The county Planning Commission approved a request submitted by the El Dorado Hills Community Services District to add new facilities to El Dorado Hills Community Park at its June 14 meeting.
The new recreational facilities will include a basketball court, four batting/pitching cages, a restroom, a multi-use trail, and a foot bridge over New York Creek.
Mark Riemer, El Dorado Hills CSD interim parks director, said a separate proposal for a dog park would be submitted later.
In a separate action, the Planning Commission voted to continue a request by David Girard Vineyards to allow the use of an existing facility at the winery for up to 100 special events per year including live music, weddings, charitable events, and other gatherings for up to 320 people.
County staff had recommended approval of the request but numerous residents spoke against it.
Bridget Heifner said the vineyard was not a suitable venue for concerts and said the noise from a previous party at the winery could be heard “at her front door.” She also objected to the traffic generated by events. Barbara Winje, another resident, said she had filed a complaint with the Planning Department but had received no response from the winery. She also claimed the winery had no permit for the amphitheater they had built. Another unhappy resident was John Altmeyer who complained about the traffic and amplified music and said property values would be affected by the increasing commercialism at the winery.
In response, Judy Collinsworth, Girard’s agent, said that two sound studies had been made and that concerts have been going on at the facility for six years. Previously most of the special events had been in May through October, she said, but with the addition of an amphitheater they were now able to hold events year round. Collinsworth said the concerts were consistent with the Winery Ordinance and requested that there be no limit on the number of events held each year.
In the discussion that followed among the Planning Commission members, Commissioner Tom Heflin said the project didn’t meet county standards. At a minimum, he said, the project required a mitigated negative declaration, given that even the noise consultant said it exceeded allowable noise levels.
Deputy county counsel Paula Frantz agreed, saying that mitigation measures were required for the project. Frantz also pointed out that the request by the applicant appeared to be for 148 special events, not 100, and unlimited concerts with amplified music required a special-use permit.
Commission Chairman Dave Pratt suggested there was a need to do more noise monitoring and that the request by the applicant for unlimited events was unreasonable. He also said there was a need to clearly define how often amplified versus non-amplified music would be allowed and where on the property and what hours the music would be allowed.
The commission then voted unanimously to continue the special use permit off-calendar to allow staff to work with David Girard Vineyards on the environmental documents and on the other items discussed by the commission.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or email@example.com. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.