The Honorable Don Young House of Representatives Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs
1337 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
RE: Testimony for the Record Legislative Hearing on H.R. 2538 June 17, 2015
Dear Chairman Young, Ranking Member Ruiz, and Members of the Subcommittee:
I have been a resident in Windsor, CA for 21 years. I am writing to please ask to STOP any legislation that would allow the Lytton Band of Pomo Indian’s land to become a sovereign nation near Windsor, CA. This would have an adverse effect on the small Town of Windsor and its residents. What I love most about Windsor is the rural location of my home, the beautiful oaks at the end of my street and the peaceful, quiet location. Allowing the proposed 500+ acre Pomo development in the rural area in and near Windsor would harm the peaceful and natural beauty of where I live. Over 1,000 blue oaks, many over 300 years old, will be cut down to build on this land. The community wants to maintain the rural nature of the area. We don’t want to turn our rural areas into sprawling suburban tracts built without land use and zoning rules.
The proposed 400 home housing development, the 200 room resort and winery of the Pomo Indians will be detrimental to the environment, natural and town resources, will impact the schools that are already suffering and cause traffic problems. We are in the worst drought in California history, where the residents of Windsor do not have enough water to maintain their properties. This is not the first drought nor will it be the last. The Lytton Project would deplete limited water resources without regulation. Currently, there is no spare water in the area, whether from the Town of Windsor or from groundwater. Such a large project is inconsistent with current land use rules and it should not go forward. As a sovereign nation, there will be no taxes collected from the Pomo’s but the Town of Windsor will be expected to provide water, Emergency Services, Fire and Law protection, expand schools and somehow accommodate the increased traffic flow in an already congested area going into town.
Additionally, it is my understanding that this land does not have any historical connection to the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians and it is directly adjacent to a town. This land has been privately purchased over the years. The 500+ acres is not contiguous but is spread over an area 2 miles long and over 1 mile wide. Neighbors on all sides are affected, so it affects hundreds of homes and ranches spread throughout the area.
What concerns me the most, is that the Town Counsel of Windsor has been negotiating with the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians without informing or listening to residents of Windsor. Please consider having Congress wait until the Town of Windsor holds an election on the project. The Lytton’s have asked the Town to provide water and sewer services to the site, but the lands are outside the urban growth boundary set by the Town. Land use enactments prohibit the supply of services outside the urban growth boundary. The Town and the Lytton have indicated plans to hold an election to repeal the restrictions and include the Lytton lands within the Town’s urban growth boundary and have threatened to construct wastewater treatment facilities, including an effluent pond and spray fields next to a dense housing development, if the Town refuses the request. If Congress takes the land into trust, it will deprive the Town of any effective choice. Please, Congress should wait until the Town holds an election, and then evaluate the situation based on that vote.
Douglas G. De Vries
9428 Kensington Court
Windsor, CA 95492