Passage of Measure E raises questions for El Dorado County |

Passage of Measure E raises questions for El Dorado County

Adam Jensen

El Dorado County government officials are mulling their next steps following the presumed passage of Measure E during California’s June 7 primary election.

County staff have raised several questions regarding the implementation of the measure, which amends traffic policies in the county’s general plan and rescinds 2008 amendments to 1998’s Measure Y. The measure added polices regarding how developers are required to mitigate the traffic impacts of some projects.

Opponents of Measure E called it flawed and said it will remove controls on growth and traffic limits. Supporters of the measure maintained Measure Y was effective in preventing traffic congestion without the amendments.

“Measure E retains a new-and-improved 1998 Measure Y while sending a clear message that projects [that] create gridlock on our roads will not be tolerated,” according to Save Our County, a group in support of Measure E.

The measure received approval from 52.15 percent of voters last month, according to the most recent election results posted by El Dorado County Elections Department.

Measure E does not cover land in the Lake Tahoe Basin but could impact roadwork in El Dorado County, including improvements to U.S. Highway 50 on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada.

On June 17, the county announced its Capital Improvement Program and Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee Update is on hold until questions raised by Measure E are resolved. The CIP guides construction of county projects, and the TIM Fee Program is one of the funding mechanisms for projects required as a result of growth.

“The County initiated the CIP and TIM Fee Update in 2015 as required by the County’s General Plan and state law,” according to an announcement from the county. “Draft information presented to the Board of Supervisors and the public indicated the update would lead to significant cost savings and reduced TIM Fees. The County was tentatively scheduled to adopt the updated CIP and TIM Fee programs in August 2016.”

Dave Defanti, assistant director of the county’s Community Development Agency, told the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on June 28 that Measure E will effect the CIP and TIM Fee programs in many ways.

“We’re not sure whether they’re small changes or big changes,” Defanti said.

Substantial changes could require additional analysis and the recirculation of the environmental document for the fee update, Defanti said. Existing TIM Fee rates will remain in place until the update is adopted, according to the announcement.

Following Defanti’s presentation, El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved a $200,000 contingency for a consultant to help determine what changes will be needed in response to the passage of Measure E.

County staff said they expect to be back in front of the Board of Supervisors to discuss how to proceed at the end of July or in early August.

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