Opinion: Tuesday’s Judgment Day for Development in County
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, around 2 p.m., the Board of Supervisors will entertain item 13-0024, the Wilson Project, a proposal to rezone 29 acres from R1A to RA, converting a low-density rural landscape into a high-density development. The local community is not anti-growth or development. It just wants the BOS to follow the General Plan, where one home per acre is prescribed; not 48, or even worse, a possible 88 homes in the middle of otherwise rural acreage.
But the additional drama that Tuesday’s BOS meeting brings is whether the BOS will abide by the law as promulgated in the General Plan, reflecting the public’s twice overwhelming vote in support of Measure Y. Measure Y stipulates that traffic from single-family residential subdivision development projects of five or more parcels of land shall not result in, or worsen, Level of Service F (gridlock, stop-and-go) traffic congestion during weekday, peak-hour periods on any highway, road, interchange or intersection in the unincorporated areas of the county. By approving the Wilson Project, because of well-known, well-documented LOS F conditions on Highway 50 and on surrounding roads and intersections, the BOS will essentially be breaking the law. (I have asked and continue to wait for the BOS and county counsel to explain how such an approval would not be breaking the law. Maybe we’ll hear Tuesday.)
So, the credibility and integrity of these laws are at risk, come Tuesday’s BOS meeting: the current General Plan, and Measure Y. A vote to approve the Wilson Project will, in my humble opinion, essentially impeach these laws and other similar regulations and ordinances designed to responsibly control growth, control gridlock, preserve water resources and control costs, etc., throughout the county. The perception will be that there are no laws that can be relied upon, like a simple stop sign, to control the adverse impacts of irresponsible growth.
Tuesday is Judgement Day. If the BOS votes to approve the Wilson Project, it has a responsibility to tell the public why, and before the vote is actually taken. The public is strongly recommended to attend the Tuesday, Oct. 22 meeting to support the General Plan, support Measure Y, and see if they will stand. This project is just the first, a tipping point, for a string of larger, more invasive developments, where communities rely on the General Plan and Measure Y for protection. The BOS must leverage these laws on behalf of the public, and to responsibly control growth throughout the county.
Thanks for listening.
El Dorado Hills