In March 2018, the Amador County Planning Commission determined that operations at The Hideout, a wedding venue and event center near Kirkwood, are inconsistent with the county zoning code for the R1-A zone district (see related story in previous e-Focus)
. The landowner appealed this decision to the county Board of Supervisor.s The board did not reject the commission determination. But rather than enforcing the existing code, the supervisors directed staff to identify a way to somehow make the nonconforming land use consistent with the zoning code.
In September 2019, after several attempts at drafting ordinances that were deemed unsuitable or inappropriate, staff returned to the board for direction on which of four possible options to pursue. Option 1, to have the owner request rezoning the property to "Planned Development" and apply for a conditional use permit, was the option supported by staff and by Foothill Conservancy. Under this option, the required CEQA analysis would be paid for by the applicant. Other options would have opened up considerably more land in the unincorporated area to similar developments, or entailed reviving ordinances that were defeated previously in draft form. All other options would have required more-extensive CEQA analysis at taxpayer expense.
At its September 24 meeting, the board accepted staff’s recommendation to go with Option 1, and the landowner agreed to meet with staff to discuss how to go about applying for the zoning change and appropriate conditional use permit.