ENVIRONMENTAL LAWSUIT OVER TRIBAL GAS STATION SETTLED

posted May 25, 2017, 8:00 AM by Lori Parlin
FYI - Forwarded from El Dorado Council.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWSUIT OVER
TRIBAL GAS STATION SETTLED

May 24, 2017, Shingle Springs, CA

    On May 23, 2017, El Dorado Council, Inc., filed a Settlement with the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians Tribe regarding the environmental review of the Express Fuels gas station project on Shingle Springs Drive. The environmental review for the gas station project is different than other projects in the county because the gas station is on tribal trust land of which the county has no land use authority other than the driveway encroachments, and water/sewer easements. Additionally, the environmental review was piecemealed when El Dorado County approved the project by only analyzing the traffic impacts from the gas station and not the entire, built-out project on the 34.63-acre site.

    Due to the limited scope of the environmental review, the Tribe and El Dorado Council worked diligently within the Settlement to create mitigations that would reduce the impacts of the gas station project, and more. Two of the more significant settlement points were the gun range and the potential for an unfair business advantage. The gun range has been a contentious issue between the neighbors and the Tribe since it opened in 2015. As part of the settlement, the Tribe agrees to study and perform feasible mitigations to bring the gun range within the bounds of the County's noise ordinance. Mitigations could include enclosing the gun range to create an indoor range or installing a sound wall around the outdoor gun range. Bringing the gun range into compliance with the County's noise ordinance is a first step in building a better relationship between the Tribe and its neighbors.

    To address the concerns about unfair business competition, the Tribe has agreed to charge non-Indian customers approximately the same taxes as other businesses in the County. This arrangement will prevent the Tribe from using their tax structure to unfairly compete with local businesses and is aligned with the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the Tribe has with the County of El Dorado.

    Other settlement points include public safety measures, monitoring the underground storage tanks, inspecting the storm water drainage system, collaborating on the landscape plan to reduce noise and lighting from the project, consideration of a green-energy solar farm, and a full Environmental Impact Report if and when the Tribe moves forward on developing the remainder of the 34.63-acre parcel. It is the intent of the Settlement Agreement to move forward and for the residents, businesses, and Tribe to work collaboratively with respect to land use and other environmental issues of mutual interest.

    Questions or Comments may be sent to eldocouncil@gmail.com
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