Rebuttal to Measure O editorial
Post date: Oct 16, 2014 5:33:26 AM
By Letters to the Editor
From page A5 | October 15, 2014
I am writing this letter in response to your editorial of Measure O dated Oct. 3. I am very disappointed that the writer did not sign their name to the letter, as we as subscribers are required to when we submit a letter. Are we to assume the editor in chief crafted that letter? In any case I would like to clear up several misleading and inaccurate statements made by the writer so that voters will understand Measure O.
Contrary to the writer’s confusion regarding the language of the Initiative Measure O, the language is taken straight from the El Dorado County General Plan. All areas of our county are classified as a community region, rural center or rural region with the exception of the incorporated cities of Placerville and South Lake Tahoe. Subdivided lands that don’t fit in these designations are called platted land overlays. Community regions are defined as “those areas which are appropriate for the highest intensity of self-sustaining compact urban type development or suburban type development within El Dorado County.”
When the communities of Pollock Pines, Cedar Grove, Camino and other surrounding areas were lumped into a single community region in the 1996 General Plan, the Board of Supervisors realized that was a big mistake and as a result, in 2009 they adopted a resolution of intention to change them into separate rural centers. After that nothing happened, because the county’s legal counsel advised the board that it would require a very costly environmental impact report to make changes to the general plan. Since then the county has been advised by an expert land use and environmental attorney that this is not the case. This was around the same time that several concerned citizens formed the Shingle Springs Community Alliance, because they and others living in the Green Valley Road corridor realized that they were living in a community region designation which made them bullseye targets for the highest-intensity, compact urban and suburban-type development. They began petitioning the Board of Supervisors to reclassify their communities as rural centers and platted lands in order to preserve the rural character of their communities and remove the bullseye target, preserve their quality of life and retain the existing zoning.
In regard to the writer’s claim that shifting the status of these communities will delay the fire district response time is ludicrous. How is that possible? The General Plan spells out the requirements for emergency response time, and fire districts have their own standards for response time. Fire districts will provide the same level of service regardless of land use changes made to the General Plan. Their mission is responding as quickly as possible to save lives and property — period; end of story. Dear writer: Please stop trying to use scare tactics and lies to push your agenda on the voters.
The initiative process can amend the General Plan without it costing the taxpayers of our county thousands of dollars and accomplishes what the Board of Supervisors has said it would do since 2009. Most importantly, it is what the vast majority of residents of the county want — “to retain the rural quality of our county.” The language of Measure O was carefully written to be consistent with the General Plan and there is nothing misleading in its content. Please read your ballot and vote yes on Measure O and help us preserve our rural quality of life that we all enjoy in El Dorado County.