When the town's lumber mill permanently closed (one of hundreds in California to do so in recent years) this energetic and determined community organized to convert the site to new uses that would be appropriate and create new jobs. But the community lacked the experience and expertise needed to evaluate economic development options and create a viable plan for dealing with the contamination left on the site.
CCLR assembled a project team that conducted a series of community workshops to focus on feasible uses for the site, and also helped the community secure an EPA grant to perform a targeted site assessment.
North Fork now has a detailed redevelopment plan and a new confidence that is being employed in negotiations with several potential end users.
Economic development planning and assessment of the nature and extent of site contamination must precede land use planning and the creation of a master plan. Highly inclusive community planning processes, facilitated by talented and plain-speaking experts, are an excellent way to achieve plans that are appropriate, economically viable, and community-supported, while also securing competitive advantages with potential users.