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Friday, September 5, 2008

Golf Course Bulldozes Through Calaveras Oaks With No Permits, No EIR

September 2008

California Oak Report

Environmentalists Call To Arms
The Ridge at Trinitas. Remember that name. Trinitas is a 6,800-yard PGA tournament golf course, including electronic scoreboard, allegedly constructed for private use by the developer's family and friends. This Sierra course was built without any plans or drawings being filed in the public domain, no permits and zero environmental review. Now, a private/public golf course and expanded resort, including $50,000 individual and $75,000 corporate memberships, an overnight lodge and initially 13 exclusive home sites, are being proposed in a revised draft environmental impact report (RDEIR).

Trinitas acknowledges that the 116-acre golf course site has been extensively transformed from a contiguous oak woodlands habitat to a picturesque but unnaturally fragmented recreational landscape. By the developer’s own admission many old-growth oaks were removed to finance the golf course.

The project record indicates that the Trinitas golf course developer moved to Calaveras County in 2001with the express purpose of building the investor-driven golf resort currently proposed. Assisted by delinquent County officials, the usual permits and environmental review weren't required. Neither the applicant nor county should be rewarded for these transgressions.

Trinitas’ circumstances are unprecedented in the nearly 40-year history of CEQA and the RDEIR is as deceptive as the golf course that spawned it. This project in fact violates the very essence of CEQA. Therefore, the only appropriate project alternative is Alternative 1, no project, removal of the existing Trinitas golf course.

Individuals and conservation organizations concerned about Sierra natural resources are urged to send public comments to the Calaveras County Planning Department or Robert Sellman, Planning Director, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA 95249. Comments must be submitted by September 29, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. COF's The Ridge at Trinitas public comments are available upon request.

For more information, see from the
Stockton Record article (“Calaveras hits stump in tree law ordinance”).

California Oak Foundation thanks you.

For an update on COF's Sierra oak woodlands conservation efforts, see the recent TSPN-TV, Amador County news feature.

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