Folsom project’s road blocked

By From page A1 | November 01, 2017

Stonebriar residents rallied ahead of last Tuesday’s Folsom City Council meeting and were victorious in blocking a major road that would have tied a large Folsom development to their neighborhood. Courtesy photo

El Dorado Hills residents whose homes back to the Folsom boundary south of the freeway rallied to thwart a plan that they say would have transformed their sleepy backyards into a main road, which would have connected the first phase of the larger Folsom South Area Plan to El Dorado Hills.

After meeting with impacted El Dorado Hills residents in early summer 2017, Folsom Heights developer Clay Loomis and the Folsom Planning Commission recommended to the Folsom City Council that Prima Road in the Stonebriar subdivision be an emergency vehicle access road only, but City Council members struck down the suggestion. At last Tuesday’s meeting members reversed that decision, voting 5-0 to keep Prima Drive an emergency vehicle road only.

Resident Ellen Post told Village Life that her and neighbors’ grassroots efforts “absolutely” paid off. “We rallied the community and canvassed the neighborhood and put out flyers,” Post said. “The Folsom City Council did the right thing. They didn’t have all of the information last time. We were hopeful that once they got all of the information they would vote the way they did.”

Post commended council member Ernie Sheldon. “He really went to bat for us,” she said.

Neighbors recalled the fire that burned in their neighborhood in 2013 and expressed concern that first responders might not be able to quickly get through should another fire like it occur. The Folsom and El Dorado Hills fire chiefs concurred at the meeting that too many routes in and out of a subdivision can be a safety issue for residents and firefighters.

Scott Road and Placerville Road will connect to Alder Creek Parkway as the main access point in that area.

The larger Folsom South Area Plan from the county line to Prairie City Road will take 25 years to build out, encompassing 3,500 acres and including 10,202 homes. It will also include a 5.2 million square foot commercial site, sites for an elementary, middle school and high school, two 25- to 30-acre multi-use sport complexes and a town center. Approximately 30 percent of the land will be preserved as open space.

To alleviate traffic on Highway 50, the city and state are planning to build two new interchanges. Construction on the first is expected to begint at Empire Ranch Road in about five years.

With this battle behind them, Post said she is still wary about some elements of the plan, particularly how close the new construction will be to her El Dorado Hills neighborhood, adding, “I plan to be there every time it’s on Folsom City Council meeting agendas to make sure everything is OK.”

Julie Samrick

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