EDITOR: Your news story last week about how Bill Center and I influenced the slow-growth movement in the county over the last two decades was a bit exaggerated (Darth Vader, Voldemort, light sabers?) and gave us far too much credit.
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For the record , a group called “Taxpayers for Quality Growth” led the effort on the General Plan/CEQA lawsuit front during the same period of time we were involved on the ballot initiative front. They successfully challenged the 1996 General Plan EIR and several large development projects. Many of the same group members are involved in the Oak Woodland Ordinance issue. The leaders of “TQG” were Craig Thomas, Steve Proe, Sue Britting, Keith and Josette Johnson, Ray Griffith, Alice Howard and their very high-skilled,“deft” attorneys Steve Volker and Tom Infusino.
Bill and I were part of a group called the Measure Y Committee. Our Measure Y group had a core who met regularly over a 10-15 year period starting in the early 1990s when the1996 General Plan was first unfolding. Our group included former county Supervisor Sam Bradley (who represented El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park), former Placerville City Council members Barry Wasserman and Kathi Lishman, Jan Mathews, Sue Olmstead and former Georgetown PUD member Kris Anderson.
We focused on the ballot measure front. In response to the Board of Supervisors’ very clear intention in 1996 to adopt the highest growth alternative General Plan, our group wrote and led the effort to pass Measure Y in 1998, and it passed by a 61-39 percent vote. Measure Y added some General Plan traffic policies (no gridlock traffic levels) that put a lid on how much new housing development the county could approve.
The news story did get it right that some members of the Measure Y Committee are re-engaging to challenge the proposed 4,000 new home Marble Valley-Lime Rock project south of Highway 50 between Bass Lake Road and Cambridge Road in Cameron Park, as well as to help other community groups strategize about how best to protect themselves from the equally large and threatening projects being proposed in Shingle Springs and the El Dorado Hills areas.
We’re becoming increasingly suspicious that the recent number of massive housing projects totaling over 7,000 new homes, combined with a General Plan Update process called “LUPPU” is an attempt to bypass and undermine Measure Y traffic policy restrictions — so 20,000 more homes can be built without any legal interference.
We’re seriously considering all alternatives to protect our rural qualify of life — including another ballot initiative if it’s necessary.