Swauger Creek

GOAL 6. Distribute and regulate residential land uses in a manner that minimizes impacts to natural resources, supports low-impact recreational uses on wildlands, and preserves and enhances agricultural resources and wildland recreational and research values in areas adjacent to rural residential uses.

Objective 6.A.

Provide for a sensitive pattern of future land development.

Policy 6.A.1. Future subdivisions in the planning area should recognize the inherent limitations of the land and the environment when determining appropriate parcel size and uses.

Action 6.A.1.a. Encourage minimum parcel sizes within the planning area based upon the sustainable carrying capacity of the land. The sustainable carrying capacity is to be formulated based upon Natural Resource Inventory maps and site visits by Area Planning Group members.

Action 6.A.1.b. Unless otherwise determined based on Action 1.1, encourage a minimum parcel size of 40 acres within the planning area.

Action 6.A.1.c. In assigning land use designations, indicate the minimum parcel size.

Action 6.A.1.d. Encourage consolidation of undersized parcels and/or land trades of same with public and private agencies interested in preservation of habitat (i.e., Nature Conservancy).

Action 6.A.1.e. Maintain liaison with USFS with regard to land trades that may affect planning.

Policy 6.A.2. Minimize the impacts of development.

Action 6.A.2.a. Encourage sustainable agricultural uses, both commercial and private through lobbying efforts and possible tax incentives.

Action 6.A.2.b. Restrict construction or improvement of roads within the planning area to the minimum necessary for access under the planned land use. Layout and construction of roads will be controlled by Natural Resource Inventory maps and site visits by Area Planning Group members.

Policy 6.A.3. Agricultural uses should be assigned an agricultural land use designation.

Policy 6.A.4. Forest clearing or cutting in old growth stands on west- or south-facing slopes on private lands shall not be permitted without careful demonstration of reforestation potential for similar vegetation or the benefits for wildlife habitat or other environmental stewardship purposes.

Policy 6.A.5. Encourage fence design to facilitate the migration and movement of wildlife, with particular attention given to sage grouse, deer migration routes, and protection of wildlife from highway traffic.

Policy 6.A.6. Preserve the rural and wilderness character while allowing cottage industries and agricultural uses.

Action 6.A.6.a. Restrict location and size of all signs, in conformance to the county Sign Regulations.

Action 6.A.6.b. Restrict commercial uses to those compatible with the goals and objectives for the area (examples of incompatible uses include trailer and mobile- home parks, service stations, mini marts, landfills. Compatible uses would include agriculture, small recreational touring facilities, etc.).

Objective 6.B.

Protect visual resources in the planning area.

Policy 6.B.1. Future development shall be sited and designed to be in scale and compatible with the surrounding natural environment.

Action 6.B.1.a. Develop design guidelines that ensure a minimum architectural standard that is compatible with the visual and scenic environment.

Action 6.B.1.b. Consider establishing a Design Review District for Swauger Canyon, in accordance with the provisions of the Land Development Regulations (LDR).

Action 6.B.1.c. Adopt the design guidelines for the Design Review District as part of CC&Rs and attach to deeds on all properties within the Design Review District.

Action 6.B.1.d. Encourage utility companies  to develop an overall plan for the underground installation of all utilities within the planning area.

Policy 6.B.2. Protect areas identified as open viewsheds or significant viewsheds.

Action 6.B.2.a. Work with the Area Planning Group to identify open viewsheds and significant viewsheds and to develop specific design guidelines for those parcels.

Action 6.B.2.b. Assign Scenic Combining Land Use Designations and Land Development Regulations to such areas to protect scenic values.

Action 6.B.2.c. Parcels identified as having greater than 50% of their area within an open viewshed should be restricted to a minimum lot size of 80 acres.

Objective 6.C.

Maintain existing air quality throughout the planning area and discourage any action that could degrade that standard.

Policy 6.C.1. Maintain clear and pristine air quality in the planning area.

Action 6.C.1.a. Require all woodstoves installed in the area to be certified EPA Phase II, in conformance to policies in the  Conservation/Open Space Element.

Action 6.C.1.b. Encourage use of renewable energy sources (wind, solar, hydro). Consult with appropriate agencies concerning tax incentive programs for the development of domestic renewable energy sources.

Policy 6.C.2. Minimize impacts of construction on air quality.

Action 6.C.2.a. Construction pads should be designed to minimize areas disturbed and construction-related traffic shall be restricted to limited and predefined access routes.

Action 6.C.2.b. Once construction is consolidated to the building site and adjacent regraded or otherwise disturbed lands are released from construction activities, revegetation and rehabilitation efforts shall be implemented, using appropriate seed mixtures or other suitable means such as jute mats or erosion-control netting. Within the area, perennial rye-grass mixtures have proved effective with proper site preparation, and seed sources are available.

Policy 6.C.3. Minimize impacts of roads on air quality.

Action 6.C.3.a. Development of new private roads should be limited to those necessary for access to private residences; shall comply with the Mono County Fire Safe Regulations; should consider how to minimize visual impact; the type of construction (drainage, culverts, road bases and finishes) should minimize dust and erosion problems. Construction on designated wet meadow areas should be prohibited.

Action 6.C.3.b. Discourage new general public travel roads throughout the planning area.

Action 6.C.3.c. Restrict the speed limits on all secondary roads to 25 mph.

Objective 6.D.

Improve water quality and maintain the existing stream-flow regime, in order for residents and visitors to enjoy a high quality of life.

Policy 6.D.1. Development shall demonstrate adequate service availability, including water supply, sewage disposal, and utilities, in a manner sensitive to the existing natural environment. The inability to demonstrate the availability of services, such as adequate sewage disposal, is sufficient reason for development to be prohibited altogether.

Policy 6.D.2. Consider mapping of all permanent and ephemeral surface water sources within the planning area

Policy 6.D.3. Approve parcels of adequate size and location so that septic tank discharges and the various chemicals that development brings into an area do not contaminate either surface or ground water. Large parcel size and limited number of dwellings per parcel will help to ensure a high quality of water.

All existing and proposed building sites should be meticulously examined for septic tank and leach field suitability. Septic installations should not be permitted in wet meadow areas, in areas with a high water table, or on slopes in excess of 45%.

Policy 6.D.4. No net increase in runoff should be permitted. Future development projects shall provide a drainage and erosion control plan that complies with standards established by the Public Works Department.

Policy 6.D.5. Alternate methods of sewage treatment that are more compatible to the area than septic tanks, such as composting toilets, should be considered.

Objective 6.E.

Maintain and enhance wilderness habitat through conservation of energy.

Policy 6.E.1. Reduce overall consumption of all nonrenewable forms of energy, through conservation and use of renewable sources.

Action 6.E.1.a. All residential parcels shall be mapped for solar access sites.

Action 6.E.1.b. Use of superinsulation and passive solar construction for space heating in all structures should be encouraged through the use of tax or fee incentives.

Action 6.E.1.c. Non-solar building sites should be required to use superinsulation techniques to reduce heating loads and costs.

Action 6.E.1.d. Domestic water heating should be augmented through the use of:

  1. Batch solar heaters (or preheaters) on solar sites,
  2. Use of instantaneous water heaters (gas or electric) that will eliminate standing losses.

Action 6.E.1.e. A schedule of Energy Incentives should be formulated, in conjunction with Mono County, to implement this policy.

Policy 6.E.2. Encourage responsible production of renewable forms of energy.

Action 6.E.2.a. Promote use of renewable energy through tax and fee incentives, as in Policy 1.

Action 6.E.2.b. Discourage out-of-area sale of energy produced by any means.

Action 6.E.2.c. The Area Planning Group may develop a regional reforestation plan using only native tree species.

Objective 6.F.

Protect the recreational values in the area.

Policy 6.F.1. Establish area-wide pedestrian access to the waters of Swauger Creek; this has been accomplished in the Swauger Canyon area through the use of public easements, and should be extended to other areas if not already done.

Action 6.F.1.a. Fishing access to all sections of Swauger Creek should be encouraged on public and private lands.

Policy 6.F.2. Promote the safety of area residents and visitors.

Action 6.F.2.a. Consider amending Chapter 10.64, Firearm Discharge, of the Mono County Code to include private lands in the residential portion of the Swauger Creek Planning Area as a prohibited area for firearms discharge.