Bass Lake North 90 home subdivision appeal hearing at the Board of Supervisors Dec 8th
The Bass Lake North project was approved in 2017 by the Board of Supervisors – it is located in the Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan area, along Sienna Ridge Road just south and east of the Sienna Ridge Shopping Center.
One of the conditions of approval in 2017, Condition of Approval 66 (COA 66) was that the project would build 100 vehicle spaces of the eventual 200 space Park and Ride facility that will be located on the south west side of the new Bass Lake Road – Country Club Drive signalized intersection. Ten of the proposed spaces are also considered for use in the eventual Mormon Carson Trail system in the Plan Area.
The Developer filed a request to reduce his obligation of 100 spaces to 50 spaces, and move the responsibility for the remaining 50 spaces to an undefined “future” development in the BLHSP Plan Area – meaning the next project would have to build the other 50 spaces. His request was based on the significant costs to build the Park and Ride spaces, and his determination that his 90 home project was being unfairly burdened with an excessive share of the Park and Ride Lot costs. During the public hearing, the developer also provided his own nexus analysis of the need for park and ride spaces in the area based on his status as a licensed civil engineer in California – his determination was that the full build out of the entire Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan area would only generate the need for a little more than 11 total park and ride spaces, and that his project specifically would only generate the need for less than four spaces.
The request also sought to have the option of paying El Dorado Transit Authority for “in lieu fees” instead of even building just the 50 parking spaces.
After three hours of testimony at the Nov 12th Planning Commission Hearing, the Planning Commission voted 3-2 to deny the change request. The Developer has filed an appeal of the Planning Commission denial with the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, with the hearing scheduled for December 8th.
The Bass Lake North Project is also required via Condition of Approval 67 (COA 67) to build a segment of Class 1 bicycle lane from the old Country Club Drive intersection to the end of the existing bicycle lane along Bass Lake Road at Hollow Oak Road. This was a Board of Supervisors-added condition of approval at the project hearing in February 2017. The Developer agreed to the Park and Ride Construction, and the Class 1 Bicycle lane construction.
The Developer suggested during the Nov 12th Planning Commission Hearing that the Class 1 Bicycle lane was a last minute add-on, and considered that it was important to the District 2 Supervisor, and was more valuable to the community than the full 100 spaces of the Park and Ride Lot. Hinting that the end result could be a choice of providing a 50 space Park and Ride Lot and a Class 1 Bicycle Lane, or just the 100 spaces of the Park and Ride Lot, with no Class 1 Bicycle Lane.
It is important to remind the Board of Supervisors that they are not under any obligation to accommodate the Developer’s request: The entitlements for the approved project requires BOTH construction of 100 spaces of the Park and Ride Lot, and the Class 1 Bicycle Lane. There is no need to trade parts of one COA for another. The Park and Ride Lot Construction costs will be fully refundable to the applicant through the Public Facilities Financing Plan (PFFP) of the Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan.
At the Nov 12th Planning Commission Hearing, the El Dorado Hills APAC offered one of only two public comments on the project request (here), asking the Planning Commission to deny the change request.
More resident public comments could improve the chances that the Board of Supervisors will reject the appeal, and require the developer to construct both the 100 spaces of the Park and Ride Lot, as well as the Class 1 Bicycle Lane, as originally intended by the project conditions of approval. Even just emailing in a form letter may make the difference.
The history of Bass Lake Road development is replete with after-the-fact-changes to approved projects and planned improvements – which is why Bass Lake Road had three long scheduled Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects removed in 2016 from the CIP project list:
- Two lane divided road – Bass Lake Road Full Improvements – Phase 1A Project No: 66109
- Four Lane divided road – Bass Lake Road Widening – U.S. 50 to Silver Springs Parkway, Phase 1B Project No: GP166
- Roadway improvements to Bass Lake Road east of Silver Springs Parkway, full width improvements, curb, gutter, sidewalk – Bass Lake Frontage Improvements-Silver Springs Project No: 66115
In fact, at the Nov 17, 2020 Board Of Supervisors hearing regarding the 2020 TIM fee program update, the Transportation Dept. Director told the County Supervisors that Bass Lake Road was unlikely to be getting these improvements back on the CIP list in the 20 year horizon, because conditions (traffic volume, and road conditions) were not projected to warrant the improvements.
Public comments can be emailed to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by Monday December 7th. Getting public comments in before the close of business will ensure that the comments are seen by the Supervisors prior to the hearing. Comments should be respectful, and fact based, and not depend on emotion, which tends to get ignored.
Would you consider submitting public comments on the Bass Lake North Appeal hearing?
Sample Form Letter – copy and paste into your own email message to the Board of Supervisors:
COPY and PASTE the sample letter below and email to: email@example.com
SUBJECT: Denial of Tentative Subdivision Map Revision TM-R19-0002 Bass Lake North
I ask that you uphold the Planning Commission’s November 12, 2020 denial of the Tentative Subdivision Map Revision TM-R19-0002 Bass Lake North request to revise the Condition of Approval #66 that sought to reduce the required constructed quantity of park-and-ride parking spaces from 100 to 50 and phasing the remaining 50 spaces as a Condition of Approval for future subdivision(s) within the Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan area.
The Planning Commission’s reasons for denial were:
- No technical analysis or justification was presented to support the applicant’s request;
- The El Dorado Transit Master Plan, testimony from the Transit Authority and Public Comment shows a need for the Park-and-Ride spaces and the Transit Authority Board has not vetted any technical analysis for this request;
- These projects (Park-and-Ride spaces) are going to be fully refundable to the applicant through the Public Facilities Financing Plan (PFFP);
- The intention of the Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan was to front load the needed infrastructure;
- The assertion that it would be reasonable to push the requirement of the additional 50 Park-and-Ride spaces to potential future projects (potentially smaller future projects) would be unfair to those future projects and applicants;
- The applicant agreed to the front loading infrastructure as approved and conditioned by the Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors additional condition of approval to include a bike path; and,
- The current approved project is more consistent with the Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan and the County General Plan than the proposed modified request as presented to the Planning Commission.
Changes to anticipated traffic levels, build out projections, and deferring infrastructure improvements to undefined future development is how Bass Lake Road became a road with three Capital Improvement Plan projects removed in 2015/16.
The El Dorado Transit Authority had based their needs for Park and Ride lots on an analysis that predates the 2017 approval of the Bass Lake North project. El Dorado Transit Authority’s recent concession to the applicant’s request to change from 100 funded parking spaces to 50 parking spaces is not based on any meaningful analysis.
The Park and Ride is also intended to provide 10 joint use parking spaces anticipated to be used for the Mormon Carson Trail within the Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan Area.
Further, on page 107 the Bass Lake North Project CEQA Addendum and Initial Study of Environmental Significance, approved by the Board of Supervisors on February 28, 2017 specifies that development of a park and ride facility near the intersection of Bass Lake Road and Country Club Drive should be required in conjunction with the development of the area.
Also, that a portion of the Class 1 Bicycle lane from Old Country Club Drive to Hollow Oak Road had to be added to the Specific Plan and this project without analysis during the Board of Supervisors hearing in 2017, further demonstrates a lack of full consideration for the facilities and circulation elements in the 2016/17 updated Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan. The County should not be trading Conditions of Approval after the fact.
Both the Park and Ride Lot and the Bicycle lane are facilities that are lacking in the Bass Lake Area, and trading required Conditions of Approval years after the project has been approved, in deference to cost increases, does not serve the interests of residents or the County. Additionally, the park and ride facility construction costs are reimbursable to the developer.
I request that both Condition of Approval #66 (the 100 spaces in the Park and Ride Lot) and Condition of Approval #67 (the Class 1 Bicycle lanes) not be modified for this project, and that you uphold the Planning Commission Denial of the request, and refuse the appeal.