County board supports plan for maximum growth |

County board supports plan for maximum growth

Gregory Crofton

El Dorado County leaders have chosen a plan for growth for the next 25 years but still have until July to fine tune it.

The Board of Supervisors picked a plan that dates back to 1996 and allows the most residential and commercial development of the four options from which they had to choose.

But environmental protections and other concerns are being incorporated into the plan as the board conducts public hearings and works to adjust it, said Supervisor Dave Solaro.

The El Dorado portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin will not be affected by the plan because its growth is regulated by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Growth in areas close to the basin, such Strawberry and Kyburz, will not be affected significantly either, Solaro said.

The 1996 plan calls for more than 125,144 acres to be set aside for new homes; 6,506 acres to be used for new commercial and industrial business; and 950,471 to be preserved as open space.

The more environmentally restrictive plan called for 74,405 acres to be set aside for new homes; 4,868 acres to be used for commercial or industrial business; and more than 1 million acres to be preserved as open space.

At an all-day public hearing on Wednesday in Placerville, the supervisors continued to wade through the difficult task of making adjustments to the 1996 plan, which they aim to finalize by July 19.

John Hidahl, chairman of the El Dorado Hills Incorporation Committee, called for the board to do its best to encourage job creation in El Dorado Hills and work to maintain the rural areas of the county while distributing growth in a fair manner.

“If people could live and work in El Dorado Hills it would help a lot,” Hidahl said. “Rather than having them commute long hours and pollute the highway.”

El Dorado County is one of the fastest-growing areas in California. A consultant hired by the Board of Supervisors has estimated that by 2025 the county population will increase by at least 53,000; it will have at least 21,000 new housing units; and as many as 36,000 new jobs.

– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at

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