Stevinson Ranch Community Plan and EIR (in progress)

Under contract to Merced County, EMC Planning Group began preparing the Stevinson Community Plan and Community Plan EIR but due to economic circumstances the project is currently on hold. The Stevinson Community Plan boundary includes the unincorporated town of Stevinson in Merced County and encompasses approximately 4,000 acres at the intersection of State Routes 165 and 140. The project area includes the following habitat communities and land uses: agricultural (including field crop parcels, a dairy operation and a turkey farm); degraded saltgrass grassland; annual grassland; riparian woodland; riparian and seasonal wetlands; and developed and heavily disturbed areas. Other habitat features include a network of large canals and irrigation ditches that occur on the perimeters of the field crop parcels. Special status species that occur or have the potential to occur in the plan area include San Joaquin kit fox, giant garter snake, Swainson’s hawk, valley elderberry longhorn beetle, western pond turtle, burrowing owl, and nesting raptors and migratory birds. The community plan and EIR will serve as the basis for a general plan amendment, rezoning, planned development, and tentative map entitlements. In order to comply with CEQA and adequately address potential impacts to biological resources and to accommodate future permit requirements, a suitable project design and mitigation strategy for these special status species and associated habitats is being created.