Editorial - Cityhood for El Dorado Hills?

by Placerville Newswire / Aug 06, 2018 / comments

[Cris Alarcon]

Steve Ferry writes: Cityhood meeting at EDH Fire Department on Wilson Way at EDH Blvd. 6:30-8:30 on August 7, 2018.

Last week I watched a debate on this subject when one person asked, "What 'commercial pressure' does development West of the county line bring, exactly?"

I decided to answer the question of the Developmental pressures facing El Dorado Hills over the next ten years.  

First we have to look West to the pending development west of the county line around Grant Line road headed to Elk Grove.  That is a huge expansion of 10,000 homes and 25,000 residents will be directly across the county line from what could be called South EDH or the long planned major commercial expansion in EDC south of Hwy 50 on this side of the county line near Grant Line road.  That growth just over the county line will have a tremendous effect on growth in our county near the western edge of El Dorado.

That covers where the growth pressure will come from.  Now let's look at a couple of fundamental civic planning elements that Folsom found out the hard way, and will be put into play on the above Folsom expansion:

1) Separation of Commercial from Residential - Good living is found in homes and commercial being grouped separately, but not too far way from each other.  This is to allow for a peaceful living, as well as minimal road usage to access the commercial needs of those residents.

2) Balance of Commercial to Residential - Taxes are always an issue and a common civic planning element is to have enough commercial (high tax percentage) to balance the residents (a low tax rate). The two can balance the needed revenue and have commercial subsidize the residential taxes.  Much like our phone services where the residential rate is lower and subsidized by the more costly commercial rates.

Okay, that covers the basics of where the pressure will come from and how it will be developed.  Now let us talk about a more difficult question before I get into the most difficult decision that will be made in this growth.

POLITICS (my specialty) I have to laugh at EDH decision makers.  Now, I love EDH, hills that were just rolling grasslands when I was growing up that burned off more years that not.  It looks much better now and is better in countless ways.  So those that worry about future development hold little sway with me as you are now living in homes that are new development and most of you are from out of the area and the cause of our explosive growth. Many of my good friends, and most bitter political enemies, live in EDH.  But I have to laugh at the short-sightedness.  Let me explain.

Currently that area of the county has 1 vote on most 5 vote decision making boards in the county, or 20%.  The majority of the county is rural and much less affluent.  The general feeling in rural parts of the county is that those rich people in EDH owe to us poor folk to subsidize their services with their big tax base.  Those politicians elected outside of the City of South Lake Tahoe (an incorporated city) stay elected by honoring the desires of those rural voters, about 60%+ of the county.  So we love it that we have a majority vote over those rich people in EDH...  I think you can see the issue here...

The county's plan is to allow a great deal of commercial development in the EDH area as a revenue generator. (Commercial always generates tax revenues, but residences have a lifespan whereas they now cost more to provide services for than the amount of taxes they generate)

So they question is WHEN the area of EDH incorporates, not IF.

Now here is where the fight will be: the line of the incorporated EDH line is drawn in the south.  The City will want as much of the commercial tax base, as will the county.

Now these are just my opinions.  

Cris Alarcon.