The newly formed Community Economic Development Advisory Committee of El Dorado Hills’ steering committee is looking for a few thousand good men and women to help decide what the community will look like over the next 25 years.
In a joint interview with Village Life, CEDAC-EDH volunteers Hal Erpenbeck and Steve Ferry said community input is at the committee’s core.
“CEDAC-EDH is about determining our town’s identity and making sure we’re implementing the General Plan,” both said.
Last April when CEDAC-EDH held its first public meeting, moderator T Abraham explained, “The county is asking for our input. If we don’t step up … that void will be filled by those with specific projects or concerns,” he said. “The larger voice of the community will not be heard.”
An estimated 150 people attended that kick-off meeting. Today, regular participation stands in the dozens, said Erpenbeck and Ferry.
“What if 10 percent of the 42,000 people that live in El Dorado Hills participated in CEDAC-EDH?” asked Ferry. “That’s still 4,200 people. Where is everyone?”
Issues including economic growth, housing, land use, traffic, parks and trails, transportation and zoning are discussed at CEDAC-EDH meetings and recommendations are presented to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. Ferry gets fired up about creating a more economically prosperous El Dorado Hills for his grandchildren.
“El Dorado Hills is the economic engine for the county,” he said. “We need to bring more businesses here.”
By 2038 Ferry doesn’t see why El Dorado Hills couldn’t have a Catholic University (located on the proposed site of the corporate campus Parker Development is planning at the entrance to the Marble Valley community. It’s across Highway 50 from Holy Trinity Parish).
“What’s the purpose of the business park?” he also asked before saying it has the potential to house Silicon Valley-like businesses. “We ought to be talking about this.”
“The Safeway center is an example of recent economic development,” he said. “That’s what’s important to me. I’m willing to sit in traffic if my neighbors are making a living.”
Hal Erpenbeck wants to talk about zoning and how to support seniors. “El Dorado County has the fastest aging population in California,” he said. “What kinds of buildings support this?”
CEDAC-EDH includes volunteer subcommittees — parks & recreation, corridor traffic and transportation, zoning, community ID and design, history, business park, traffic and transportation and web development. Volunteers can expect the time commitment to be as little as one meeting a month, said Erpenbeck. The next meeting will be held Oct. 29 in the EDHCSD pavilion.
By November, CEDAC-EDH will administer a survey asking for community input before recommendations are submitted to the county.
“All are invited to participate in any or all of our subcommittee meetings,” said volunteer and residential/ commercial zoning subcommittee chairman John Hidahl. “The majority of our Land Use Planning Programmatic Update inputs will be submitted before February 2014.”
See CEDAC-EDH.org for more information or to sign up to serve on a subcommittee.
“People have an opportunity to be part of the planning process,” said Erpenbeck. “It’s going to happen whether it happens to us or by us.”