Johnson Valley Weekly Neighborhood News

by Betty Munson


POLICY 4.10 vs SCENIC 247
• A conflict arises between distressing permanent damage to our desert life, and a plan that's good for both the desert and our economy. It looks like it will play out on Thursday, May 24.

The County Planning Commission meets that day to finalize the Renewable Energy Element of the County Plan.
Will they vote for a policy that condemns Johnson Valley and other rural desert communities to a fight against every developer who wants to cover the desert with massive solar fields?
You know, the policy that fantasizes these projects can be compatible with community values; that dreams the destruction can be “mitigated” or repaired.

Or will the planners vote to retain the Policy 4.10 as originally written? It offered defense against the industrialization of our communities, wholesale destruction of the desert, and the scourge of renewable energy resources where they are neither wanted nor needed. The Board of Supervisors removed this original wording of Policy 4.10 last August for further review.

Now we see an alternative: developers’ soft words about phantom economic benefits for us as the energy and the profits both will sail away.

Oddly enough, staffers working on the policy review also hold the reins on the campaign to have Hwy 247 established as a State Scenic Highway. Already a County Scenic Byway eligible for State status, the rules state care should be taken to preserve eligibility. Not a green light for over 5,000 acres of solar panels in the scenic corridor, is it? These are just for the applications submitted since they yankedPolicy 4.10 for further review.

Next Monday, May 21, the Homestead Valley Community Council invites you to Landers Belfield Hall at 3:00 p.m. to see the slideshow for the Scenic 247 campaign. At the same meeting, find out how you can attend that Planning Commission hearing on the following Thursday.

What do you think? Will it be Scenic 247 aiding County efforts to bring tourism to benefit our businesses and property values, or will the County trip over its own feet and allow scraped desert, seas of solar panels, ugly substations, and transmission lines? Not to mention blowing dust, displaced rodents and snakes moving into homes, construction noise, possibly hazardous battery storage, and wasted water in a countryside which cannot afford to waste it.

Come to Belfield Hall, on Reche Rd, about three miles east of Hwy 247 just past the Post Office, and talk about this.

• On May 12, an e-mail was sent to this list, reminding the property owners in Johnson Valley of the Landowners Jamboree on June 9, and to RSVP before May 15, today.

To my surprise every one of those messages came back as undeliverable, the very same list I have used for years. My mailbox filled the last two evenings with notifications.

I hope this JV NEWS goes out OK. Google Help is not very helpful.

Because of this mysterious glitch, you only have a few hours to call me, 760-364-2646, or e-mail me. We want to be sure to have plenty of hamburgers, hot dogs and sides for the free picnic. You also will have a choice of soft drinks, bottled water, raspberry tea, or a Johnson Valley craft beer to drink.

For details, visit http://johnsonvalley.com/events.html

• We saw a lot of people taking pictures! Please e-mail any you have to me at ranchotaj@gmail.com. We’ll see how many we can fit into the next Journal!

• We still need cooks and servers, particularly for the first and fourth Saturdays of each month.

Whether you live here or are a weekender, if you can help out for a few hours on a Saturday morning, give me a call. 760-364-2646.

• The work now underway installing the new septic tank for the Community Center is temporarily disrupting the use of the hall and drive-up access to the mailboxes next to it.

The old tank had corroded, and we needed to replace it. The new modern concrete vault will never corrode.

Had to be done, and costs a bundle. If you would like to contribute toward this necessary maintenance, your donation will be gratefully accepted!

Please mail a check made out to JVIA, to
Johnson Valley Improvement Assn
50567A Quailbush Rd.
Johnson Valley CA 92285

visit www.johnsonvalley.com and make a secure credit card donation by PayPal!

Johnson Valley Community Center
50567 Quailbush Rd.
From Hwy 247, turn onto Larrea Rd,
go 1-3/4 miles to Quailbush Rd. The building is on your left at the corner.

You do not have to be a member of the Johnson Valley Improvement Association to join in on scheduled activities and special events at the Community Center!

The Paul Van Hook Desert Dreams Garden next to the parking lot is open to visitors for free. Alert: kids love the trains, but they should not enter the train layout, it can be easily damaged.

The trains run when the crew is available, and the weather smiles on us.

Off-roaders navigating by GPS - according to Google Maps, the coordinates for the Community Center are
34.3424938     -116.56066880000003.

When you travel to and from the OHV Area, you can legally cross the highway at any of the community roads, but not travel on the right of way. A dirt trail parallels the highway on the north side. Remember to take it easy, watch out at blind corners.

As always, take it easy on the community roads, let’s not offend the neighbors with noise and dust!

If you come up Larrea Road while in or on a green-sticker vehicle, travel on the dirt alongside the pavement. Plenty of parking at the Center.

Betty Munson