Zoning initiative amended

By From page A1 | March 17, 2014

If they qualify with enough signatures, county voters will have four different initiatives to vote on this fall that are aimed at controlling development.

The last of the four, called the “Initiative to retain El Dorado County’s current zoning and rural assets,” was recently modified with an amendment filed on Feb. 25.

The new initiative has various provisions including one which requires land-use designations that are inconsistent with current zoning be amended to match the existing zoning. Other provisions are that future decisions for zoning changes be based on a land-use compatibility matrix that is part of the initiative.

The General Plan Policy Interpretations for policies governing setbacks adjacent to agricultural and timber producing lands and criteria for same would be deleted. Instead those policies would be restored to their original language in the 2004 General Plan and be amended to include the provision that agriculturally incompatible uses adjacent to agricultural zoned lands require a minimum setback of 200 feet. Administrative relief to these setback requirements could only come from the Agricultural Commission, which could impose larger setbacks if needed to protect agricultural resources.

The Mixed Use ordinance would be restored to its original densities and development requirements that were part of the 2004 General Plan. Cultural and Historical Resource Policies would be implemented prior to the development of any new discretionary projects or demolition of buildings over 100 years old. In addition, the county, in cooperation with the state, would be responsible for identifying the viewshed of Coloma State Park and establish guidelines to be used for development within the viewshed.

The initiative also modifies water supply policies so that all medium-density residential, high-density residential, multifamily residential, commercial, industrial and research and development projects would be required to connect to public water systems when located within Community Regions and Rural Centers. Rezoning, discretionary development and subdivision approvals would be dependent on a permanent and reliable public water supply being available for all uses including fire prevention. The county would also be required, in cooperation with the water agency and water purveyors, to collect and make available information on water supply and demand, including recognizing the water needs of existing unimproved parcels. Other water supply policies would be deleted in the General Plan.

Policies aimed at establishing a scenic corridor and vista point regulations based on local community participation would also have to be implemented prior to any future discretionary projects being allowed in the scenic vistas or resource points listed in the General Plan draft Environmental Impact Report.

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

Dawn Hodson

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