DR19-0003 Saratoga Retail Phase 2 Update

On July 5, 2019, a Notice of Decision by the County of El Dorado Planning and Building Department to take action on the proposed revisions to the approved Saratoga Retail Project in El Dorado Hills was issued.

From the Notice of Decision:

A design review application modifying the approved site plan and related exhibits associated with the Saratoga Retail Phase 2 Design Review (DR-R18-0001) approved on October 9, 2018 by the Board of Supervisors. This design review seeks the approval of the Planning Director for proposed minor changes and making a determination of substantial conformance with the approved project referenced above and Conditions of Approval, in accordance with the County of El Dorado Zoning Ordinance Title 130, Article 5, Section 130.54.070 (Revision to an Approved Permit or Authorization).

The DR19-0003 application is being processed in accordance with Title 130, Article 5, Section 130.50.040 (General Review Procedure), as a staff-level review with public notice. The decision to approve this project may be appealed to the Planning Commission by formally filing an appeal along with payment of applicable fees to the County of El Dorado Planning and Building Department within the appeal period. The appeal period is 10 working days starting on Monday, July 8, 2019 and ending at 5:00 pm on Friday, July 19, 2019 (end of business day).

Changes to the 2018 approved project stem from a lawsuit submitted by area residents concerned with the inclusion of a high volume drive thru business. The applicant has engaged with area residents in a discussion to make the project better fit the neighborhood. To this end, changes have been made to Building 3 converting it from a single tenant building, to a multi-tenant building for up to three tenants, eliminating the high volume drive thru facility, and replacing it with a lower volume drive thru tenant: suggested to be a coffee house business tenant.

From the Applicant’s May 9, 2018 Submittal Packet:

This application seeks the approval of the Planning Director that the attached plans and elevations substantially conform to the approved site plan associated with the Saratoga Retail Phase 2 Design Review approved October 9, 2018 by the Board of Supervisors. The attached site plan is a culmination of discussions with neighbors of the project which objected to the approved plan primarily due to the inclusion of a high volume drive through facility. Accordingly, the primary difference between this site plan and the approved site plan is a reconfiguration of Building 3 to make it more amenable to a multi-tenant building and the reduction of the drive through facility to a one lane configuration. Other minor changes are made to the parking and drive aisles as a result of these minor changes, which may be typical of changes that occur from tentative to final site design.

At the time of the approval of the Saratoga Retail project in 2009, the Phase 2 area had an approved site plan which was not dissimilar to the proposed site plan herein. The significance of this is that the site has already be graded and drainage and other infrastructure has already been installed at the site. The proposed site plan comports with the previously constructed improvements thus avoiding any significant changes to the site.

In preliminary discussions with Planning Department staff concerns were raised regarding the possible traffic implications of the requested change to the site plan. Specifically it was pointed out that the drive through as proposed will be conducive to a coffee business which could result in more AM traffic trips thus affecting the conclusions of the other traffic reports prepared for the project. Attached is another traffic report examining the potential impact of the drive through being utilized by a typical retail coffee facility, which concludes no impacts different than those originally identified in previous studies.

This project was approved October 9, 2018, following a denial of an appeal filed by area residents, of the project’s previous approval. The July 5, 2019 Notice of Decision confirms consistency and final approval of the changes requested in the May 9, 2019 Design Review of the previously approved project.

The EDH APAC document page for DR-R18-0002 contains project details and document links.