The Urban Planning Commission continues the CEDHSP project
Last week’s El Dorado County Planning Commission hearing on Parker Development’s proposal to build 1,000 homes along El Dorado Hills Boulevard drew a crowd of residents attending the standing-room meeting , along with about 200 others listening virtually. Ultimately, due to the volume of documentation and its recent availability, the commissioners voted unanimously to continue the hearing until June 9.
“I was trying to get community sentiment in terms of the 500 emails I received,” District 2 Commissioner Kris Payne said of the specific Central El Dorado Hills plan that requires amendment. to the county’s general plan to allow zoning to be changed from high-intensity recreational facilities to medium- and high-density residential on the now-defunct Executive Golf Course at the intersection of El Dorado Hills Boulevard and the Serrano promenade.
Other project details include 11 acres set aside for limited civic commercial use, a 15-acre village park along Highway 50, 190 total acres of open space/parks, 1.5 miles of bike paths and Class I pedestrian streets and a new connection between El Dorado Hills Boulevard and Silva Valley Parkway via Country Club Drive.
As only Commission Chairman Jon Vegna was present at the project’s four previous hearings, the proceedings began with an informative overview for the public and the remaining commissioners. County staff and Parker Development Government Relations Manager Kirk Bone introduced the project, which spans two areas, Pedregal and Serrano Westside (the parcel that contains the golf course).
County attorney Dave Livingston pointed to various conditions of the development agreement, such as a community benefits fee of $4,174 per unit, a contribution of $500 per unit to the trust fund for the county affordable housing, anticipated construction of the $4 million Country Club Drive extension, $500,000 for a crosswalk. , 16.3 acres of dedicated parkland, 100 labor housing units at 80% and 100% of area median income, transportation system funding, and county-neutral fiscal impact.
“We are consistent with the land use policies of General Plan 121,” Bone pointed out. “The only policy we are currently working on is the land use policy.” He then presented a short golf course option just south of the fire station after assuring that substantial resources had been spent trying, and unsuccessfully, to make the original golf course feasible.
“What we committed to do in the development agreement is to give the (El Dorado Hills Community Services District) a year to determine if they want to pursue this type of facility at the north end of the project or a driving range to the south. the end of the project or any combination thereof,” he said, warning that an amendment to the plan would prolong the process, if not restart it. “With our existing zoning and our CEQA document, we have no desire to go back to zero.”
Commissioners briefly discussed land use and traffic zoning, but quickly opened the hearing to public comment. For nearly three hours, residents lined up to talk about topics ranging from open space correlations with lower crime rates to density issues, zoning consistency, asbestos poisoning, traffic, water, school overcrowding, and suspected collusion between county staff and developers.
Several EDHCSD representatives spoke out against the project, including board member Heidi Hannaman. “EDHCSD was not part of the formal team negotiating the development agreement and that is simply not acceptable as the sole government agency in El Dorado Hills,” she said. . “If CSD could just be at the table, I’m confident a good plan could be devised for our community.”
She also echoed the sentiments of many who spoke about the lack of sufficient time to allow for public scrutiny. “The DA draft has just been published, thousands of pages to review,” Hannanman noted, asking for a delay. “I implore you to hold your next meeting in El Dorado Hills, in the evening, so that the voice of our residents can be heard. It’s our town. Please do not ignore the wishes of our residents.
The 2007 feasibility study on the golf course was mentioned by CSD General Manager Kevin Loewen. “We are so far from that. The world of golf and the world as we know it has changed. It has no bearing on where we are,” he said, and called Parker Development’s negotiations with the CSD “fake”.
The prevailing public attitudes were eloquently expressed by HRE Planning Advisory Committee Chairman John Davey, representing several volunteers who have dedicated hundreds of hours to reviewing the project.
“Together with the concerns we had about inconsistencies in the overall plan, land use issues, environmental impacts, traffic flow and the impact on recreational areas, these have all resulted in a cumulative negative impact for the community of El Dorado Hills,” he said. “The benefits are unilateral with massive monies intended to benefit the county and the plaintiff, while the many significant negative impacts and injuries of the project will be borne solely by the current community of El Dorado Hills.”
The only promoter of the day for the project advocated for the rights of landowners. “Parker Development owns this land,” said resident Jennifer Yoder. “They can do with it whatever they want…It’s a horror right now. Why not allow the developer to do what he did with Serrano and create another beautiful village by entering El Dorado County? »
Resident Matt Gugin begged to hold off. “Parker knew this was an open space for recreation, but they think all their political contributions to the Chamber of Commerce are just buying the votes they need to push this through,” he said. -he declares. “We elect our people to represent us. Our reps let us down if they don’t listen to the people who live here and have to deal with the impacts of these developers. »
“I feel like this is all just a show of dogs and ponies today. Political theater is what we call it,” exclaimed resident Tracy Doyle “You represent us. You are public servants. Stop lining your pockets; stop with the backroom business.”
Resident and developer Joe Montalvo suggested Parker move on. “I would say after 10 years of this, it’s been a long ride,” he said. “I’m not against growth, but I think there’s probably a better place to go for growth.”
Final deliberations are expected following oral public comments at the June 9 hearing and written comments may be submitted by then.