But supporters and opponents left Thursday night with a ‘no-decision’ by the three board members and the promise of yet one more hearing in what has been a five-year process to develop a bike park in Auburn.
The next hearing date to consider final approval of state-mandated environmental clearances has yet to be established. But the board voted to have it take place no later than the next scheduled meeting of the parks panel Oct. 26.
The three members of the board present at the marathon hearing on the project – Jim Gray, Scott Holbrook and Gordon Ainsleigh – voted in favor of the continuation. The two other directors – Jim Ferris because of medical reasons and Mike Lynch, who was out of town on previously scheduled business – were absent.
Ainsleigh said Friday that he favored the continuance to allow other directors to be present and to study the possibility of another Maidu Drive location nearby.
The location Ainsleigh said should also have a look west of the China Bar entrance to the Auburn State Recreation Area in a clearing off Maidu Drive that could be better patrolled by police and has fewer trees to be cut down, he said.
The location might also be popular with neighbors in the Eagle’s Nest neighborhood, he said.
“”We would have to have Bureau of Reclamation approval and the ability to move quickly in that area,” Ainsleigh said. “With a younger crowd in that area, they might feel different about this. We want to find that out.”
Ainsleigh has asked staff to poll residents near the potential new site before the next hearing date.
“We would throw away $100,000 (in study costs on the current proposed site),” Ainsleigh said. “Odds aren’t very good. But it’s worth asking the question. This could be less painful.”
The possibility of a bike park on the Maidu Drive property, adjacent to Recreation District offices and across from the Placer County Water Agency works yard. drew vocal proponents and opponents at Thursday’s hearing. The district put out 147 chairs and District Administrator Kahl Muscott estimated that as many as 50 people had to stand when the seating filled. The meeting started at 6 p.m. and ended at 9:38 p.m.
An LaBarre, a neighbor of the district’s administrative headquarters, told the hearing that a survey of the neighborhood found overwhelming opposition on several grounds, including traffic congestion,\.Jeff Dunkle, an Auburn resident since 1972, said he supported the park as an opportunity for children to have a recreational option not now available to them.
Eleven-year-old Dash Tebbs agreed, noting it was a chance for kids to be outside and be themselves.
Carol Euwema, another nearby resident, cited potential liability over bike crashes at the site and problems resulting from cyclists using trails not open to them.
“You see the signs about no dogs allowed unless they’re on a leash but 60 percent are off-leash,” Euwema said. “Signs are no good if you don’t have enforcement and if there’s no enforcement, it’s a liability.”
To see the original article in the Auburn Journal newspaper CLICK HERE.