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Caspar Community Meeting: May 2005
Caspar meets to discuss many plans
The future of East Caspar will be the main topic of discussion (but not the only one!) at the Sunday, May 1st meeting of the Caspar Community. The event is scheduled to begin at 3:00 PM at the Caspar Community Center.
"For Sale" signs have sprouted on large tracts of land in and around the village of Caspar, properties currently owned by the Caspar Cattle Company. The focus of the meeting is a 60 acre parcel south of Fern Creek that extends east from Highway One beyond Caspar Orchard road and which includes a large and productive water system. As currently zoned, six residences could be built on this land, though with zoning changes the density could be much greater.
Judy Tarbell, Caspar Community Board President, hopes that the Casparites, particularly those who live near this parcel on the east side of the highway will come to the meeting and share their ideas and hopes for the area. "If we can develop a vision for the future of this land we can work to bring that vision to reality in a manner that works for both the community and the Caspar Cattle Company."
Since its founding in 1997, Casparites have developed similar plans and visions for other parts of their community, which have resulted in the purchase of the Caspar headlands, beach, and cemetery as public land, as well the creation of the Caspar Community Center in the building that once housed the old Caspar School.
Also on the agenda for the May 1st meeting will be an update of plans for the Caspar Children's Garden to relocate to a location southeast of the Community Center. For years this much-loved pre-school facility has flourished on Pacifica Drive, but it has outgrown the water and sewage services that can be provided there and must move or close. There is a tentative agreement for a lease of land to the Children's Garden by the Caspar Community so that they can build a new facility. Carey Knecht will be presenting a plan for parking on the site to accommodate both school and Community Center needs. Knecht is a graduate student at UC Berkeley who has worked on development plans for Caspar before.
The third topic of discussion will be the possibility of adding a commercial kitchen to the Community Center. This would greatly increase the center's usefulness for banquets and other major events. The kitchen could also be rented out for cottage-industry type projects, allowing food to be prepared for sale in local stores. But the board of directors envisions a use beyond these. "From the beginning, Casparites have said they wanted a bakery or a café in town," explains Judy Tarbell. "The return on investment to buy land and build a commercial facility probably makes that option unfeasible. Amalgamating it into the Community Center gives us a better chance to make it happen." The pros and cons of this proposal will be explored at the meeting, and ideas and opinions welcomed.
As usual the meeting will end with a pot luck dinner, giving everyone a chance to chat with neighbors. All north coast residents are welcome to attend.
written by Jerry Juhl for the Mendocino Beacon, for publication 28 April 2005
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