Protect Rural Communities (Measure O)

Changes the General Plan designations of some Community Regions

Q.  Shall the ordinance be adopted amending the County of El Dorado General Plan to (1) convert the communities of Camino, Pollock Pines, and Shingle Springs from Community Regions to Rural Centers, establish Cedar Grove as a Rural Center, and place the Platted Lands overlay on certain areas contiguous to those communities and (2) remove the El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park Community Region designation from those Low Density Residential areas within one mile of Green Valley Road?

Impartial Analysis from El Dorado County Counsel:

This measure was placed on the ballot by a petition signed by the requisite number of voters. If adopted by a majority vote, this measure would amend two policies of the El Dorado County General Plan. The amended policies would remain in effect indefinitely and could only be amended by a vote of the people.

The General Plan identifies certain areas as Community Regions where growth will be directed and facilitated. This measure would amend existing Policies 2.1.1.1 and 2.1.2.1 to remove Camino, Pollock Pines, and Shingle Springs from the established Community Regions and add them plus Cedar Grove to the established Rural Centers. Converting from a Community Region to a Rural Center does not change the types of allowable land uses. However, it will result in the application of different development standards to those areas. For instance, the minimum acceptable traffic level of service is Level of Service E within a Community Region and Level of Service D outside of the Community Region. Additionally, minimum fire district response times are 8 minutes to 80% of the population in Community Regions and 15 to 45 minutes outside the Community Region. It is unclear what, if any, impact these changes in standards will have on the County's Capital Improvement Program or other agencies' facilities improvement plans.

Existing Policy 2.1.2.1 would also be amended to remove portions of El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park (those areas within one mile of Green Valley Road with a Low Density Residential designation) from the established Community Region and apply the Platted Lands overlay. It would apply the Platted Lands overlay to other specified areas as well. Application of the Platted Lands overlay would identify those areas as areas "where the existing density level of the parcels would be an inappropriate land use designation for the area" and would preclude the further subdivision of those affected parcels to a size smaller than the minimum parcel size allowed by the base land use designation. Currently, the Board of Supervisors has the authority to change a parcel's land use designation. Because the policies included in this measure can only be amended by vote of the people, this measure would remove that authority for the areas designated as Platted Lands in the measure.

Current General Plan policies encourage greater residential growth in the Community Regions and direct public facility expenditures to the Community Regions. Accordingly, removing land from the Community Regions and applying the Platted Lands overlay thereto could reduce the amount of land available for residential development near existing infrastructure.

A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of amending the subject policies of the El Dorado County General Plan.

A "no" vote is a vote against amending the subject policies of the El Dorado County General Plan.

Arguments For Measure O         

Arguments Against Measure O

What is a "Community Region"? The 2004 General Plan draws red lines around all of the communities along the Highway 50 corridor from El Dorado Hills to Pollock Pines designating them as Community Regions. Community Regions are intended by the County as targets for the highest density "urban-type" development. Citizen groups in the established rural communities of Shingle Springs, Camino (Apple Hill), Cedar Grove, Pollock Pines and the Green Valley corridor want future development of their communities to be consistent with the existing zoning and rural development pattern. Citizens petitioned the Board of Supervisors to remove the threat of high-density development resulting from the "Community Region" designation. The Board refused to act, so local volunteer citizens gathered over 9,400 signatures throughout the county to put this measure on the ballot.

To be consistent with the General Plan, the initiative calls for these areas to be designated "Rural Centers" with "platted lands overlays" to protect existing densities and land use. Opponents will tell you that this initiative will kill affordable housing and jobs. To the contrary, it will support local building and local jobs.

Everyone benefits from preserving scenic rural and forest landscapes along Highway 50. Everyone benefits from preventing traffic gridlock between El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Placerville and South Lake Tahoe. Open green spaces let developed areas "breathe" and enhance quality of life. Highway 50 is South Lake Tahoe's economic lifeline. If high density development along the west slope chokes travel for tourist, the El Dorado County economy will be hard hit.

Historic Hangtown, mountain sports, Apple Hill, wineries, historic sites, and river-rafting will all suffer. Will El Dorado County surrender to continuous urban stack and pack development along Highway 50, or maintain a rural quality of life? You decide.

Vote "Yes" on Measure O.

MEASURE O IS ANOTHER RADICAL PROPOSAL CLAIMING TO REDUCE TRAFFIC AND PRESERVE OPEN SPACE, BUT INSTEAD WILL PRODUCE MORE CONGESTION AND GROWTH IN RURAL AREAS OF EL DORADO COUNTY.

Measure O is a flawed proposal that would make wholesale changes to the carefully balanced General Plan + a plan approved by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors in 2004 and county voters in 2005.

The General Plan, supported by transportation experts and land use specialists, safeguards vital open space and designates land best suited for carefully planned growth. But Measure O rejects the General Plan + throwing away years of careful planning and environmental analysis.

MEASURE O IS OPPOSED BY AGRICULTURE LEADERS BECAUSE IT JEOPARDIZES OPEN SPACE. TRAFFIC EXPERTS OPPOSE MEASURE O BECAUSE IT WILL PRODUCE MORE CONGESTED ROADS.

Measure O pushes growth and development from areas designated in the General Plan where infrastructure and transportation facilities currently exist, to more rural areas of the county + increasing traffic and reducing open space.

Instead of careful planning and environmental analysis, the authors of Measure O have decided for themselves where growth should occur. And instead of a balanced plan that protects open space, respects private property rights, and allows for carefully planned growth vital to the county's economy + the authors of Measure O have produced an unbalanced plan that will hurt El Dorado County and will throw the county into planning chaos.

MEASURE O, ALONG WITH MEASURES M AND N WILL ALSO COST EL DORADO COUNTY MILLIONS. If approved, these proposals will take years and millions in county legal costs to sort out the differences between them. It's bad planning and bad for El Dorado County.

MEASURE O IS UNNECESSARY, DEEPLY FLAWED, AND WILL UPSET THE CAREFUL LAND USE BALANCE WE HAVE ACHIEVED WITH THE COUNTY GENERAL PLAN.

Vote No on Measure O + protect our rural open space.

Lori Parlin, Shingle Springs Community Alliance Sue Taylor, Camino resident & Save Our County Rod Pimental, Cedar Grove resident & lumber mill owner Bruce Risley, Pollock Pines resident Cheryl McDougal, Green Valley Alliance

Susan Bergin, Laborers Local 185 Laurel Brent-Bumb, CEO, El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce David Zelinsky, Community Activist Christa K. Campbell, Owner, Rainbow Orchards John E. Upton, Former County Supervisor

Rebuttal to Arguments For

Rebuttal to Arguments Against

WE UNDERSTAND THE INTENT OF MEASURE O, BUT SADLY THE ACTUAL PROPOSAL WILL NOT WORK.

Measure O changes the designation of several areas in the El Dorado County General Plan identified as the most suitable for growth, forcing development to instead occur in areas the plan considers unsuitable + pristine rural open space.

Measure O makes no sense.

It wants to change designations for areas near major transportation corridors like Highway 50 + areas currently served by water and sewer infrastructure that can be efficiently served by the sheriff, fire, and ambulance. UNDER MEASURE O, DEVELOPMENT WILL INSTEAD ENCROACH UPON AGRICULTURE LANDS, ELIMINATE VALUABLE OPEN SPACE, AND INCREASE TRAFFIC ON RURAL ROADS.

Measure O is inconsistent with the voter-approved General Plan. Furthermore, the Board of Supervisors has already identified Camino/Pollock Pines for redesignation because there is no public sewer + authority the board already has under the General Plan.

MEASURE O IS UNNECESSARY, DEEPLY FLAWED, AND WILL UPSET THE CAREFUL LAND USE BALANCE WE HAVE ACHIEVED WITH THE GENERAL PLAN.

And private property rights will be trampled + a serious problem for farmers opposed to the uncompensated taking of agriculture land development rights that will occur under Measure O.

Instead of careful planning and environmental analysis, Measure O authors have arbitrarily decided where growth should occur + undercutting the county's carefully balanced plan that protects open space, respects private property rights and allows for carefully planned growth vital to our economy.

Vote No on Measure O + protect our rural open space.

Measure O's major opposition is the El Dorado County Chamber, which is dominated and controlled by Parker Development, Sierra Pacific Industries, PG&E, and other outside economic interests. They want massive commercial and residential development all along the Highway 50 corridor that will destroy existing, locally based small businesses by bringing only low-wage service and retail jobs from national chains and big box stores.

Measure O amends the General Plan which is currently a blueprint for runaway growth that will forever destroy established rural communities in El Dorado County. The so-called "experts" are bought and paid for to put the interests of developers ahead of residents who grew up here or moved here to escape Rancho Cordova type urban sprawl. Go to lvc-edc.org for the facts!

IT'S TIME TO CHANGE DIRECTION! The current Supervisors have proven repeatedly that they can't say "no" to pro-development special interest.

It's a myth that "Community Regions" (CRs) limit development to protect agriculture. The Supervisors are already considering massive development projects, like Marble Valley and Lime Rock, that are outside CRs. Measure O proponents seek to preserve and integrate agriculture as an essential part of the rural residential lifestyle, not isolate it. High density residential development along Highway 50 inevitably shifts water use away from agriculture. You don't save Apple Hill, ranches, and vineyards by building more subdivisions.

Traffic gridlock from overdevelopment hurts everyone. Only moderate, responsible growth within existing zoning can protect water and resources for agriculture and existing residents.

Vote yes on Measure O!

Susan Bergin, Laborers Local 185 Debra H. Manning, President, El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce David Zelinsky, Community Activist Christa Campbell, Owner, Rainbow Orchards Jack Sweeney, Former El Dorado County Supervisor

Lori Parlin, Shingle Springs Community Alliance Sue Taylor, Camino resident & Save Our County Rod Pimental, Cedar Grove resident & lumber mill owner Bruce Risley, Pollock Pines resident Cheryl McDougal, Green Valley Alliance