The photo illustrates the narrow road shoulder the public must navigate to access the bike/pedestrian trailhead from the parking lot. (Photo: Lunch)
There was a packed house at the Mono County Planning Commission meeting Thursday morning, March 8 held at the Town/County Conference Room.
Many were present to discuss proposed Specific Plan Amendments to John Hooper’s Rock Creek Canyon Project.
Ironically, the part which most interested the public had nothing to do with the Plan Amendments, but rather, involved a staff-approved Encroachment Permit into the County right-of-way along Lower Rock Creek Road at the curve where the old Paradise Restaurant stands.
Opponents say the split-rail fence installed along both sides of the road about five months ago is an eyesore. They also feel it interferes with snow storage and compromises pedestrian safety between the designated parking area and the trailhead.
Under the current arrangement, pedestrians have to cross the stream in one location via a 4.5-foot wide road shoulder walking against traffic.
The public wants Hooper to build a pedestrian bridge instead which is set back further from the road.
This obviously costs money.
Hooper countered by saying, “The experts [County Staff] told me what to do,” in regards to traffic safety.
Planning Commissioner Steve Shipley suggested the responsibility for such an improvement might lie with the county, “Why would we be asking a private property owner to improve a county right-of-way [property Hooper does not own]?”
This issue heads to the Mono County Board of Supervisors for review next month.
As to public concern that there is a conspiracy to close off the trail at some future date to make Glen Court (in the Paradise neighborhood above Rock Creek Canyon next to the fire station) the primary trail access, Mono County Principal Planner Gerry LeFrancois said this is not the case. “Glen Court was never intended as a primary access point.”
For his part, Hooper added, “The Glen Court thing … wasn’t my idea.”