Two of five initiatives qualify so far

By From page A1 | May 26, 2014

This past week it was announced that two of the five initiatives being circulated in the county have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, according to the El Dorado County Elections Department.

Initiatives need 7,737 valid signatures to qualify.

The initiative called Fix Highway 50 Traffic First/Keep Us Rural attracted 11,044 signatures with 9,100 determined to be valid.

It would add two policies to the General Plan. One would prohibit the county from approving any single-family housing subdivisions of five or more parcels once traffic on Highway 50 reaches gridlock. The second would prohibit the county from changing land-use designations already in effect or from raising the density on property already designated residential. The policy would not affect the cities of South Lake Tahoe and Placerville or the unincorporated area controlled by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Another initiative called Control Growth/Fix Our Local Roads, attracted 11,739 signatures with 9,509 found to be valid.

The initiative, backed by a group called Region Builders, would require new single-family residential subdivision development projects of five or more parcels to not result in, or worsen gridlock on Highway 50. However certain roads and highways would be exempted until 2025, including sections of Cambridge Road, Cameron Park Drive, Missouri Flat Road, Pleasant Valley Road, U.S. Highway 50 and State Route 49.

The initiative would also require that growth be directed into existing Community Regions and requires the county to provide annual reports on traffic levels and efforts to alleviate congestion. Planning for the widening of U.S. Highway 50 or improvements to state facilities would be a priority and coordinated with other agencies. Inconsistencies between the initiative and the General Plan would be remedied by the General Plan being amended to ensure consistency.

Three other initiatives are still being circulated. Those include the Protect Rural Communities — Fix Community Region Line Flaws initiative, Reinstate Measure Y’s Original Intent — No More Paper Roads initiative and Retain El Dorado County’s Current Zoning initiative.

Sue Taylor, who is working on all three initiatives, said they have collected 5,000 signatures for each of them but it’s a fluid situation with names being added all the time.

Paid signature gatherers were used on the two initiatives that have already qualified for the ballot, said Taylor, while her group is reliant on volunteers.

Taylor said they have set a June 9 deadline to get enough voter signatures for their initiatives.

Election officials said while there is no exact date when the initiatives need to be submitted, Aug. 8 would be the absolute last date for them to be considered for inclusion on the November ballot.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

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