News

Serrano rezone approved by supervisors

By From page A1 | July 05, 2017

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to rezone 4 acres at Serrano Parkway and Bass Lake Road from commercial to residential, paving the way for applicant Parker Development Company to build 148 homes across the street from El Dorado Hills’ second confirmed Safeway shopping center.

Last month the El Dorado County Planning Commission denied the rezone request by a 3-2 vote, citing that the loss of commercial space would be bad for the local economy but by June 27 the supervisors said new information had them viewing the situation differently.

Donohue Schriber Realty Group is currently in escrow to purchase 12 acres across the street to create the Sienna Ridge shopping center, anchored by a Safeway store. Representative Ryan Gillard attended the meeting to explain why DSRG supports the residential project. He described a current retail market where the success of many online retailers has forced traditional brick-and-mortar stores to close, adding that if DSRG saw the need for more commercial space they would most likely be in escrow for the 4 acres too.

“There is a finite number of retail dollars to go around,” Gillard said. “We’ve found in our successful shopping centers that food, service and fitness are internet resistant and make up the majority of our tenants these days. If zoning remained commercial across the street, there would be duplicate services.”

Parker Development’s Director of Governmental Affairs Kirk Bone said the plan is to build 148 residential lots in two phases. Phase one would be built concurrently with the shopping center. Bone said they are talking with builder Cal Atlantic, formerly Standard Pacific, to create three floor plans with home prices ranging between $550,000 and $600,000. Phase two would have “smaller houses,” Bone continued, ranging between 1,800 and 2,400 square feet and costing less than $500,000.

“It’s more affordable housing than we’ve seen in El Dorado Hills and Serrano in a long time,” Bone told the board.

El Dorado Hills Community Services District General Manager Kevin Loewen was also at the meeting to give his blessing. Until DSRG approached Parker Development, there were plans to put a multi-use sports park, an obligation Parker Development still owes the community, at the location. Bone said at the meeting that he submitted a tentative map application that same day to put a 12.5-acre park on the northwest corner at Village J Lot H instead.

“I see a greater synergy with a park with some homes and some commercial,” Loewen said. “There’s a lot of history (with this project). I’m glad it’s come to a resolution.”

County Development Services Director Roger Trout noted that the move would signify that all four corners at the intersection will finally be “dialed in,” with the shopping center, residential area, public park and land that Rescue Union School District recently purchased to build a school.

District 1 Supervisor John Hidahl said that with projects “like these” traffic is “always a concern,” but added that the planned Bass Lake Road expansion and realignment will address that issue.

Hidahl also noted that the loss of commercial at the location had been a concern, yet explained, “The proposal to limit commercial will ensure that it’s successful.”

Hidahl cited project advantages, including more jobs, sales tax revenue for the county and community benefit via convenience for those residents living close to the project. “This is the right answer for the community,” he said.

The Sienna Ridge shopping center could open as early as 2018.

Julie Samrick

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