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Big test Tuesday for West Slope redevelopment

Rick Chandler

In the first major test of Measure Y, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will vote on giving the go-ahead to road improvements connected with the Missouri Flat Area Management Plan.

Missouri Flat – an area of Placerville just north of U.S. Highway 50 and east of Missouri Flat Road – is targeted for more than 100 acres of development over the next two years. Projects include two major shopping centers and several large retail chain stores.

Several of the projects within the Missouri Flat Plan, including the Wal-Mart outlet, have already cleared the El Dorado County Planning Commission. But in order for construction to begin, the board of supervisors must give their final OK. And before they can do that they must sort out roadway improvement funding issues.



The key component of Tuesday’s debate will be the $3.8 million Headington Road extension project, which is needed in order to get construction under way for Wal-Mart.

But who will fund the project, and how soon will the money be put on the table?



“That’s the $3.8 million question,” said Second District Supervisor Ray Nutting, whose district is ground zero for the development project. “We need to pay close attention to Measure Y. The citizens spoke loud and clear about how they want these things handled, and we have to make sure to listen to them.”

Measure Y, which was overwhelmingly adopted by voters in November, requires developers to account for any funding required for roadway improvements connected to their projects.

But the exact nature of how Measure Y would be implemented is still open to debate, and debate is what the board will do on Tuesday – with an expected healthy dose of input from the public.

“If it’s anything like a Planning Commission meeting, it could get quite contentious,” said District V Planning Commissioner Alan Tolhurst. “Now it’s going to be even more complicated with Measure Y.”

At the heart of the matter is the belief by the majority of voters who traffic relief issues are paramount in El Dorado County. There are 12 major residential and commercial development projects scheduled to get underway in the next two years, and that will put a serious strain on major roadways – including U.S. Highway 50, the lifeline to South Lake Tahoe.

“The issue of compliance to Measure Y is critically important,” said Fifth District Supervisor John Upton. “Many of the roads in the area are already at level F (above recommended capacity levels). However, much of it is just a matter of working out the details.”

But as they say, the devil is often in the details. Will he show up on Tuesday?

“This is one of the most volatile times in El Dorado County history,” Nutting said. “It’s a big issue. And people in Lake Tahoe should understand that this effects them, too.”

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