Bass Lake Action Committee


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF JULY 21, 2003 MEETING OF THE BASS LAKE ACTION COMMITTEE WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF EL DORADO COUNTY TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE PARK

BLAC members assisting were Tasha Boutselis, Stuart and Sue Colvin, Joe and Jeanette DíAmico, David and Peggy Glazier, Ted and Teresa Greenman, Juliana Harris, Bobbi Hunner, Dee and Denny Olberding, Walter Oberloher, Kathy and Herb Prevost, Andi and Tom Stuchell, and Fran and John Thomson.

Kathy Prevost opened the meeting with welcoming remarks at 7:10 p.m.

Speakers:
State Senator Rico Oller (unable to attend because the Legislature was in session)
Michael Gray, Manager, Division of Airports, Parks and Grounds
C. Gary Hyden, Parks Project Coordinator
Steve Peterson, Principal, Environmental Stewardship and Planning
Matt Boyer, Director, El Dorado County Department of Transportation
Rusty Dupray, County Supervisor, District 1

Invited Dignitaries:
Sandra Kay Dotson, District 1 Park Commissioner,
Ray Cherney, District 2 Park Commissioner
Bob Smart, District 3 Park Commissioner
Doyle Patrick, District 4 Park Commissioner (?)
Steve Yonker, District 5 Park Commissioner (?)
Wayne Lowery, General Manager, El Dorado Hills Community Services District
Dianna Hillyer, Planning & Special Projects, El Dorado Hills Community Services District
Craven Alcott, Director, Parks and Recreation
Jim Pickett, President, Bridlewood Canyon, and Board of Directors

Presentations Moderated by David Glazier

David opened the presentation period with general remarks and identified the following recurring themes that have come up in previous discussions with people in the neighborhood:
∑ A basic recognition that there is a desire and a need for a park.
∑ The desire to have constructive input to what that park will be and what the design will finally look like.
∑ That the park should be an add to the quality of life for the neighbors, the neighborhoods, and the Region, and not a detriment to that quality of life.
∑ Neighbors of the park generally acknowledge that we are going to have some sort of park.
∑ There have been many comments that people would like to make sure that there are day activities, that the park is geared towards the youth, that the park should be a recreational facility and not a mega-sports complex.
∑ There have been statements with regard to a desire for more passive use activities, more of a low-key, low-impact type of park.
∑ Baseball fields should be smaller and geared towards children.
∑ Immediate neighbors are looking for quiet enjoyment of their property.
∑ Neighbors have expressed concern as to how having a large sports complex across the road will affect property values.
∑ There are concerns about how is the park going to be funded amid growing concerns within the County for cutbacks and lessening fundsóand where those funds would come from.

Rusty Dupray said he was impressed with how professionally BLAC had put together the meeting. He said that he was there on a listening tour and that he would be happy to answer any questions the audience had of him during the Q&A period.

Gary Hyden gave a general background review on the planning for Bass Lake Park. He then described the park facility as having a baseball field, tennis courts, a group picnic area, another ball field, two soccer fields, a major play area, another play area, a transition from the more active park to a more natural area, an outdoor amphitheater, a nature interpretive center, a proposed dog park, and a trail system that will go along the dike.

Matt Boyer expressed thanks for being invited and said that DOTís role in this particular project is primarily to provide support to the Parks & Recreations Dept. in the preparation of their environmental document. He addressed the general status of the regional road improvements in the vicinity of the regional park and, in particular, the status of Bass Lake Road. Their long-term planning process might include realigning a substantial portion of the roadway and make it into a modern facility, initially a two-lane facility with standard shoulders, ultimately a four-lane facility, if thatís warranted, to serve future traffic demand. The other portion of the project includes an extension of Bass Lake Road that youíve heard something about already tonight. That goes on almost a true north direction from, again, the vicinity of the lake out to Green Valley Road. That would be a standard two-lane facility with standard shoulders. With respect to maintenance, the county has been very reluctant to spend road maintenance dollars on something that six months, or a year or two would be redone by somebody else subject to future reimbursement. Matt concluded his presentation by offering his staff and himself to answer questions at the end.

Steve Peterson explained the planning process. Steve said they hope to bring back an updated project to us at the August 11 meeting. They are working through a lot of issues related to noise, light and glare, traffic and safety, and environmental issues. They have done just about all the baseline studies for environmental work, that is, the wetland delineation, the identification of the boundaries around the wetland areas that are controlled by the U.S. Army Core of Engineers, and identifying the plant species in the area. Using all this information, they have been working with the planning team to put together a new proposal. The park plan shown tonight is where they were in about May and June, and because of the comments received in that June meeting, they are actively reworking this. He reiterated that they will be presenting the new project plan on August 11 at the Countyís meeting, and at that time they hope they will get more comments. He said the comment period has been extended to August 27. From there the process will be as follows: They will take the comments received on that revised plan, consider them, and then put together a final project description that is both a narrative and a graphic description of the project as proposed by the County. At that time they will go through the impact analysis process where the technical specialists will look at all these different issues, how the plan as proposed relates to the resources, identify impacts, identify any mitigation measures that may be needed, and then publish that information as a draft Environmental Impact Report.

He said he would have a proposed timeline on the 11th. There will be a 45-day comment period at the time the draft report is issued so people can consider it, formulate comments, and put comments into the record to the County regarding the adequacy of that document.

At the time the draft EIR is issued, there is going to be a public session and informational meeting that will be held in front of the Parks and Recreation Commission. That will be the next opportunity to make comments to County staff and County appointees.

The County has also proposed a comment meeting where comments will be solicited from folks who donít want to write them down or e-mail them and who show up at the County session. All comments will be recorded, and under CEQUA, the County is responsible for responding to every one of the comments in a meaningful way. Those responses will be published in what is called a Final EIR, and at that time the document will go forward through a formal adoption process.

After that, at the close of the comment period, with the publishing of the Final EIR, the next session would be in front of the El Dorado County Planning Commission, another public venue which allows an opportunity for comments. Lastly, the project will go forward to the County Board of Supervisors, who will consider the project as a whole, including the environmental document, and make a decision. He said this would be the next step in the communication process.

This concluded the formal presentations, and David Glazier opened the question and answer period.

[A digest of the major issues introduced in the Q&A session will be added later]

David Glazier then reminded the audience that there was a time limit to the meeting. He noted that there were still many questions that were not able to be answered but he encouraged people to send their comments to the County and help shape what the park will be. He said that the only changes that are facilitated are the changes that the people put into it, and thatís where it needs to go from here.

David expressed gratification at the big turnout. He summarized by saying that he hadnít heard too much against the park itself but there were a lot of issues about whether it was to be a recreational or sports complex. He said he hoped the meeting will incite some degree of concern and activism, that everybody will get involved, that the process wonít stop here, and that the attendees will flood the County with their comments and let them hear what they want the park to be.

David thanked the speakers and encouraged them to listen to the people at the meeting.

Kathy Prevost closed the meeting with thanks to all attendees at 9:10 p.m.

Summary prepared by Fran Thomson, BLAC Secretary