Monday, April 21, 2014

Forecast for El Dorado Hills community development

From page A1 | February 20, 2013 | 8 Comments

Six sprawling specific plans were approved between 1987 and 1998, covering nearly 10,000 acres of El Dorado Hills. Those plans locked in development rights for an estimated 14,000 homes that would come to define El Dorado Hills far more than the villages envisioned by Alan Linsey and Victor Gruen in the late 1950s.

Most of the new homes had yet to be built when the 2004 General Plan was fought over and eventually approved. One of the most contentious issues was the forecast for 32,000 new homes in the county by 2025, including those in the existing specific plans. Most of the new homes would be “accommodated,” in planning parlance, in El Dorado Hills.

Jim Brunello of EDAC predicted that the latest growth projections, due in the next 30 days, will show slower residential demand than the 2004 forecasts, pushing the planning horizon to 2035 or beyond.

Rural areas, by contrast, would likely show greater demand than the 2004 forecast.

The forecasts are important because, in theory at least, the board should use them to drive large land-use decisions, he said, and community councils will want to be involved in the discussion. The councils will also address road policy. Brunello mentioned Green Valley Road, where hundreds of new homes are currently proposed with no planned widening of what locals claim has become a congested and dangerous east-west transportation artery.

“If you want to be involved you better get there early,” Brunello said.

“If my proposal benefits the community; if I have the interest and support of other councils, then I stand a much better chance (of approval),” he continued, explaining the role of councils when developers come knocking. “And if my project meets the community standards, my chances are even better. That’s what we’re proposing. Most developers would prefer the strictest standards over trying to guess what the community wants.”

EID Director Alan Day called the CDAC model “a good way to find commonality with other groups and gain synergy.”

Local real estate specialist and EDAC volunteer Steve Ferry organized last week’s meeting on behalf of the Tea Party Patriots of El Dorado Hills, but made it clear that the Tea Party has no desire to be a community group or even the facilitator.

El Dorado Hills resident Noah Briel is a mixed-use advocate and long-standing EDAC volunteer. “It’s working now,” he said of the CDAC process. “The question is can we take it down to the community level, rather than just have people like Gordon (Helm) and Steve (Ferry) and me up there representing all of you. I’m a good guy, but I’m not you and I don’t share all your concerns.”

The following night Senior Planner Shawna Purvines appeared at the regular monthly Area Planning Advisory Committee meeting and delivered a tight summary of the Land Use Policy Programmatic Update, aka LUPPU, which is the vehicle for the land use and regulatory reform measures currently under environmental review.

Despite the enthusiastic meeting the prior night, her audience was little more than a dozen APAC regulars.

Purvines took the CDAC model one step down, explaining how local councils can formalize a vision by agreeing on their community’s defining qualities, for example: “What makes you Bass Lake Hills?”

Those goals will be expanded into community design standards and a community plan which, in the short term, would have to be consistent with the General Plan and zoning, but longer term could suggest zoning changes or even land use designation changes.

She warned that each council must represent a cross-section of the community, and encouraged the inclusion of land owners.

Purvines said she’s done it before, and the resulting plans created trust and support between the community and supervisors. She promised outcomes that better reflect the will of the community.

The process is not well-suited to conventional meetings, which could drag on for months, she said. High speed facilitated meetings work better, Purvines explained, promising tools and personal assistance to drive the creation of a community plan quickly.

“You want to get plugged into the board sooner rather than later,” she said.

El Dorado Hills residents must first define their councils. Neighborhoods such as Bass Lake Hills, which have yet to build out, are a natural fit for the process, said Purvines.

Residents of older, built-out neighborhoods where residential design standards are less an issue might band together.

She offered large maps of El Dorado Hills, suitable for working out council boundaries, but said someone or some group needs to host the council formation process.

A core group of El Dorado Hills leaders were also set to meet on Feb. 18 to discuss the best way to launch the process locally.


Discussion | 8 comments

  • NancyFebruary 20, 2013 - 7:13 am

    Wait a minute. What happened to the ordinance passed a few years ago in EDC where only 1200 homes a year could be built in this county?

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  • Rob CareyFebruary 20, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    Nancy, you can joke about lack of development which has stricken most if the state. But the truth is, these edac people wish to and will probably destroy our rural way of life and curse this county with the burden if high density mixed use development throughout

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 20, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    The process is not well-suited to conventional meetings, which could drag on for months, she said. High speed facilitated meetings work better, Purvines explained, promising tools and personal assistance to drive the creation of a community plan quickly. If this is like the Pollock Pines meeting--it means meetings are salted--and you are guided towards a certain goal...there is no individualism. And in our case--not many even knew the history of our town--including the name on the building.

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  • Bill E.February 21, 2013 - 7:42 am

    The naysayers complain about a process that reaches out to the public for input in a structured process. However, the real complaint is that they themselves can not build consensus with their neighbors and their own personal vision. These same people do not like debate because they are right and thus everyone else is wrong. These type of meetings should be held, lead by professionals to achieve an end which is a community identity plan. Anything else is herding cats which is no different than what has happened for the past 20 years.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 21, 2013 - 7:47 am

    Bill--have you come to one of our meetings? I have no idea what is happening down the hill--but I know locals--who have been here in Pollock are being insulted. Our next meeting is on feb.25th at 6:00 pm--at our Pollock Pines /Camino community center (that is run by the people--not is a community endeaver.

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  • EvelynFebruary 21, 2013 - 7:57 am

    Bill: You say people (whom you call "naysayers") do not like debate. Having attended the Pollock Pines meeting Fran references, could you please indicate what opportunities for debate you observed built into the structure of that meeting?

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 21, 2013 - 7:58 am

    from the community...(here in Pollock) Who do these people think they are!? My family and I have lived here for over 50 years and we love Pollock Pines, the only thing wrong now days are the Flatlanders who move here and try to change it into a city We who have been here and like it the way it is are the ones who should and will make the decisions for our community. Someone who was very mad at the meeting... I love Pollock Pines and I can't believe the negativity I just read from these people. This was in response to someone saying, "...if they wont paint the places--we will make them..." a NEW BUSINESS COMING INTO OUR TOWN--NEW JOBS...response from our meetings host group...Melissa Markgraf Nyc Seriously? A dollar store? Ugh. I wish it was something that might raise up Pollock Pines. Not cheapen it. Lol...i think I'll avoid the $1 SUP board and the $1 ski equipment....I'd rather live through the experience. 17 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 Tim Roffe What a waste..... Has anyone looked at the general atmosphere at the end of Broadway in P-ville? You know, where the "dollar store" is? Not much for expanding tourism interests... let alone a valuable area that could be so much better... sort of like putting a subway in a spot with an incredible view... oh, never mind. Any chance this “corp” would like to listen to locals? 11 hours ago · Like · 2 Community Economic Development Association of Pollock Pines - CEDAPP There's always that chance, Tim. And this is not the $1.00 Dollar store like in Placerville. The Family Dollar Stores are more like a Big Lots. There's not much in there for only a buck. I made the argument with Evan for a recreational store, but he said there were no takers. Beverly Read Can't believe anyone with $$$ would think this is a good idea. Ugh! I for one will NOT support it. Beverly Read Meaning I won't shop there! This is not a group that is positive...this is a group that only wants what they feel is right...I invite you to our meeting. The rest of us will welcome the new business--because the rest of us are good people--good neighbors. This is not about choices--this is "bullying."

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 21, 2013 - 8:06 am

    one of my favorite comments..."... Not much for expanding tourism interests..." And the other, is the reference to our Subway...the people who have it...have built up that whole area since they were 19 years old...they have the right to do as they please--and have always been big supporters of this town. Again this group wants to control--not debate.

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