Solving Problems with Building Permits for the Next Phase of Construction
Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 11:30am
Since 1997, when the Gualala Arts building was completed, the art center has
been occupying the building under a temporary permit. The original permit
was not finalized because of issues with the old state highway. When the
current Gualala Bridge was completed and the old bridge abandoned, the State
gave the county all its ownership rights to the old State Highway that runs
between Gualala Arts property and Gualala Redwoods property down to the
railroad easement next to the river.
This was no problem to anyone until 2002 when Gualala Arts acquired Moscone
Center's old risers for its stage performances. Gualala Arts needed a place
to store the risers and other equipment that is used periodically and
therefore applied to the County for a building permit to construct the
storage area. The new permit was denied because the final occupancy permit
had never been issued.
Gualala Arts asked the county to finalize the original permit and was told
that it first needed to fix drainage problems along the old road. Gualala
Arts fixed the drainage and was then told that the State's ownership rights
to the old road had to be researched before the issue could be resolved, to
verify whether the road was actually owned property or the State merely had
an easement. At Gualala Arts request, First American Title's Senior Title
Officer researched the historical ownership issues and proved to the County
Dept. of Transportation that the "ownership" the State passed to the County
was simply an easement. The land under the old highway was actually owned by
the owners of the parcels on both sides of it and split on the yellow line
in the middle - so the current owners are Gualala Arts and Gualala Redwoods
At the request of both the County Planning and Transportation Departments,
Gualala Municipal Advisory Committee (GMAC) held a hearing on April 6, found
no negative issues and ended up recommending to Mendocino County that they
vacate the old road easement and sign off on the final permit for Gualala
Arts. As Gualala Arts current and former presidents (Cliff Putnam and Bruce
Jones) requested, this should enable Gualala Arts to apply for building
permits and raise funds for building projects like any other valid, law
abiding organization in Mendocino County.
Thanks to the Frank and Helen Klembeck, Michelle Marshall, Jim Grenwelge,
Paul Styskal, Cliff Putnam and Bruce Jones for attending the GMAC meeting
and presenting Gualala Arts' case.
The final step in the process (we hope) will now take place when the Board
of Supervisors holds a Public Hearing for the Old State Highway Road
Vacation Petition on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 at 11:30 a.m. We will need to
make sure that the issues are again presented at that time.
Sign up to carpool for the trip to Ukiah by calling the Gualala Arts office
at (707) 884-1138.