Upwards of 60 El Dorado Hills residents attended the newly formed El Dorado Hills Community Economic Development Advisory Committee’s general meeting last Tuesday to discuss what was called a historic opportunity to shape the future of El Dorado Hills.
“Our task is to bring you into the fold so your voices are heard,” said CEDAC-EDH zoning subcommittee chairman and meeting emcee John Hidahl. “We want residents of El Dorado Hills to be active participants in this process. Part of the process is to figure out how to keep approximately $800 million tax dollars from leaving El Dorado County and, by doing so, creating more jobs in El Dorado Hills and El Dorado County.”
Assistant director from the El Dorado County Long Range Planning Division Dave DeFanti explained the 2004 county General Plan as the county’s blueprint through 2035 and emphasized why residents should make planning decisions for El Dorado Hills instead of the county making them.
“There’s a lot of opportunities for folks to get involved,” he said. “What do you love and want to preserve? What do you want to change? Here’s the chance to tailor to your own community while still falling under the General Plan.”
DeFanti provided his direct phone number for anyone to call him at (530) 621-5342.
“We’re trying to be as open and transparent as possible,” he said.
CEDAC-EDH umbrellas volunteer subcommittees, including parks & recreation, corridor traffic and transportation, zoning, community ID and design, history, business park, traffic and transportation and web development. Volunteers can expect their time commitment to be as little as one meeting per month, said web subcommittee chairman Hal Erpenbeck.
A current Traffic Demand Model was discussed during the traffic and transportation progress report update led by volunteer and chairman of subcommittee Norm Rowett. He shared El Dorado County traffic data. El Dorado Hills Boulevard and Highway 50 interchange was No. 1 high traffic area. Green Valley Road and Sophia Parkway was No. 2. He also showed where the most accidents take place; the corner of Green Valley Road and Sophia Parkway had the greatest number of accidents.
“This information will be sent to the county and the Board of Supervisors,” said Rowett. “It will help them make project decisions.”
Hidhal said El Dorado Hills leaders who have great knowledge in their area have volunteered to spearhead subcommittees, but they need more input from as many people as possible.
District 1 Supervisor Ron Mikulaco was present and also spoke about it being an excellent opportunity for residents. If residents can’t make CEDAC-EDH general meetings, they can still have a voice. The group is currently working with AIM Consulting to craft a short survey asking residents what they like about El Dorado Hills and what they would like to change.
On Nov. 19 CEDAC-EDH will kick off the survey from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at a “sip-n-survey” event at the El Dorado Hills Welcome Center, featuring free wine tasting and time to complete the 14-15 question survey.
Through Dec. 19 hard copies of the survey will be available at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District office, the Welcome Center in Town Center and the El Dorado Hills Library. It will also be available online (site to be determined).
“We are asking for community input before recommendations are submitted to the county by February 2014,” said Hidahl.
The next CEDAC-EDH general meeting will be at 6:30 on Dec. 10 in the EDHCSD pavilion.
See CEDAC-EDH.org for more information or to sign up to serve on a subcommittee.
“This is the first time the county has come to the local areas and asked what it is we want,” said CEDAC-EDH volunteer Jeff Haberman after Defanti spoke. “It’s appreciated by those of us who have been doing this for 25 to 30 years. It’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.
I hope people will get the word out about the questionnaire and when the surveys come out, fill them out,” he continued. “If we don’t have a lot of feedback and a good cross-section of the community, the county will look at it and say, ‘This isn’t viable. There’s not enough people telling us what your community wants.’ I’m hoping everyone will fill out these forms and tell us what you want El Dorado Hills to look like five, 10, 20 years from now.”