This morning, I read a letter about El Dorado County’s latest plan to build the animal shelter right on the border of a residential development.
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It seems to me I’ve been reading about the county finding a site for the shelter forever. The members of People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County (PAWED), who will operate the facility, have faced quite the challenge in finding a place that fits their requirements. They investigated up to 100 sites and had many stops before they arrived at 6425 Capitol Avenue in the Diamond Springs Business Park off Enterprise Drive. They are to be applauded for their persistence, determination and endurance, considering they were dragging a 900-pound gorilla (El Dorado County government) every step of the way.
I won’t go into detail about the shelter’s eight-year timeline and the county’s track record because by now you probably know about the wasted funds, errors in judgment, false starts and endless delays the county was party to, time and time again. Shinn Ranch was supposed to be perfect. Didn’t the county even pay — with our tax dollars — to construct a road on the property for the shelter’s use? Now they say there are too many oak trees and too many boulders at Shinn Ranch. I don’t have the skills to work in the El Dorado Planning Department, but think about it. Weren’t the boulders always there? Didn’t anyone notice the oak trees when the site was up for consideration? Isn’t it the purpose of the Planning Department to plan?
Placing an animal shelter, serving not only dogs and cats but livestock, barely more than 100 feet from neighboring homes appears to be additional evidence the Planning Department suffers from incurable short-sightedness — a case of terminal myopia. I’m sure, in a county of this size, a residential development can’t be the last resort. Really, guys, you can — no, you must — do better.