El Dorado County Supervisors have directed county staff to craft a proposed policy resolution for future incorporation into the General Plan. The motion made by Board Chairman Ron Briggs near the conclusion of a nearly 12-hour special meeting on Sept. 30, directed staff to return to the board with a “revised draft General Plan Amendment Initiation Policy” to include a number of new limitations on future residential developments that would be dependent upon amending the General Plan.
Any new amendment requested by developers would need to be “consistent with the principal goals and objectives of the General Plan” and “public infrastructure, facilities and services (must be) available to serve the project proposed.” In addition, the proposed amendment would have to meet one or more of a set of goals and objectives deemed necessary under various elements of the general plan.
First, it would have to include specifics on increasing employment opportunities within the county and “promote the development of housing affordable to moderate income households.” The latter is a requirement mandated by the state under the Housing Element of the General Plan and applies to county and municipal jurisdictions as a prerequisite for state and federal transportation funds.
A proposed amendment must address the ongoing problem of “retail leakage,” which describes the flow of money out of the county for retail goods or services not readily available within the county. Over the years it has been estimated that up to more than a billion dollars have been spent “down the hill” by county residents unwilling or unable to find comparable goods locally. Thus a proposed development based on an amendment would be expected to “provide additional opportunities to retain retail sales and sales tax revenues within El Dorado County.”
Furthermore, any proposed amendment should include protections and enhancements to the “agricultural and natural resources industries” of the county.
Any proposed amendment must also comply with changes in state or federal law and be “consistent with the community vision.”
An ongoing subtext of the issue is growing opposition by grass-roots citizen groups protesting large residential developments that they say violate the county’s Measure Y law that restricts development that would adversely impact traffic and congestion both on county roads and state highways.
Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CDaleyMtDemo.