El Dorado County District 1 Supervisor Ron Mikulaco launched his first town hall with a confession: “I’m an information junkie.”
He received plenty of information and feedback as the 20-plus participants discussed everything from the sign ordinance to affordable housing to Bass Lake Regional Park plans.
Here’s your sign
El Dorado County officials are in the process of reviewing and reworking the county’s Sign Ordinance, no easy task considering the county’s diversity, according to Mikulaco. He advocated for a balance between preserving the county’s rural nature and local businesses’ ability to advertise. Search for “sign ordinance” on edcgov.us to review a draft of the comprehensive Sign Ordinance update.
He encouraged residents like Steve Ferry, who asked about the status of Lakehills Covenant Church’s proposal to add a cross to a nearby cell tower, to get involved. That request was sent to County Counsel for review earlier this year. Mikulaco’s assistant Cindy Munt promised to follow up.
No place like home
Housing — where it’s approved, where it’s planned and how affordable it will be — became a dominant topic Wednesday evening. El Dorado Hills resident Noah Briel lamented that his children, even with good jobs, can’t afford to live in El Dorado Hills. He encouraged Mikulaco and other decision makers to support moderate income housing projects.
Whatever the community looks like in the future, resident T Abraham encouraged more community input. He applauded Mikulaco’s efforts to reach out to different groups and the supervisor’s plan to walk his district next year, going door-to-door to discuss residents’ concerns. However, Abraham stressed, to make sure more than the usual 500 have a say in El Dorado Hills’ planning future, he suggested a professional survey effort to get residents’ opinions.
“I think it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars; it’s El Dorado County investing in El Dorado Hills,” Abraham said.
Park it here
With more housing and development on the horizon, residents also expressed a desire for more parks and open space. El Dorado Hills Community Services Director Terry Crumpley encouraged Mikulaco to support more park projects and walkable communities.
Several audience members supported re-kickstarting the Bass Lake Regional Park project, a county park long in the plans but short on funds. They also supported keeping at least part of the old golf course along El Dorado Hills Boulevard as open space. Parker Development has proposed building between 523 to 763 homes in the 155-acre space, including senior housing and multi-family housing.
For the record
Mikulaco recently opened a satellite office in El Dorado Hills Town Center and told the audience that funds within his roughly $190,000 annual budget pay the rent. There’s no additional cost to the taxpayers.
“I want to spend my money in District 1,” he said, explaining that the expense may preclude him from attending out-of-state conferences but he wanted to keep his money local. “And we’re paying fair market value (rent) … no special deals.”
The office, located behind Mama Ann’s Deli facing Nugget Market, is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays or by appointment. Call 916-943-8588. Mikulaco also said he’s more than willing to share the space if community groups need a cozy place to meet.
More town hall meetings will be scheduled over the next year, the supervisor promised, including a State of District 1 event sometime in January.