By Deb Murphy
With the Revised Draft Negative Declaration documents on the 15-home Kingston Subdivision issued last week, the opening public comment period at Monday evening’s Bishop City Council meeting focused on what Rome Street neighbors to the site, currently occupied by Bishop Nursery, considered flaws in the document.
Terrence Tye and Stan Wooden pointed out continuing issues of the six lots adjacent to Bishop Creek, identified as sensitive areas, contaminated soil removal, street widths and impacts to local schools.
Tye referenced Appendix G of the Revised Draft indicating that purchasers of the lots would build the homes. “What kinds of homes?” Tye asked. Wooden also questioned the aesthetics of future homes.
According to Bishop Planning Director Gary Schley, home builders have to comply with city zoning regulations and present an architectural design and engineering documents during the permitting process. “The City has no design review process,” he said in a phone interview.
However Schley said, as a private subdivision, either a Homeowners Association or the developer, before the final map approval, could develop CC&Rs which would then be approved, or not, by the City.
County staff and Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze assured City Council that Bishop and Inyo County are fully prepared for what everyone hopes will be a monster El Nino winter.
“A basic framework is in place,” said Inyo’s County Administrative Officer Kevin Carunchio, for both U.S. Hwy. 395 closures and local flooding emergencies.
Health and Human Services’ staff have updated emergency supplies. “Either CHP, Kevin or Sheriff Lutze makes the call,” said H&HS Director Jean Turner. “We have our disaster plan in place. We’re ready to rock and roll.”
That disaster plan includes lists of available rooms supplied to California Highway Patrol officers as well as establishment of warming centers and contacting faith-based services and Red Cross.
According to Lutze, the department knows potential shelters in Bishop but there are fewer facilities in the southern part of the county. “We stay in touch with CalTrans,” he said. “We have a good grip on conditions.”
Local artist Janice Kabala presented a rendering of a sculpture incorporating mining augers as part of the public art component of the Warren Street Project. Once grant funding is found and the council approves the piece, the sculpture would be placed in Talmadge Park next to the mining-themed mural.
This led to a discussion of the public art approval process and the decision to hold off on a Council vote until its December 14 meeting. “This piece has been vetted through the Inyo County for the Arts (and others),” said Kabala. “It’s a gift from the Brown family” who supplied the six-feet long augers said to be the first bits used by Union Carbide.