El Dorado County signals Central El Dorado Hills project proposal is still alive

More than a year after El Dorado County’s planning commission voted against the Central El Dorado Hills project, it appears the project isn’t dead yet.

On Tuesday, county supervisors will vote on extending a contract with consulting firm ICF Jones & Stokes for assistance with processing the project, updating its environmental review.

County spokeswoman Carla Hass said in an email that the project could still come before the county Board of Supervisors. If it does, potential project impacts on air quality and greenhouse gas emission thresholds need to be up to date, she said.

“Even though the PC denied the project, the applicant’s documents have to be adequate,” she said. “If the Board decides to approve the project, they couldn’t do so if the environmental documents aren’t up to snuff.”

She noted that the contract extension, for about $101,627, would be paid for by Parker Development Co., the proponent for Central El Dorado Hills.

El Dorado Hills-based Parker didn’t return a message seeking comment this week.

Earlier this year, County Supervisor John Hidahl told attendees at a community meeting that he expected the project to return in a matter of months.

As proposed, the Central El Dorado Hills project would redevelop the closed El Dorado Hills Executive Golf Course and develop other nearby properties into two components, called Pedregal and Serrano Westside.

Pedregal, west of El Dorado Hills Boulevard, would have up to 242 housing units, while Serrano Westside, east of El Dorado Hills Boulevard, would be up to 758 homes.

Other project components include 15 acres of parks, 50,000 square feet of civic/commercial space and 175 acres of open space.

Some project neighbors have opposed the project, believing the golf course should remain as open space if it can’t be viable as a course anymore.

Before the project came before the planning commission in May 2022, Parker Development’s director of government relations, Kirk Bone, said the course is the flattest part of the property included in El Dorado Hills, making it the best to build on.

Mike West, a board member of a group called Open Space El Dorado Hills that’s long opposed the project, said the group remains opposed to Central El Dorado Hills. Traffic, loss of open space and a deficient environmental impact report are among their points of contention.

“We interpret this action as taking a band-aid and putting it on the old EIR report to make it bulletproof from future litigation,” he said. “And there will be litigation.”

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