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Parker unveils plans: Marble Valley, Serrano Westside, Pedregal and Lime Rock projects incuded

Parker at lime kiln

Bill’s Kiln – Bill Parker, left checks out the historic lime kiln in Marble Valley with Adrea Howard, right, and Tom Howard, next to Parker on one of their 43 site tours over the last year and a half. Lime was quarried extensively in the area as far back as the 1800s. Early mining operations processed the lime onsite in kilns, a process of “liming” which drew off carbonic acid leaving lime in its caustic state. A final “slaking” process turned the lime into a paste used to make bricks, mortar, paint and plaster. It was also a critical ingredient in glass, which is why the Gallo brothers bought the adjoining parcel. Democrat photo by Mike Roberts

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From page A1 | November 14, 2012 | 9 Comments

Parker Development officials unveiled proposals for four large residential projects this week. If approved and built, the projects will further shape the community Bill Parker helped define, pumping more than $1 billion into the local economy, bringing jobs and providing rooftops local business owners say they need to survive.

El Dorado Hills is young enough that some of its creators are still around. Founder Alan Lindsay is gone, but the next two in line — Tony Mansour and Bill Parker — are still here, having apparently survived another recession, eager to resume plans that have sat on the drawing board for years.

Parker is 1,000 lots shy of completing Serrano, the planned community he launched 22 years ago. The current proposed projects will likely take at least that long, he said.

He credits some good years at the front end of the housing bubble for providing him the wherewithal to launch Marble Valley, Serrano Westside and Pedregal.

The three projects made their first official appearance at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Nov. 13, when proponents asked permission to hire an environmental consultant. It was the formal initiation of what will likely be a contentious, multi-year approval process. It was approved on the consent calendar.

Westside and Pedregal are infill projects designed to reflect and accentuate their environs. They provide parks and trail amenities that connect to El Dorado Hills Town Center, the Raley’s Center and the struggling La Borgatta.

Marble Valley contains long-ignored mining relics, including a century-old lime kiln and a dramatic obelisk, both of which will be preserved and accentuated as attractions that include an outdoor amphitheater, event center and historical park. The project also pays homage to the El Dorado County wine country, and will feature working vineyards along a scenic gateway mile and a wine information and sales center that will feature local products.

The proposals evolved during an unprecedented year-and-a-half of multi-hour project briefings and site tours for neighbors, local officials and civic groups, a total of 66 meetings and 43 site tours.

Large custom lots on the site boundaries became wildlife corridors. Trail amenities were altered, and Native American history was added to the mining history in a planned cultural center.

Legacy in the making

Parker gave his vice president of construction, Tom Howard, a blank slate and orders to come up with a harmonious design that showed the land in its best light, while creating affordable, easily accessed, walkable communities with target amenities that would attract residents and visitors alike.

“Bill asked me to put together the best project I could,” said Howard. “I had no target acreage or unit numbers … we added it all up when we were done.”

In short, Parker asked Howard to create a legacy that they’ll share not only with each other, but with El Dorado Hills and the entire county.

But first they’ve got to get it approved.

Approval process

Marble Valley and Lime Rock are being proposed as separate specific plans. Serrano Westside and Pedregal were combined into a third, the Central El Dorado Hills Specific Plan. The approval process will run separately but simultaneously for all three specific plans, each of which will require an environmental impact report.

El Dorado County General Plan amendments are required to change proposed land uses.

On Tuesday the proponents got the go-ahead from the Board of Supervisors to initiate the process by approving the environmental consultants who will measure the impacts and propose mitigations. They hope to hold pubic scoping meetings in March 2013. Draft EIRs could be available as soon as October 2013.

Multiple public hearings will be held before approval of the final EIRs, which the proponents hope to achieve by the end of 2014.

Owners of property within 500 feet of any of the proposed projects will receive a letter within the next week that recaps the approval process and invites them to sign up for detailed project briefings, which are available to the general public as well.

Project Websites containing the presentation are available online at parkerdevco.com. Select “developments” and then select a project to sign up for a briefings or view the presentation.

Infrastructure

Traffic studies commissioned by Parker Development indicate that the proposed projects will create few, if any traffic problems. Only the short stretch of Latrobe Road in front of Town Center is projected to increase to the critical Level of Service F within the 10- to 30-year project time frame.

Improvements already planned for the Bass Lake and Cambridge interchanges will more than suffice for the 30-plus year window for the completion of Marble Valley and Lime Rock, according to the studies.

El Dorado Irrigation District has yet to formally weigh in, but Parker Development officials indicate that the Deer Creek Wastewater Plant, adjacent to the Marble Valley project, has ample unused capacity, and EID also has enough water rights to support the proposals.

Parker explained that the cost of transporting that water and the balance of the necessary infrastructure into Marble Valley is one reason the project needs to be much larger than the old 398-lot plan the county adopted for the prior owner.

Economic impact

The as-yet incomplete economic analysis will break out the anticipated jobs and millions of dollars of up-front fees and ongoing property taxes paid to cash-strapped local agencies.

The Gallo family estimated that construction of their 800-lots would generate up to 2,000 direct and indirect jobs — total economic output up to $350 million — and up to $75 million in fees, with an ongoing fiscal benefit as high as $350,000.

Parker’s numbers will be larger, likely exceeding $1 billion in total economic output, based on estimates made early in the planning process.

He nonetheless worries that residents will balk at the size of the projects. “They don’t understand that if I were to propose 1,000 lots in Marble Valley I’d be sued by the attorney general,” he said, a reference to the California’s aggressive enforcement of the housing provisions in the state’s greenhouse gas initiatives.

“If they don’t let us do this, they’ll end up with an even larger development,” he added.

“It sounds like a lot of units, but it’s not really, given the land we’re working with,” said Howard. “We’re not trying to milk the last unit of this. These are realistic proposals that are an appropriate use of the land. I feel good about it.”

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Discussion | 9 comments

  • Phil VeerkampNovember 13, 2012 - 10:16 am

    RE: - "El Dorado Irrigation District has yet to formally weigh in . . . EID also has enough water rights to support the proposals." - Water rights are one thing. Treatment and distribution capabilities are another. It is doubtful/arguable that EID has the treatment capability. But it is a fact that EID lacks transmission capability to support this development. The two gravity transmission lines delivering water from Sly Park and from 184 are presently running at capacity (summertime). Water for this development will have to be lifted from Folsom and processed at the EDH plant and pumped ($$$) to Bass Lake Tank. Some healthy portion of cost for these treatment and distribution infrastructure upgrades needs to be borne by the developer.

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  • RickNovember 14, 2012 - 9:04 am

    Just with this county needs another batch of styrofoam cookie cutter junk houses. Walk to entertainment walk to work agenda 21 internment camps. Also where is the water going to come from Eid can't keep supplied people they have now. Anyhow like I said this county does not need any more of those low quality construction like they have a soprano I've worked on these homes for garbage

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 14, 2012 - 1:21 pm

    Greg Prada! Where are you? HELLO!!??

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  • J. WilsonNovember 14, 2012 - 11:18 pm

    I love this quote from Parker in the article, “If they don’t let us do this, they’ll end up with an even larger development,” he added. Hmmm. Sounds like a threat.

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  • Sue TaylorNovember 15, 2012 - 11:37 pm

    It's a bummer they own such a cool piece of history. They look like they are wondering how are they going to knock down those rocks... If they really want to create jobs - open the mine back up and grow cattle. Was not the golf course mitigation for Serrano?

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 10:34 am

    <Greg Prada, Where are you? Greg, are you really, REALLY, actually concerned about EID rates? Or are you the “magician’s left hand”. Are you a developer’s agent? Are you actually a paid agent of Parker et al whose job it is to distract with feigned outrage over past sins in order to distract from future “larceny”? Come on, Greg, show your stuff. Take on Parker. I dare you.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 11:03 am

    Sue Taylor - LINK - The Village of Marble Valley

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 11:04 am

    LINK - Location Map

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 16, 2012 - 11:29 am

    FACT - The water to supply this project will be the MOST EXPENSIVE water produced and delivered by EID. The required water CANNOT be delivered by gravity from the eastern plants. Those transmission lines are already running over capacity in the summertime. The required water will have to be pumped ($$$) up to EDH treatment plant (~ 300 vertical ft.) From there it will have to be pumped ($$$) to Oak Ridge – (~170 vertical ft.). From there it will have to be pumped ($$$) to Bass Lake Tanks –(~540 vertical ft.) (Folsom Lake to BLT approximately 1010 vertical feet). The pumping and transmission infrastructure from Oak Ridge to BLT needs to be built. The transmission infrastructure to Parker/Gallo development needs to be built. Do the math. $50,000,000 from the developers might be a starting point.

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