DETAILS OF PROPOSED GENERAL PLAN CHANGES
As noted in previous issues of this newsletter, groups reviewing the 2004 General Plan (GP) Goals, Policies and Objectives,
found the GP to be full of common sense approaches to managing growth within the county. As such Reg Reform did not recommend that the BOS consider changes to land uses within the GP. They did find that some policies were too vague, others too specific, and some were unclearly stated: others were in conflict with stated goals and policies that created an end result which failed to meet the overall county objectives. Other areas simply required clean-up language.
Since the General Plan is the overriding planning document that dictates over zoning, Reg Reform began by identifying conflicting or unworkable GP policies and presented possible solutions. Staff included prior BOS decisions that had been directed but not yet incorporated into the process such as BOS approved Resolutions of Intention (ROI). Below is a synopsis of significant GP issues included in the LUPPU process. For a complete list of all TGPA issues included - with full text and references - go to:www.edcgov.us/
LAND USE ELEMENT – PROPOSED CHANGES TO KEY GENERAL PLAN POLICIES
In support of the community’s request the BOS previously directed that theCamino/Pollock Pines Community
Region Boundary be changedto create three separate, distinct Rural Centers.
Consider amending GP toallow commercial and industrial uses in Rural Regions; currently disallowed.
Commercial vs. Residential Mixed-Use Formula: Consider deleting sentence, "The residential component of the project shall only be implemented following or concurrent with the commercial component." This policy is often unworkable as projects usually require the income and population base from residential units to justify and support attracting commercial and retail ventures. Also consider amending Multi-Family land uses to allow commercial as part of a mixed-use project, and residential densities from16 to 20 units per acre. These changes are necessary to meet housing mandates as well as retain higher densities within appropriate areas with adequate infrastructure.
Industrial Use: Consider deleting restriction to Industrial Lands only within, or in close proximity to, Community Regions and Rural Centers: Delete the requirement that Industrial Lands in Rural Regions are only allowed for on-site support of agriculture and natural resource uses. This supports industrial uses in various areas of the county and broadens types of industrial uses actually allowed throughout the county.
Multi-Family Use: Consider amending densities, from 24 to 30 units per acre, to comply with state law which requires specific jurisdictions (including EDC) to allow up to 30 units per acre to meet low/very low housing needs. Amend Multi-Family land use to encourage a full range of housing types without a requirement for a Planned Development (PD) process. This change will allow small lot single family detached homes in multi-family areas (instead of only apartments/duplex units) as well as streamline the process to eliminate the automatic PD process.
High Density Residential Use: Consider deleting mandate that a Planned Development process be required on projects of 3 or more units per acre - a regulatory streamlining effort of an often unnecessary, costly requirement.
Open Space: Consider amending the 30% open space requirement inside of Community Regions and Rural Centers to allow for lesser areas of "improved open space" on site, and set criteria for options in meeting a portion of the requirement offsite via in-lieu fees options. This GP policy has been a poison pill to projects. Definitional issues remain such as what is open space within higher density areas? Are they active or passive? Who pays to maintain them? Who benefits? If within a homeowners association area – can the public access them? Must they assist in maintenance costs? In other words, what is the goal for these open space areas? This modification will establish formulas to address such questions and give options on how the goals are met.
Density Bonus:Consider amending the Density Bonus policy which allows incentives to create open space as part of residential projects, and implement the policy specifics through Zoning Ordinance. This has been a controversial policy. This proposed change would maintain the option to utilize the Density Bonus where appropriate and beneficial to good project planning by moving the option from the GP into the Zoning Ordinance.
Historic Townships:This change would amend GP policy to recognize the historical town sites of El Dorado/ Diamond Springs and other historical town sites as appropriate.
Infill Areas:Consider setting criteria and identifying infill sites and opportunity areas to provide incentives that encourages development of vacant/underutilized areas. This amendment is a streamlining effort but it does not amend land uses or extend current EIR growth projections or densities. It supports Traditional Neighborhood Designs, Mixed-Use and Form Base Code uses. These elements are project design tools used to create superior projects in unique, people-pleasing arrangements while still providing higher density with variety. Form Based Codes engage the public up-front with established design standards so developers know what is expected by the public. It would eliminate much of the costly redesign of projects by providing options of design elements.