Sunday, 01 August 2021

Jenichen: Hidden Valley Lake boondoggle

In the community of Hidden Valley Lake, north of Santa Rosa, its homeowners association plans to ignore faltering infrastructure and the demands of climate change in favor of an $8-plus million golf clubhouse.

The building project comes before the Lake County Planning Commission on April 8.

The 6,000 residents of the subdivision have fought bitterly with each other about the project, often golfer vs. non-golfer, over the last seven years. During those years the likelihood that the proposed “Hartmann Complex” will sooner or later be flooded by one or more atmospheric river events has become increasingly apparent.

The project site shares a high-risk flood zone designation with nearby homes that have been repeatedly flooded. The flood waters don’t come primarily from rising creeks, but from runoff trapped due to inadequate and unmaintained storm drainage infrastructure.

Some residents, including those on higher ground, have also argued that stepped-up wildfire measures should take precedence over relocating and expanding the clubhouse, whose public restaurant is already heavily subsidized by the HOA.

We hope the public will urge the Planning Commission to reject this boondoggle, or at least make it contingent on resolution of long-standing disputes between governmental entities regarding storm infrastructure responsibilities.

Barbara Jenichen is president of HVL Now. She lives in Hidden Valley Lake, California.

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