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Proposed 'in-fill' project catching heat at El Dorado Hills CSD

By: Eyragon Eidam, Telegraph Correspondent
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EL DORADO HILLS, CA - Opposition to a proposed in-fill housing project rallied around the El Dorado Hills Community Service District as they took steps to possibly claim the project site for their own at a special meeting.

In a heavily supported move, the CSD Board of Directors formally stated interest in the 98-acre parcel owned by the Parker Development Company, commonly known the El Dorado Hills Executive Golf Course.

As it stands, the district has unanimously voted to draft a formal letter to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors asking them to keep the large parcel of land zoned as open space/recreational use for potential recreation facilities.

Opponents say the proposed housing project will bring unnecessary homes, an unwanted population increase, and more children than existing recreation facilities can handle.

Debi Shaeffer, owner of American River Lacrosse, said the overcrowding of existing sports fields has cost her organization tens of thousands of dollars. Shaeffer said she has had to struggle to find and rent facilities outside of the area.

“Just my small company alone, this club, we are spending $20,000 renting at other locations outside of our community,” said Shaeffer during public comment. “I think that it’s sad that we are losing that revenue.”

For others, the in-fill project raises concerns about an increase traffic and air pollution which would result from a project of this magnitude.

Bill Welty, with the Green Valley Road Alliance, said more homes in the area would increase air pollution as thousands of new residents use what he calls already congested roads.

“By building in this area, that number of homes, not only are you adding congestion to the El Dorado Hills Boulevard issue, but the health – the quality of life is just going to be horrendous,” said Welty

Parker Development was unaware of the district’s intent to formally ask the Board of Supervisors to keep the nearly 100 acres zoned as it is. The developer had not been asked to meet privately to discuss the proposition prior to the vote.

Kirk Bone, director of Government Relations with the development company, was unable to attend the June 3 special meeting, but said Parker is open to working with the district to come to an agreeable resolution.

“Parker Development Company has a long track record of working with interested community groups on projects proposed. We look forward to working with the CSD and other interested community groups on this project as it moves forward,” said Bone.

The Board of Directors and general public weren’t the only ones involved in the June 3 discussion. Supervisor Ron Mikulaco, with the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, was also in attendance.

Mikulaco said any approval of plans would need to come through a series of steps with the county before anything could be done with the land on the part of the district or developers.

Land ownership was also a key point in Mikulaco’s comments to the group. He stressed the fact that Parker Development is under no obligation to sell their land at the request of any organization.

“There is no doubt that we need more real estate in the form of fields,” said Mikulaco. “I think in terms of the old golf course, that is private property. We can’t force them to do anything. Clearly, we could hopefully work out an agreement with Parker Development in regards to that.”