PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Letters

The Region Builders’ initiative is a scam

By From page A5 | April 28, 2014

EDITOR:

Another El Dorado initiative was recently filed by Region Builders, a Sacramento-based commercial developers group. A goal of Region Builders is to lower road improvement fees for their commercial development projects.

We all pay state gasoline and fuel taxes. Every year, the “state” returns $9 million of these funds to El Dorado County for local road maintenance and safety projects.

Region Builders solution to lowering their road improvement (TIM) fees is to take our $9 million a year share of state gas tax revenues.

The Region Builders initiative language reads: “U.S. Highway 50 capacity enhancing projects … whenever possible shall rely first on the use of state and/or federal funding for these projects, rather than county TIM fee revenues.”

So, the net effect of this language is: (1) our $9 million a year share of state gas tax funds shall permanently be used to make Highway 50 improvements for new development (rather than for local road maintenance), and (2) developers can’t be charged county TIM (road) fees for Highway 50 improvements (except in limited circumstances). What a sweet deal for developers.

Region Builders also want more homes to provide more customers, so their initiative includes language to allow new housing to be approved based on just having a “10-year plan” to make future road improvements — rather than requiring that needed road improvements actually be completed.

This is what the fight is about. Highway 50 in the west county has reached Level of Service F (LOS F equals stop-and-go, gridlock) during commute hours. The current General Plan policy does not allow LOS F traffic. Some politicians and developers are intent on changing these General Plan rules. Local community groups insist the county stop approving large housing projects because Highway 50 has reached maximum capacity. We live in a rural environment and want to keep it that way

Region Builders doesn’t want to control growth and they don’t want to pay their way. Region Builders’ initiative is a scam.

BILL CENTER
Coloma

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