News

Dixon Ranch revision, more development in the works

By From page A1 | September 20, 2017

At last Wednesday’s Area Planning Advisory Committee meeting updates on several land use projects coming to El Dorado Hills were discussed.

Project reinvention
Dixon Ranch is back as Generations at Green Valley. Aidan Barry, managing general partner of The True Life Companies, which controls the 280 acres located between Malcolm Dixon and Deer Valley Roads off Green Valley, explained that since the Dixon Ranch project was denied in February 2017, it has been revised to take into account “mistakes made,” including “major issues with traffic and density.”

Dixon Ranch included 605 home lots, but the new plan proposes 439 lots of varying sizes, ranging from one-third of an acre to 3- and 4-acre lots. There are 200 units of age-restricted homes in the proposed project’s center. When the land entitlements are eventually sold to a home builder, Barry said he will find “a good fit” in a builder for the new plan’s design concepts for aging in place, including wider doors, among other things.

Barry said he is committed to making the same improvements on Green Valley Road under the new plan as before, including a two-way left turn lane at Loch Way and widening Green Valley Road in places.

“We’re also including an existing condition in this new plan,” Barry added. “We’re requesting from the county that money generated from the project goes only to improving Green Valley Road.”

As for the county auditor previously stating that Dixon Ranch would have a negative financial impact to El Dorado County’s General Fund, Barry said, “We have to prove we won’t be.”

One resident familiar with the Dixon Ranch project spoke up, saying, “The money won’t be enough to fix the problems on Green Valley Road. The utilities alone will be monumental. Existing residents will have to pay for the infrastructure.”

“All of those questions will be vetted,” Barry said.

A conceptual review of Generations at Green Valley will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 24.

Golf course future
The Central El Dorado Hills Specific Plan includes the fate of the former 98-acre Executive Golf Course, which residents overwhelmingly voted to keep open space in a 2015 advisory vote.

“There’s been silence since June, 2016, but the plan is supposed to go back to the Planning Commission in October or November,” APAC chairman Tim White said at the meeting. “We have heard that the plan for 1,000 homes on the golf course has been reduced to 700 and that the new plan includes single family homes and condos — no apartments.”

When asked to comment, Parker Development Company’s Director of Government Relations Kirk Bone shot down the rumor. “There is no change to the proposed plan,” he said.

Before the project goes to the Planning Commission, the draft environmental impact report must be circulated for public comment.

“What about voting we did a few years ago? Ninety-five percent of people didn’t want it,” a meeting attendee noted.

“It is privately owned property. They don’t need to listen to the residents,” White responded.

APAC member John Raslear reminded attendees that the El Dorado Hills Community Services District looked into purchasing the land, but the price tag was “astronomical,” he said. “And when residents were asked whether they would be willing to be taxed to purchase it they said ‘no.’”

The property needs county approval to be rezoned residential.

Saratoga eateries
Next to Highway 50 and in the vacant space next to Walgreen’s on Saratoga Way there will be two separate developments, including a Habit Burger, Chick-Fil-A and an unidentified retail development. Originally the two fast food restaurants were supposed to be one “upscale, sit down restaurant,” White explained. The developer asked the county to split it. The land was designated commercial property in 2004. Residents who live close to the project spoke out in opposition because of noise and traffic concerns.

The second development is a 7-acre vacant lot located near Arrowhead, which is split into three parcels. One parcel will house a 24,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center. Uses for the other two are undetermined but, White noted, that one has a seasonal creek running through it.

“APAC recommends that there is an environmental study done before building there,” he said.

Town Center update
Construction of a 115-room Aloft Hotel, owned by parent company Marriott, could begin as early as February. It will be across from the Mercedes-Benz dealership near the movie theater parking lot in El Dorado Hills Town Center. San Francisco-based 2015 Vine St. LLC will develop, own and operate the property. The company also owns and operates the 93-room Holiday Inn Express hotel in Town Center, which is undergoing a $1 million renovation.

The EDH Apartments plan is going back to the Planning Commission once the final EIR is completed and the public will have 40 days to comment. Norb Witt, a volunteer on the Town Center Design & Review Committee, and former APAC chairman, gave an update. He said there are discussions about putting in traffic signals where there are stop signs. Earlier plans for mixed use — putting retail on the bottom floor of the apartments — have been nixed.

“The world has changed; retail has changed,” he said. Witt said overnight parking in Town Center will soon be a no-no to minimize apartment guests parking on the streets as well. “Apartment guests would park on the ground floor of the garage and residents would park on the second floor and up,” he said. “The upper floors in the parking garage would be locked for residents only.”

Montano de El Dorado growth
The first phase is the area that includes Relish Burger and Peet’s Coffee. Phase 2 is on 17 acres located on the east side of Latrobe Road, 500 feet south of the intersection with White Rock Road. A rezone approval is needed from regional commercial-design control to regional commercial-planned development. Plans for Phase 2 include a combined 80,000 square feet of retail, offices, an amphitheater and a hotel. The DEIR is in process. APAC members are waiting for the DEIR to comment and are seeking volunteers to study the report once it’s ready and report back to APAC members.

For more information visit edhapac.org.

Julie Samrick

Discussion | 1 comment

  • Jon JonSeptember 29, 2017 - 3:18 pm

    Too much growth.

    Reply

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