At the December 14 2017 El Dorado County Planning Commission meeting, Planning Commissioners voted 5-0 to deny the Saratoga Retail DR08-0003-R design review project, featuring three smaller buildings, comprised of two drive through restaurants, and one unidentified commercial tenant. Citing concerns that the design review was not just a “minor modification” of the original phase 2 of the project approved in 2009, as well as traffic issues, and land use conflicting with the nearby residential neighborhoods. Meeting minutes of the hearing have yet to be posted as of Monday December 18, 2017, but the El Dorado Hills Village Life has posted the following article:
The project originally approved by the commission in 2009 includes three commercial buildings totaling 30,628 square feet. Divided into two phases, Phase I consisted of the construction of a 13,263-square-foot building now occupied by Walgreens.
On Thursday the developer was back for approval of a modified Phase 2. Instead of two more commercial buildings, the revised plans included reducing the square footage of the commercial building by 6,907 square feet and constructing two drive-thru restaurants to be occupied by Chick-fil-A and Habit Burger.
Brad LaRue, CEO of United Growth and the project developer, called the revisions a minor design modification. He told county planners there were adequate parking spots for the new uses and requested an exemption from providing RV parking spots…
LaRue reiterated he was only requesting a minor modification to the original design and that should have required a staff-level decision rather than a public hearing. At the same time he promised to build the best development possible — one that would hopefully be enjoyed by people in the future.
Seeking some kind of compromise, District 1 Commissioner John Vegna asked if LaRue would meet with the homeowners to hammer out a “win-win.” Williams also asked if the developer would consider downsizing the project.
LaRue said he didn’t want to downsize the project any more than had already been done.
After planners conceptually denied the design modification they asked staff to return to the Jan. 11 meeting with the findings of facts as to the reasons for the denial with traffic being the main sticking point. The developer has the option of appealing the decision to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors after the planners make their final decision in January.
The Planning Commission has directed County Staff to prepare findings to support their denial vote. The Project Applicant can appealing the findings to the El Dorado Count Board of Supervisors after the Commission has published their findings in January 2018.
Another project with a hearing at the same Planning Commission meeting was approved 5-0 by the Planning Commissioners. The Pavilions Memory Care project will create a 64 bed facility providing care for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Residents expressed concerns about mitigation measures for Oak Tree loss on the project, but several commentators agreed it would potentially be one of lower impact projects possible for the site. The Village Life published an article with more details.
Also scheduled for the same Planning Commission meeting, the hearing for the El Dorado Hills Apartments at Town Center was granted a continuance until the January 11 2018 Planning Commission Meeting.
The Five hour, thirteen minute meeting is available as an audio recording on the County Legistar website. When available, meeting minutes will be posted to the APAC documents page.
UPDATED 12/19/2017 – The Meeting Minutes of the 12/14/17 Planning Commission Hearings have been posted online