The Shingle Springs Community Alliance, No San Stino, and Stop Tilden Park appreciate the Board of Supervisors holding a discussion of our request for removal of the Community Region Line (CRL) from Shingle Springs and designating the existing commercial, industrial and multi-family zoned areas as the Central Shingle Springs Rural Center at its meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (For more information about what a CRL is, see the Community Region Line page at ss-ca.net.)
A number of issues arose in the discussion resulting from misunderstandings about our proposal that need clarification. First, a number of speakers and comments by all of the supervisors assume that removal of the Shingle Springs CRL is in some way in conflict with or would delay adoption of the County’s Land Use Planning Programmatic Update (LUPPU). The CRL proposal is entirely a separate track from LUPPU and can be considered independently. LUPPU can proceed at the same time that the Shingle Springs CRL is modified as requested.
Second, several speakers assumed the false premise that removal of the Shingle Springs CRL would result in displacement of planned growth to other areas of the county leading to physical impacts on the environment such that an Environmental Impact Report would be required. Elimination of potential development that the CRL facilitates in Shingle Springs does not in any way change the land use designations or zoning in other areas of the county. Nor would it change the impacts that development in accordance with those policies would allow. The proposed Rural Center designation for Central Shingle Springs allows for the same type of development as the CRL, but in a more limited area where appropriate zoning, streets and water and sewer service is already in place. Contrary to what developers and their attorneys may say, the General Plan does not mandate that any given amount of development occur, so reduction in one area only means that the total amount of development in the County would be less.
What the General Plan, including LUPPU, fails to consider is that according to its 2012 Water Resources and Service Reliability Report, the El Dorado Irrigation District only has public water available for 2,000 equivalent dwelling units (EDUs) for all types of new development in its Western Slope service area from Shingle Springs to the Sierra divide. Reducing the area slated for high-density commercial and residential development (which is what the Community Region Lines are all about) to areas that are the highest priority and where it is most compatible with the existing development pattern is the most rational response to the fact that water supplies are so severely limited. Other communities seeking development should support Shingle Springs’ proposal that will reduce the potential demand for the limited supply of water that is available.
The Board of Supervisors decided to hold a workshop on June 24, 2013 to discuss alternatives for adjusting or removing CRLs and deferring action on development proposals until the LUPPU process is concluded. We are disappointed that county officials appear determined to delay action on a matter we consider vital to preserving the rural character of the Shingle Springs Community, and will continue to press for timely action. We don’t believe the reasons given for inaction are warranted. There are alternatives that communities throughout the county can unite around if the Board of Supervisors continues to ignore the requests of the citizens of Shingle Springs and other communities within the County to protect their rural lifestyle.
FRANK VERDIN AND LORI PARLIN
On behalf of the Shingle Springs Community Alliance, No San Stino and Stop Tilden Park