Cambria Christmas Market must clear a number of hurdles to proceed

Agencies need to give their blessing; questions remain, and a stop-work order is in place

ktanner@thetribunenews.comOctober 3, 2013 

Cambria Pines Lodge hosts a German-style Christmas Market complete with a light display, artisan shopping, food and live holiday music. Donna Hoppe, of Cambria, gazes up at the lighted tunnel entrance that greets visitors to the display in 2012.

LAURA DICKINSON — ldickinson@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

The Christmas Market is still on the calendar at the Cambria Pines Lodge, but when or whether the nearly monthlong holiday fair will happen this year is up to several agencies that would approve permits for the event.

The proposal wasn’t on the North Coast Advisory Council’s Sept. 18 agenda because the fair’s plan is being revised and county staff is reviewing details “off calendar,” according to planner Xzandrea Fowler. But that didn’t stop informal discussion at NCAC so council members could hear where things stood on an issue they’ve already reviewed at least twice.

As most recently planned, the fair would run from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays during the holiday season, also expanding the ever-growing display of holiday lights at the Cambria Pines Lodge.

Among the issues raised Sept. 18 by council members, Fowler, Supervisor Bruce Gibson and audience members were: providing enough parking; pedestrian, traffic and public safety; erosion control; the overall size of the event; and how it’s to be placed on the wooded path between the lodge and Cambria Nursery and Florist.

Persuading the public not to park on surface streets even if they’re marked “no parking” would be part of the problem, according to Laurel Stewart, a chairwoman of the Land Use Committee.

She also said a temporary event, such as the market, isn’t supposed to be held within 1,000 feet of homes. She wanted to know where on the lodge property that measurement would begin.

Fowler said the project will go through development-plan scrutiny, rather than the less intense review for a minor use permit.

She said sorting out and resolving the issues is likely to take several months, with consideration by the county Planning Commission (and, if appealed, the county supervisors and the California Coastal Commission), and the project would go back to the council before any final decisions are made or a permit granted.

Fowler said there’s a stop-work order on the project and that no work related to the market is to be done to the property until that order is lifted.

For more information on the event, visit www.cambriachristmasmarket.com.

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