Community Plan requires the art of listening to both sides

By: Susan Belknap, editor
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There are always two sides to every story. Unfortunately many people only see one side: their own. This one-sidedness is especially ugly when it comes to politics.Tempers flare, blood pressures rise and feelings are hurt when we are unable to listen to viewpoints other than our own. For those readers who have followed the Press Tribune’s coverage of the proposed update to the Granite Bay Community Plan, you know what I’m talking about. There are some residents who have lived in the Granite Bay community for decades, while others are more recent inhabitants. But no matter how many years people have called Granite Bay home, many will tell you it is a community that offers a great deal of which to be proud. There are a number of community organizations that have formed, each with its own mission, yet all dedicated to preserving a way of life they feel is important. Some groups send out e-mails, some have Web sites and others write letters to the editor to the Press Tribune. The Granite Bay Community Association has been around since 1987. This group has been involved with the Community Plan for years. In a conversation last week with one of its members I learned the group doesn’t want to be involved with politics. Its mission is to protect the Plan as it is and to be involved with the process if there are changes to be made. Another organization, Residents Defending Granite Bay, is in fear that “the future of Granite Bay is at risk.” In an e-mail to 500 Granite Bay residents RDGB stated that Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler has plans to rezone 33 percent of the land that is yet to be developed in Granite Bay and that he has asked developers and land owners what zoning changes they want. Uhler’s response to Granite Bay neighbors is that an update is necessary because the existing plan is 20 years old. He also said there is the possibility there will not be any changes. Another organization, is pushing for a recall of Uhler because of what they feel are Uhler’s ties to big development. Uhler’s response to citizen complaints is that he has no hidden agenda to disregard the rural feel of Granite Bay and cover it with strip commercial centers. I suppose no one but Uhler really knows his agenda. As a Granite Bay resident myself, I hope Douglas Boulevard doesn’t become clusters of strip malls. While I was not here when the Community Plan was being formulated, I feel much of the growth that has occurred since I moved here does blend with the existing neighborhoods. The Granite Bay Golf Club is a perfect example. The rock wall along East Roseville Parkway and the entrance to the club along with the median strip just outside the club features rock outcroppings and natural vegetation that offers a sensational show of color with lavender and fringe flower shrubbery. I would much prefer to look at those plantings than acres of weeds and brush that could incite brush fires in severe heat. While I was not in favor of the office/retail area center that was built along East Roseville Parkway in Treelake Village a few years ago, I must admit the building design is visually pleasing and in my opinion, completely blends in with the existing homes in the neighborhood. But let’s face it. One hundred percent of the people will never be happy with 100 percent of any decision that is made. To review the Community Plan is a good idea. To make changes that would take away the beauty and charm that Granite Bay residents appreciate is not the way to go, but everyone has the right to make suggestions. Come June 30, the deadline for submitting a change to the plan, it will be interesting to see how many revisions are proposed. My hope at that time is that everyone is able to listen to all sides of each suggested revision in an effort to see what’s best for Granite Bay. ~