The historic and uninhabited 2,341-acre Marble Valley extends 4.1 miles southeast of Highway 50, briefly visible between the Bass Lake Road and Cambridge Road interchanges, both of which are slated for makeovers that will let them serve the project without creating undue congestion.
The proposed plan supports between 2,307 and 3,235 dwellings, most of which are clustered around a 60-acre, mixed-use village center built around the 10-acre lake — a strategy that keeps infrastructure costs down.
The freeway proximity, low carbon footprint and recycled water make the project green enough to potentially qualify as a “sustainable community,” under the state greenhouse gas initiatives, according to the project presentation.
The lake could be used to store recycled water. The valley also includes bountiful wildlife and spectacular views. A planned 500-acre foundation park at the south end will contain hiking and bicycling trails.
Like its sister projects to the west, and its adopted brother, Lime Rock, to the north, Marble Valley will provide trail connections to surrounding environs, including the El Dorado Trail and Bass Lake Road.
A large, freeway-visible site for the long-planned Marble Valley Center for the Arts sits at the entrance. The site could alternatively host an Intel, Blue Shield or Health Net-sized corporate campus.
Howard, an unabashed wine lover, designed Marble Valley as the gateway to the El Dorado County wine country, and included roughly 50 acres of working vineyards, some of which will surround a gateway mile that evokes Fair Play or Somerset.