Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interesting plans

From page A6 | November 16, 2012 | 2 Comments

Official environmental studies have now begun for new projects by the company that produced Serrano, the highly successful El Dorado Hills residential development.

Parker Development has refined its three plans over the past year and a half by holding 66 briefings and 43 site tours for neighbors, local officials and civic groups. As a result of those preparatory meetings Bill Parker and his planning chief, Vice President Tom Howard, made major adjustments to their plans for Marble Valley south of Highway 50 and refined other plans. Additionally, they added a fourth project by partnering with the owners of the 740-acre Gallo property next to Marble Valley.

It is unusual and probably unique for a development company to be so open about its plans in advance of the formal EIR process. The openness produced changes in the plans as the development company received feedback. The result will be an outstanding project and the prospect of a smooth approval process.

The change to the 2,300-acre Marble Valley plan was to eliminate large acreage lots along the perimeter and leave that area as a wildlife corridor. The lots will be clustered around the central road and utilities. The southern end of  Marble Valley will be a 500-acre wildland park with public access for horse trailers and hikers. The Gallo family’s Lime Rock property next door will have a direct connection with the El Dorado Trail on the railroad right of way. That trail will extend into Marble Valley.

Marble Valley will host 50 acres of vineyards.

The second major development that will be a community enhancement is the Westside project that will feature more affordable homes, townhouses, half-plexes, condominiums and apartments on the defunct El Dorado Hills Golf Course. The major community benefit here is improving the seasonal creek and providing trail access to Raley’s and La Borgata. Residents will be able to walk to these two centers. But, wait, there’s more. Parker Development plans to build a pedestrian bridge from this planned community to Town Center on the south side of the freeway. Additionally 15 acres of soccer fields and a baseball diamond are planned next to the freeway, facilities already in short supply in El Dorado Hills.

A third smaller plan of 56 lots on 102 acres has been designed for east of Ridgeview Drive between Gillette Drive and Wilson Boulevard, but not visible from the Ridgeview neighborhood.

The plans for the three Parker projects and the fourth Gallo partnership project represent interesting plans. Scoping meetings are expected to start in March 2013. Hopes are for completion and certification of the EIR by the end of 2014.  Serrano took 22 years to plan and build out and it still has 1,000 lots left to build on. These four plans likely will take a similar amount of time to build out.

The value to the community includes public amenities, $1 billion in economic effect and $100 million in fees to the El Dorado Irrigation District, which will take a big chunk out of its debt and slow or halt the rate hikes. Interesting plans indeed.

Mountain Democrat


Discussion | 2 comments

  • David BuckmasterMarch 19, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    Our community could use more affordable housing and parks but not at this cost. This plan is way to large or even needed at this point. To say we will get some more parks and the EID will get some resources is really missing the story. Parker Development Co.'s (Serrano's master developer) proposal for this massive high density housing behind the Raley's shopping center, more house opposite the archery range and along El Dorado Hills Blvd will forever change El Dorado Hills. The Ridgeview Drive project will cut down hundreds of large Oaks and create a dangerous turn on Gillette Drive and Wilson Boulevard. To say this is not visible from the Ridgeview neighborhood is impossible. Parker's proposal calls for over 1,000 new housing units, the majority of which would be apartments and other high density housing, on the site of the former community golf course and extending along EDH Blvd. to the new fire station. We need smart development, the concept of swapping out our former golf course for high density housing units and destroying hundreds of large mature year old oaks for mega mansions behind the apartments on EDH Boulevard seems as a disappointing exchange. The project raises questions about the impact on traffic at the EDH Blvd/Hwy 50 interchange; the effect on enrollment at Oak Ridge and other schools that are already close to capacity; and the general aesthetics of high density housing in the shadow of the freeway. Parker please go back to the drawing board. You did a great job with Serrano. Don't settle now.

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  • Phil VeerkampMarch 19, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    . . . and $100 million in fees to the El Dorado Irrigation District, which will take a big chunk out of its debt and slow or halt the rate hikes. The water transmission, treatment and distribution infrastructure required to service this plan will come in north of $100 million. On 3/25/2013 9:00 AM General Manager Abercrombie will be unveiling a massive plan to take water from SMUD’s White Rock penstock , about 2.5 miles NE of Placerville, and transfer, treat and distribute this water to points west (Parker). From the penstock to Bass Lake Tanks (a likely destination) is over 15 miles of easement, pipe, treatment plant(s), and litigation. Show up on Monday’s board meeting and listen in Mr. Abercrombie’s(Parker’s) big “savings” roll out.

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