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September 29, 2023

Jensen Lane wood lot alarms neighbors

Neighbors on the eastern edge of Windsor are battling over the
appropriate use of 17 acres located at 1295 Jensen Lane.
Tension between the Ross family — owners of the acreage — and
some of their nearby neighbors has existed for several weeks. The
original point of contention was how the property fits into
Windsor’s General Plan — a subject which the Town Council
discussed in mid-September. The Council decided unanimously at that
time that the property is, in fact, part of Special Study Area D.
This decision made more difficult the family’s efforts to develop
the property.
Last week the neighborhood feud escalated again when diesel rigs
began arriving and depositing loads of eucalyptus logs on the
Ken Marshall, whose subdivision lot backs up to the Ross
property kept a record of trucking activity during the week. He
said that, between Monday and Thursday, at least 25 loads of logs
were delivered.
On Thursday the town of Windsor delivered a letter to the legal
property owner, Bette Ross, which stated, in part, “We visited the
site and were informed that the logs are to be cut up and sold as
firewood. This type of use is considered a commercial business. The
property is located in a residential zoning district, which does
not allow commercial businesses.
“Please discontinue the business immediately and relocate the
logs to a site that allows this type of commercial business.”
Marshall said that he counted seven more incoming loads of logs
on Friday.
According to Mark Ross, son of Bette Ross, he did not receive
word of the letter until late Friday afternoon. “That’s why the
logs are still sitting on the truck,” he said of a loaded trailer
still parked on the property Monday afternoon. “I told them to stop
right then.”
Marshall and his next door neighbor, Mark Smith, whose property
also abuts the Ross property, said they are concerned about public
health and safety issues — rats and skunks, vagrants, and the risk
to neighborhood children who might think the log pile is a good
“What happens when some little kid gets killed?” asked
Smith noted that a fence at the end of Prince George Way had
actually been removed on October 25, allowing easier neighborhood
access to the property. The acreage is clearly posted with no
trespassing signs however.
Michael Ross, another Bette Ross’s sons, believes that there are
other motives behind the neighbors’ resistance. “Mark Smith doesn’t
want any people to live behind him,” said Ross. “He wants one house
every 10 acres. We’re zoned for three to six per acre.”
Michael Ross still maintains that the Jensen Lane property is
not in Special Area D.
Smith insists that he is not trying to keep the Ross’s from
developing their land. “The neighbors are not opposed to
development of the property,” he said. “We just want it to be done
in a planned, orderly way. We do not oppose them developing their
Mark Ross said that the logs are part of a green waste recycling
project initiated in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The
non-indigenous eucalyptus trees are being eliminated from the
coastal site.
Rick Harding, a Eureka timber operator, has contracted to remove
the trees from the recreation area. According to Ross, Harding
plans to buck them up into 16-inch lengths on the Ross property and
then transport the wood in smaller trucks to Eureka where it will
be sold as firewood.
Mark Ross said that the logs currently on the property are about
two-thirds of what’s slated for delivery. It has been his
expectation that the firewood project will be completed no later
than next July. He said that he is sympathetic to the neighbor’s
Town officials and the Ross’s met on Monday to discuss recent
Pauletta Cangson, Assistant Planner for the Town of Windsor,
said that the letter delivered to the Ross’s last week was “based
on the complaint of a neighbor … We are re-thinking portions of
that,” she said. “We have additional information that the Ross’s
have supplied us.”
Cangson said that the town is analyzing zoning ordinances, field
conditions, the neighbors’ complaints and the information from the
“We’re still investigating and assimilating information.” said
Cangson. “We are not taking a position at this point. There are two
sides to every story. It’s not my position to take a side … The
Ross’s are working with us and they have been very
Cangson acknowledged on Monday that there have been several
complaints from neighbors. She said that she anticipated a decision
“in the next couple of days.”


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