The El Dorado Hills Area Planning Advisory Committee has asked for a continuance of the Planning Commission Hearing regarding the El Dorado Hills Apartments at Town Center East, to allow time to review the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), released to the public on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.
The Notice of Public Hearing issued by El Dorado County November 13, 2017 indicated that all relevant Staff Reports and documents would be available for public review 14 days before the scheduled December 14, 2017 hearing date. The EDH APAC believes that issuing the FEIR with only 8 days for public review, as well as neglecting the Notice of Public Hearing’s promise of documents being available 14 days prior to the hearing, wouldn’t allow adequate time for a thoughtful, thorough, review of the 210 page document, nor was it keeping in the spirit of El Dorado County’s commitment to transparency and good governance.
From APAC Chairman Tim White’s letter:
This request for rescheduling is not made with respect to the merits of the Project, but solely with respect to the scheduling of the Project for hearing on December 14, 2017. Specifically, the FEIR for this Project was not posted on the EDC Planning website until Wednesday, December 6, 2017, just 8 days before the scheduled hearing. As you know, during the review process on a project, most people only read and make comments on the DEIR during the 45 day time required by law- when a FEIR is available people typically review that document to see how their comments were addressed by the Planning Department.
In final, 8 days to review the 200+ pages of the FEIR for the Town Center Apartments Project is an inadequate period of time- it flies in the face of transparency, in full and timely disclosure, and in good governance.
There were also requests from El Dorado Hills residents seeking additional time to review the document.
The Project Applicant has asked the County to defer the hearing until January 11, 2018. From the applicant’s letter:
We understand that the County has received comments from the El Dorado Hills Area Planning Advisory Committee (EDHAPAC) and at least one individual, which request postponement of the hearing to allow for additional time for public review of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) prepared for the project. Although we understand that there is no legal requirement to postpone the hearing as a result of these requests, we respectfully request that the hearing be continued and placed on the agenda for the Commission’s next meeting, on January 11.
We are making this request because of our commitment to ensuring the public and the County are fully informed of the project’s benefits and impacts (including environmental impacts), before any action is taken by the County on the project. Deferring the hearing until January 11 will effectively extend the public review period by approximately four weeks, thereby ensuring that EDHAPAC, local community members, and other interested persons are afforded ample opportunity to review the FEIR and all other project-related materials that have been posted to the County’s website.
We believe that this extended review period will facilitate active and informed participation by the public at the hearing, as well as informed decision making by the Planning Commission. This approach is consistent with our and the County’s efforts throughout this process to be proactive in soliciting and addressing community feedback.
This morning, on December 11, 2017, the County of El Dorado has placed the applicant’s request for continuance on the Planning Commissions’s legistar project file – the Planning Commission will address the request for continuance at the scheduled December 14, 2017 Planning Commission Hearing.
In advance of the Planning Commission’s finding, EDH APAC asks that area residents continue to submit their concerns, questions, and suggestions for the project for Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors consideration.
Submit public comment regarding A16-0001 to
County Planner Mel Pabalinas [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Please be certain to cc: the Clerk of the Planning Commission, Char Tim [ email@example.com ] so that your public comments are added to the file for review, as well as firstname.lastname@example.org