Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Too much El Dorado Hills

EDITOR: Again, a large housing development is looming in El Dorado Hills — and amazingly it is right where the beautiful, public golf course was located a few short years ago. Makes one wonder what came first, the offer of a major developer to buy the land, or the closure of the course. How long has all this been in the works? The public will never know — so many decisions are made over coffee (and money) and leave no trail. Big business always seems to win.

A major concern should be, where is the water coming from? All we hear from EID is conserve, conserve, conserve, which is evidently being done well — witness the brown summer lawns (or could it be no one can afford the ever increasing rates?). “Miscalculations” of EID years back sent us from a moratorium of no building to mass building as Serrano and multiple other developments appeared. Seems to me that there is an ever present concern for drought as the snow pack varies yearly, and yet thousands of new people could soon be sharing our water supply?

Streets and freeways are overcrowded and frustratingly slow. Smog is moving into the foothills. More and more we are resembling L.A. and Orange County.

Does the “increased tax base” really compensate for the loss of what makes El Dorado County great — our rural lifestyle surrounded by nature at its best? Are our county supervisors and planners carrying out the will of the people? What does it take to stop this rampant growth? Public meetings to solicit input are a joke as it is rather a given — decisions have already been made. Do we have any voice these days?

KATHERINE ALLEN
Diamond Springs

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 33 comments

  • EvelynMarch 27, 2013 - 5:03 pm

    Q & A: 1. Does the “increased tax base” really compensate for the loss of what makes El Dorado County great? NO 2. Are our county supervisors and planners carrying out the will of the people? NO 3. What does it take to stop this rampant growth? Total collapse 4. Do we have any voice these days? Possible ONLY if not contrary to powerful special interests

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  • Jethro McSwiftMarch 28, 2013 - 7:30 am

    " . . . Possible ONLY if not contrary to powerful special interests . . . " - Like the Delta, Westlands and SoCal water interests? . . . WATER WAR . . . No San Stino . . . No Marble Valley . . . Powerful interests will keep us "quaint", rural and . . . Oh, BTW . . . thanks for the water . . .

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  • EvelynMarch 28, 2013 - 8:07 am

    Jet M: What's a fair amount of additional debt for taxpayers to assume and pass on to future generations to give developers what they want, thereby (possibly) ensuring that the county doesn't lose water rights and overriding what apparently are the wishes of today's Shingle Springs residents?

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  • 1036-FrankApril 08, 2013 - 8:49 am

    The truth is that developer's are always trying to pull a fast one on the people who are viewed as mere peasants and annoyances. The newly elected Supervisor Mik, has so far, tried to vote for resident concerns and has been outvoted in a corrupt power-play of the BOS and developers. Until a few more on the BOS are voted out, it looks like the old pattern will continue allowing green-light re-zoning and density bonuses most of the time in a pay to play game of developer's first, voters second and hope the peasants don't remember during re-election campaigns.

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  • red white and blackandblueApril 08, 2013 - 12:58 pm

    Hey Frank. Are you not a conservative/capitalist? Is this not what you vote for?

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  • 1036-FrankApril 08, 2013 - 10:56 pm

    I am against corruption, buying votes, dishonest politicians from any party and anything that isn't in the best interest of the people who live in the county. This will always be why I take up an issue locally. It may seem strange to be mostly conservative and slightly libertarian and be against developers, but I hate to see good ranch land paved over, I am from an old ranching family so the land to me is the most important thing here. I will always stand against corruption, vote buying, shady deals, dishonesty by elected people and those who try to violate existing zoning by using corrupt planners, lawyers and politicians.

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  • Sean OApril 09, 2013 - 8:59 am

    Build baby Build! I'm so tire of the complaining no growth Nannies in this county. They are always in other peoples business and try to run this state like the gestapo. This place is nothing like LA or Orange Co. Thats because LA and the OC has a lot of JOBS!

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  • go babyApril 09, 2013 - 9:40 am

    Sean, you nailed it. Stack em and pack em. Open spaces are such a waste.

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  • AggieApril 09, 2013 - 9:58 am

    It all starts back with the rancher. The vast majority of cattle ranches have WAC zoning and some form of residential zoning for maximum financial flexibility. Need a few bucks, then sell some property along the road. Next thing you know the whole ranch is surrounded by 1-5 acre parcels and the ranch is in the middle. Now the kids move on, do other things and have no real interest in running cattle or any other agricultural operation. The first step is to roll out of the WAC, but the zoning stays the same which creates future chaos. Eventually estates need to be settled and the family wants the money, not the land. Land use planners and developers are the answer. The first purchasers of land from the rancher eventually become the obstruction to subsequent purchasers. Do as I say, not as I do comes to mind. In the good ole days, the saying was invest in real estate. Not so sure. The real value of the ranch is the land, not the operation. Generations of providing view sheds, working open spaces and a modest life style would seem to have some accrued value. Or maybe not. There is more than one side to every story and this one starts back with the rancher.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 09, 2013 - 10:55 am

    moving away from "guns" and "weed"...and back to the general plan. I agree that the public meetings are a joke--in Pollock a people has already refereed to "key" people...what "key" people? The new advisory board is suppose to run along side the chamber and CEDAPP--so how can it be fair if CEDAP members are on board? The new Economy--sustainability--agenda 21 has rules. that are already being manipulated. The original thoughts...get the community involved. Still less than 1% come to these meetings. Big business is interested in the age group 19-30 yrs olds--none at my meeting. Pollock s meetings are mostly people who want to have some kind of power (not all) In Los Angeles when we make buildings all the same--if one is poor--they call them projects. If one has a little money--we call them gated communities...if one is a senior--they are called senior "villages"--the first big idea out of group-excited about participation--is how much teeth would they have...all I thought about was the state someone had made at a previous meeting, "if they dont paint--we will make them." stack n' pac...we called them apartments...lololol little boxes...all painted the same. We are on septic system up here--where is all the money coming from? The BOS is not a non-profit--it can not just give money away. No one donated the money to the general fund. And even the President doesnt have the "teeth" some of these groups wants. If you like certain rules--move to those communities--where everything is the same. Our next meeting is in May--we are still the poster child. Weed and guns--getting away from development and the New Economy.

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  • 1036-FrankApril 09, 2013 - 11:38 am

    There are many types of property owners with different motivations, some are all profit, some are all greed, some care about the land, their families struggles to keep it, etc. Then there are the ones who come after by inheritance and most want to cash in and live off the profit. The point is for some of us who want to maintain existing zoning in place it is important, it defines this county to have minimum acreage zoning in the rural parts of the county, this should stay in place. I well recall days spent hunting on the old Russell ranch that straddles our county line, now it is all stucco up scale homes. That stucco line keeps heading east. Most want Folsom to stay in Folsom, developers want more Folsom's everywhere, a lot of us don't. For those who want massive growth, there are many places to move to where you can enjoy it, probably your best bet is to return home where you moved from and sit in traffic for hours then come back up the hill and tell us again you want stucco high density everywhere a corrupt developer/planner and BOS can put it.

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  • GlennApril 09, 2013 - 3:24 pm

    Officer Frank; how is the vote going these days between the BOS? When you hear comments from elected officials like Nutting and Bill Schultz that, “we need to get rid of that guy,” I was certain that it won’t go easy for Mik from the get go, veteran or not. Besides Briggs and Nutting I would guess Santiago Dist. #5 would be the third?

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  • 1036-FrankApril 09, 2013 - 4:25 pm

    It is interesting that people voted Mik in to protect what was left on the west end from re-zones that are opposed by the people who have to live near them and deal with them and he was voted down by the BOS, the normal three stooges added a new stooge for the vote. It does speak clearly about the power of the developer on the BOS and the lack of respect for the resident and voter. As Knight found out, it is a risky gamble to have the idea you can fool all of the people all of the time and keep it going.

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  • GlennApril 09, 2013 - 6:02 pm

    Officer Frank: The third stooge? Do you think it’s as simply as, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, or does its go deeper? Maybe some department was caught off guard! I know well the power of the development community, I would bet much better than you do. Could the corruption be within one of the most regulated departments in the state and counties that works in concert with political parties and development money? I find it interesting that many within those regulated areas in El Dorado County managed to purchase homes during the same period of time in district one.

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  • NancyApril 09, 2013 - 6:09 pm

    "What does it take to stop this rampant growth"? RECALL every one of the BOS who votes for these stack em and pack em high growth projects. They work for us. It is NOT the other way around. We voted them in there, lets vote them out. Instead of having meetings to solicit input, begin having meetings to RECALL. Let's tell em we mean business and send a clear message to future elected officials.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 09, 2013 - 6:18 pm

    Nancy--your heart is strong my friend...But I dont think people will come--sad I know. And Im not sure if any one would be more "pure" of heart. I listen to peoples written voices--and I think--they know--they could correct this. I know that people care. I know that people want "more"--more wealth--more power. Most people are just trying to do the right thing--to leave their mark. People have to stand up to fight back--but right now--people are hurt--they are tired. This is when if a carrot is dangled...people follow blindly. Good Luck--really. In my community--I cant get people to see what a joke these ideas of "visioning " are--and unless they are careful--they will lose everything for all of us.

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  • Michael WebbApril 09, 2013 - 7:01 pm

    I supposed all of you no growth "soap boxers" believe you qualify as a local now that you been here 5-10 years. Hypocrits...Please! No logging, no building, no jobs and $4 gas. El dorado County will die on the vine...no pun intened!

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  • Green AcresApril 09, 2013 - 7:19 pm

    Perfectly spoken by a realtor. Are things a little slow Webb?

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  • hippo critApril 09, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    Messr Webb, ure a real heart breaker

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  • TomApril 28, 2013 - 11:07 am

    Back when they were looking to close the golf course, I said "This is the start of a long con". Basically they wanted to develop the land commercially, but there was this pesky golf course lots of people liked. It was perfect for a little family golf outing. How do you close a nice course and build a huge development on it instead? Well, you do lousy maintenance on the course so people want to play it less, and you structure it so that closure creates less negative reaction. Then you sit tight for 5 years until most people have forgotten about it or no longer care, then proceed with overdeveloping an area that has insufficient water to serve the needs we currently have. I remember not that long ago we had a building moratorium and Serrano was only supposed to be about 1/4 the size it eventually became. Should we hit a multi-year drought (a practical certainty), we're screwed. And lets not forget that the EID owes so much money in long term debt that if we cut usage in half they'd just double the rates, as they need the current level of income to pay the bills. Oh, and sorry about the golf course. You'll enjoy the addition of thousands and thousands of square feet of commercial construction right next to the half empty La Borgata and Town Center developments.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 28, 2013 - 12:03 pm

    Tom...I am sorry about your golf course...I am surprised because the thought behind parks and trails--is a healthy life. A few of my family members to fight for the course as being "healthy" my 92 old great aunt still plays.

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  • EvelynApril 28, 2013 - 12:11 pm

    Fran: Whatever the REAL motivation behind the now-obligatory-trails, it is NOT "a healthy life".

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  • EvelynApril 28, 2013 - 12:13 pm

    Tom: Your analysis is all too astute.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 28, 2013 - 12:19 pm

    Evelyn...I agree--but it fits the "theme" live, work and play in "anywhere county" United States of America.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 28, 2013 - 12:22 pm

    close your eyes Evelyn...Sustainable Golf http://www.golfenvironment.org/about/sustainable-golf Tom use this as an argument.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 28, 2013 - 12:25 pm

    http://www.sustainablegolfproject.com/ There are acutally "big" backers--just saying...work ecovillages in for housing...it is a plan

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  • EvelynApril 28, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    Fran: Cease and desist forthwith -- I can't stand the torture! Sustainable golf? I'm not even going to LOOK at your link. Does it mean "waterless" golf played on artificial turf?

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 28, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    Miss Evelyn--I told you not to look. There are many sites for golf--people with big money "love" golf--cant have the courses disappearing...why would "big" money come visit ? I have friends with one goal in life--to find the perfect golf course...no matter what the cost. Ill try to stay away from swimming pools :)

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  • EvelynApril 28, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    . . . because the expensive "water" might be fake?

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  • EvelynApril 28, 2013 - 2:18 pm

    Unbearable. I've just checked. Sustainable swimming pools really do exist.

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  • EvelynApril 28, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Sustainable ice skating as well. Fran: go away!

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  • EvelynApril 28, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    Responding to Next Economy public comment at City Council a couple of months ago Carl Hagen declared himself sustainable. Carl, are you here? Tell us more!

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 28, 2013 - 2:26 pm

    lololol...off to baseball...lololol

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