Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Top 10 stories of 2013: 5. ‘No San Stino’ led a growing movement of citizen activism

Growth 106

A LARGE CROWD gathered at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Aug. 26, 2013, as Bill Center, representing Rural Communities United, speaks on county growth and traffic statistics. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

From page A1 | January 06, 2014 | 4 Comments

San Stino became dirty words for many Shingle Springs area residents in 2013. “No San Stino” signs sprouted like weeds atop fence posts, on walls, vehicles and T-shirts throughout the region. In classic fashion, the grassroots movement has spread far and fast and includes not only opposition to that particular 1,000-unit proposed development but also the Tilden Park project near Ponderosa Road — and some might say opposition to any other large residential projects in the west county.

The Shingle Springs Community Alliance has attracted many area residents from surrounding neighborhoods including Cameron Park and Rescue as well as supporters such as the Green Valley Alliance, which likewise organized to oppose certain levels of residential development along Green Valley and its feeder roads. Leaders of the various groups describe petitions signed by many hundreds of residents, and attendance at county government meetings has soared when any related issues are on the agenda.

Bolstered by the county’s Measure Y Committee, much of the argument revolves around dire predictions of traffic gridlock on local roads as well as on Highway 50. Passed twice by significant majorities of county voters, Measure Y precludes residential development that could lead to unacceptable “Levels of Service” on county roads and state highways. Like any other discipline that relies on known data as well as best-guess projections,  predicting future LOS is art as well as science. Interpretations differ over data, terminology and methodology.

A vision of “rural-ness” is at the heart of the matter. Residents who grew up in the country have a distinct view of what “country” should be, while newer arrivals point out that they moved to their homes in order to live a more rural lifestyle. Most, if not all, who have spoken at Board of Supervisors meetings draw a horror scenario of traffic overloading country roads, emergency vehicles being stalled at narrow turns and a general degradation of rural living.

In addition to San Stino, resident activists have targeted the Dixon Ranch Project (about 600 homes) off Green Valley Road, Parker Development’s Marble Valley (3,000-plus) homes south of Highway 50 between El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park and about 800 homes in the Lime Rock Valley project proposed by G3, a division of the Gallo wine company near Marble Valley.

Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or Follow @CDaleyMtDemo.


Discussion | 4 comments

  • Bob ReevesJanuary 05, 2014 - 7:06 pm

    Looks like the developers will have to pay our supervisors more money.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EllenJanuary 06, 2014 - 8:58 am

    I laughed when I read your comment, Mr. Reeves, but it was sort of a sad laugh. It's so great to see citizens stepping up and getting involved, but so sad that it has to be such a battle. Supervisors cast votes on what they are presented by staff, and I would like to see more objective presentations from staff in the upcoming year. Thanks for your coverage of Land Use issues over the past year Chris.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Kathy OttenbergJanuary 08, 2014 - 5:54 pm

    In appreciation for any & all coverage that the Mtn Democrat gives to this topic. This is one of the major types of 'news coverage' that we hope to get from a local newspaper. Since this subject impacts so many El Dorado County residents, it certainly makes sense for it to be included in the "Top 10". Here's hoping that coverage will continue, and even - hopefully - be expanded! Also, hopefully we'll get good coverage of the upcoming Supervisors' races, when we'll have a chance to vote for some of the people who have worked so hard on this issue.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Susan CriddleJanuary 09, 2014 - 9:49 am

    Excellent point Ellen and Kathy!

    Reply | Report abusive comment


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