this is at least a local developer, a local business now that’s going to operate as a nonprofit and going to serve our citizens and that’s what we need to do," said Steve Woody Culleton, lives in Paradise.

"I've lived near this side, in fact, my backyard backs up to this property and I've heard many crashes on this curve behind us," said Bill Hartley, lives in Paradise.

"We have a tentatively approved plan before we submitted the application it was reviewed by town engineer and chief of police they both said this is workable we can come up with an approved cal trans plan," said Dave Anderson, property owner with Anderson Brothers.

Anderson says they’ll be putting in a temporary crossroad – they won't be using the original crossroad just down the street.

He says he’ll submit the traffic plan to the town in the next few days.

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Alliance Builders Foundation partnered with Anderson Brother's to help community pay for tree removal:

The partnership is to secure a log yard and help people remove dead or dying trees on their property’s using their non-profit organization's grants and funding.

The project is under the town’s ordinance which extends to the end of the year.

Dave Anderson says they’ve been working since December to obtain the proposed log yard across from the Skyway Crossroad.

General manager for Mel Davis says they’ll work to gather funds once the site is officially approved by the town council in May.

"People that have some funds fine, some that don’t fine, they can come to us and we can help supplement the cost to have the loggers come in and remove the trees," Davis said.

"ABF is totally dependent on receiving grants funds and donations and if we don’t get those then we may be running minimal hours if any at all that’s why it so important for everybody to understand what we’re doing for the town to get on board we need everybody’s help," Anderson said.

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