Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Group eyes ballot measure

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.

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.



Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 25 comments

  • robertdnollJuly 04, 2013 - 12:48 am

    developers and their politicians,these despoilers need to be defeated

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  • foaming at the mouthJuly 04, 2013 - 4:43 am

    guys and lols

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 04, 2013 - 6:42 am

    As I understand it, the water delivery infrastructure is already running above capacity. Where do these developments plan to get their water?

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  • robertdnollJuly 04, 2013 - 7:02 am

    we have to conserve,cut back,share and pay more when we do

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 04, 2013 - 10:11 pm

    Kirk, even though your "cordial invitation" to coffee together fell to a rather unfortunate fizzle flop I am exceedingly glad that you are making progress toward accepting my take on EID's infrastructure requirements. We really should coffee together so that your enlightenment does not sputter and come to naught. Thank you for assisting me in my efforts to inform the public with respect to the costs of killing San Stino, Marble . . . Parker . . .the Greek what's-his-name If you are ever able to compose a "cordial invitation" I'll be more than happy to consider . . . but in your own un-cordial words, " cut the nonsense, and get real."

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 04, 2013 - 7:23 am

    Kurt asks, " Where do these developments plan to get their water?" ANSWER: LINK - 2013 Integrated Water Resources Master Plan

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 04, 2013 - 7:33 am

    Jim Moor, please include in a prominent position within your "Ballot Measure" a cost study projection of water rate increases required to "keep it rural". EID HAS TO BUILD A THIRD LINE WEST. . . even without San Stino, Marble et al. Please, Jim, disclose the cost of low growth.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 04, 2013 - 10:15 am

    Jim Moor, do you have a plan to present to EID and EID's rate payers to mitigate the cost of . . . LINK - 2013 Integrated Water Resources Master Plan Keeping it rural is not free.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 04, 2013 - 3:24 pm

    Jim Moor, it would be highly irresponsible to pluck the "keep-it-rural" harp string in your up-coming ballot measure without an objective analysis of water rate increases attendant to your measure's objectives. LINK - 2013 Integrated Water Resources Master Plan Counterintuitively, lower growth requires higher water rates.

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  • Foaming at the MouthJuly 04, 2013 - 4:20 pm


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  • robertdnollJuly 04, 2013 - 5:46 pm

    what is it worth to keep our roads from becoming more dangerous and gridlocked.a three acre fire and our roads and electrical grid was shut down for five hours in most of the county

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 05, 2013 - 6:42 am

    Looking at the whole problem is the only reasonable approach. There are costs and benefits associated with no, slow, moderate, fast, and out of control growth. Unrealistic EID policies during past periods of out-of-control growth have left EDH at risk, and all of us on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars to remove that rist. I doubt that returning to out-of-control growth is the right answer.

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  • Susie O.July 05, 2013 - 7:59 pm

    Jim Moore, I hope that you are aware that the Zoning Ordinance Update is being written by Cindy Schaffer and Kathye Russell (developer, and the other a real estate consultant type who works for developers) and Valerie Zentner, EDC Farm Bureau Executive Director. It is NOT being written by the Planning Department staff anymore - thanks to Kim Kerr. So the foxes are in charge of the hen house. Jim and other County watchdogs need to be watching the Zoning Ordinance Update, because it's not like these three (along with their EDAC/LUPPU volunteer buddy Jim Brunello, another developer/land use lawyer) have community interest at mind and don't have a very strong agenda to work against the current residents of El Dorado County.

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  • Susie O.July 05, 2013 - 8:08 pm

    Oh, and these developers/consultants were the folks that pushed the changes to the Oak Woodland Management Plan - changes that caused a lawsuit to be brought, and for the judge on that lawsuit to declare judgment against the County for a great expense of money. They influence most of the Board of Supervisors. Well heck, much of the BOS always argued over who got to go to the Monday night developer meetings where they strategized, prior to the Tuesday BOS meeting. Now that two of the good ole boys are gone, hopefully that will not happen as much. Right. Apparently most of the BOS is still letting these developers influence them, because they are still writing documents and guiding the process. Shame. On. You.

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  • robertdnollJuly 06, 2013 - 5:57 am

    if a developer builds twenty houses on five acres will the county hire one more deputy sheriff?

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  • NonsenseJuly 06, 2013 - 7:46 am

    The new zoning ordinance has been written by staff and is now going through an Environmental Review. There has been regularly held meetings in which the public could see the format and the content. Until the new zoning ordinance is implemented, it is land use, not zoning, that will determine the use on the property. It is state law based upon the most current map. Jim Moore and Bill Center have said much and put exactly zero down on paper. They are floating a concept to see if there is enough support to move their "plan" forward. Both have TIM fee issues as a result of their Measure Y handiwork. They came back and quietly worked with BOS to modify their measure to remove "unintended consequences" which had directly affected their own personal plans. Now they are back again so it is easy to presume that the last changes were not enough to solve their personal project issues. But they mean well, er.. make that have something to gain. Such nice people....

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  • EllenJuly 06, 2013 - 9:31 am

    Phil, you are right it is counter-intuitive. Your link is to a 268 page doc that most people generally don't have time to read! Narrow the focus if you want anyone to see it.

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  • 1036-FrankJuly 07, 2013 - 8:04 am

    Once the Sac developers ran out of land and water they headed east to bribe their way to subdivide to quarter acre lots and pillage the land and bribe their way here and it has worked well, what's a few hundred million in public debt to connect their projects to EID anyway because every cost they can pass on is one they don't have to pay. If anyone wants to look at a rural border county and look at what this used to be, drive to Amador and you will step back in time to what this was and what it could of been now before the developers bought their local politicians and had the public pay for their water expansion needs. Also important is Folsom has just told their residents they are going to have to cut back and conserve water so that the area south of 50 can have the city/lake water for the strip mall developers, the same developers who promised to pipe the water up from Sac until they found out the cost and then changed course to grab water from the city which violates a measure the people voted on.

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  • Same old storyJuly 07, 2013 - 8:47 am

    Moore & Center have lost all credibility. If our county is to navigate these difficult matters, we should not be listening to those guys any further. Citizens of this county should not accept trial balloons that intensify conflicts. We need solutions not rhetoric.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 07, 2013 - 9:21 am

    Same old story, Yes! Thank you. 1036-Frank offers a very convoluted and fundamentally false narrative. Many factors have combined that restrict players on the development playing field to deep pockets from outside El Dorado County. Such is the result of land use planning, environmental protection, Jim Moore and Bill Center, litigation and maudlin emotionalism. I offer an example to earlier days. Up to 1957 EDC was one of the world largest producers of pears. And then pear decline hit. Before 1958, when pear decline was found in El Dorado, the county produced more than 52,000 tons of pears from 3400 acres. During the next few years, pear production was severely affected by the disease. By 1962, less than 8,500 tons were produced from 2,350 acres. One of the pear ranching families was the Wilkinson family. The Wilkinson brothers, unencumbered by land use planning, the EPA, Bill Center, Jim Moore and legions of lawyers tore out the orchards and planted houses - the "Wilkinson tract" off Coloma Rd. - Roxana Dr. etc. They had land. They had water( Amador County is a desert compared to EDC.) El Dorado County as a bedroom county began in 1957. Land use planning began around 1975-76. Bill Center began rafting in the 70's and took Coloma's "rural" and placed it in his portfolio. Don't follow hypocrites!

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  • robertdnollJuly 07, 2013 - 10:54 am

    if developers build forty houses on ten acres will our roads have less traffic?

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 07, 2013 - 11:05 am

    Traffic will increase. Buy a freezer. Build a large pantry. Buy a food dehydrator. Drive to the store once a month. Subscribe to Netflix. Nest, ignore and MYOB. Drive the length of Nevada's Hwy 50 once a year and be grateful.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 07, 2013 - 11:05 am


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  • PvillejackJuly 07, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    El Dorado County should be very wary of the stuff that can be pulled to sell out our county to the developers. Just take a look at Placer County to get a glimpse of our potential future.

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  • 1036-FrankJuly 07, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    If people want more growth from high density development then let the people vote on it, if at the same time people want to protect what little rural is left, let them vote, same goes for EID expansion to serve any new high-density proposals by use of public funding. What I hear is the majority wants to protect zoning as is where is. What is feared is the county is yet again trying to side-step what the majority want with developer plants acting for their own benefit and interests.

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