Community-based planning is a local voluntary planning process that is designed to build, strengthen and support community structures. The overall intent of community-based planning is to develop a comprehensive and well-managed plan that jurisdictions can utilize to guide local community development initiatives. The process directly engages community leaders and the broad-based citizenry in an active effort to move their community from today’s reality to tomorrow’s possibilities. With a basic understanding of community and community development, along with the techniques involved in the process of community-based planning, local constituents become actively involved at the community level and serve as an influential resource in moving the planning process forward.
The General Plan Statement of Vision and Plan Strategies support community identity and encourage growth to reflect the character and scale of the community in which it occurs. General Plan Goal 2.4 promotes the enhancement of the character of existing rural and urban communities. A community's character and identity is protected and enhanced when new development projects (homes, businesses, etc.) place an emphasis on both the natural setting and architectural design elements of a community.
While the General Plan land use map and zoning adequately regulates the type and location of land uses within the County, they do not fully address the appearance of development. With this in mind, General Plan Policy 126.96.36.199 directs the County to develop community design guidelines for each community identified in General Plan Policy 188.8.131.52 and Rural Centers identified in General Plan Policy 184.108.40.206 to the extent possible, to be used in project site review of all discretionary project permits. (The referenced General Plan goals and policies are in Supporting Documents.)
Specifying design criteria unique for each community and requiring proposed projects designed to reflect these guidelines/standards ensures that new development enhances the community’s quality of life, economic health, and community pride.
In 2009, El Dorado County Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC) presented a draft framework for initiating General Plan Policy 220.127.116.11 (Community Identification) to the Board. CEDAC recognized that the process needed a document that outlines the process for how a community plan would be created and adopted (i.e. “framework”). At that time, the County had also initiated a process to comprehensively update the Zoning Ordinance and had begun the first 5-year review of the General Plan. Since 2009, community planning and community I.D. has been addressed and supported in the General Plan 5-year review and considered throughout the Zoning Ordinance Update to ensure a process and framework for community planning was included.
In 2012, AIM Consulting was brought on board to assist CEDAC with the community-based and led process. CEDAC was collaborating with several communities that were either developing a strategic economic vitality plan or pursuing economic development strategies. Over the next two years, AIM partnered with CEDAC and other community organizations to identify their unique needs and the best strategies for assisting with this effort.
In July 2013, the first meeting to begin planning for community plans was held to discuss community identification (I.D.) and visioning and implementation plan (VIP) concepts. Approximately 35 people attended this meeting, with representation from all known communities undergoing some form of community planning activity. The goal of this meeting was to determine types of community needs that could ultimately bring forward an adoptable and enforceable Community Plan. Subsequent conversations with more than 40 people from nine community areas surfaced interesting trends that focused on economic development. Lodging and signage for expanded tourism, and widespread Broadband rose to the surface. Other common concerns noted the need for “facelifts” in commercial areas and also the aging population. The areas surveyed included Cameron Park/Shingle Springs, El Dorado Hills, El Dorado/Diamond Springs, Coloma/Lotus, Cool/The Divide, Camino, Pollock Pines, Fair Play/Pleasant Valley, and Meyers.
In summer 2013, the County initiated the Cultural and Community Development Grant Program. This program encourages tourism, agriculture, and economic development in the County by supporting promotional, cultural, and community activities, including projects that facilitate community planning and community I.D. Approximately $80,000 was provided to various community groups for community projects and programs.
In August 2014, nine community meetings were held to share the draft Community Planning Guide and to receive feedback. Meeting locations were in Cameron Park, Camino, Coloma, Cool, Diamond Springs, El Dorado Hills, Fairplay, Pollock Pines and Shingle Springs. Input from the Meyers community was provided by phone. Over 110 community members participated in the feedback sessions. The draft guide was refined to incorporate comments received.
In November 2014, the Community Planning Guide was made available for public use online on the County website.
On April 4, 2016, the Board held a special meeting to discuss community planning. Staff presented five preliminary options for how community planning could be initiated. Based on public input and Board discussion, the Board directed staff to prepare additional information focused on two of the options: 1) Updates to countywide Community Design Guidelines/Standards and creating custom design guidelines/standards prototypes for interested communities; and 2) Preparation of corridor plans in specific communities that focus on enhancements to the transportation network. At this meeting, the Board deferred guidance on available funding until the FY 2016/17 budget discussions. (Refer to Legistar File No. 13-0561, Attachment 5A - Staff Report 4-4-16).
On September 27, 2016, the Board approved the final FY 2016/17 County budget that included $100,000 for community planning efforts to be led by Long Range Planning staff. (Refer to Agenda Item 22, Legistar File No. 16-0448). Due to other higher priority long range planning projects and staffing constraints, these funds were not utilized during FY 2016/17.
On June 19, 2017, the Board-appointed Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC) submitted a memo to the Board with recommendations from the CEDAC Community Planning Ad Hoc Subcommittee requesting financial and staff support in the FY 2017/18 budget for community planning efforts. (Refer to Legistar File 17-0406, Attachment "Public Comment Rcvd 6-19-17 BOS 6-20-17").
On September 19, 2017, the Board designated an annual amount of $250,000 for Community Planning (for the next four fiscal years) in the final FY 2017/18 County budget - $125,000 from the Economic Development budget and $125,000 from the Planning and Building Department budget. Any unspent monies during FY 2017/18 would be re-budgeted in FY 2018/19 and added to the $250,000 annual amount. (Refer to Board meeting minutes from September 19, 2017, Item No. 26, Legistar File No. 17-0406).
On December 5, 2017, the Planning and Building Department Director presented the Board with three community planning options, as outlined in the staff memo. (Refer to Legistar File No. 13-0561, Attachment 6A – Staff Memo BOS 12-5-17). The Board directed staff to proceed with Option 2: Create custom design guidelines/standards and prototypes for communities identified in General Plan Policies 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 (Cameron Park, Camino/Pollock Pines, Diamond Springs/El Dorado, El Dorado Hills, Shingle Springs and interested Rural Centers) with Shingle Springs as the lead prototype. The Board further directed staff to develop a Scope of Work for a Request for Proposal (RFP) with assistance from the CEDAC Community Planning Ad Hoc Subcommittee and to return to the Board with the draft Scope of Work prior to issuance of an RFP.
On January 5, 2018, County staff and members of the CEDAC Community Planning Ad Hoc Subcommittee met with members of the Shingle Springs community to discuss the components of effective community design standards/guidelines and the role of the Shingle Springs community in developing a lead prototype for these standards/guidelines. Participants also discussed the next steps for developing a draft Scope of Work for the RFP.
On July 17, 2018, the Board directed Planning and Building Department staff to proceed with issuance of a Request for Proposals for Community Design Guidelines/Standards.
On December 4, 2018, the Board: 1) Awarded Request for Proposal 19-918-013 to the successful proposer, DeNovo Planning Group; 2) Authorized the Planning and Building Department to negotiate a three year Agreement with DeNovo Planning Group, for an amount not to exceed $250,000 to assist in Community Planning efforts in Shingle Springs, Cameron Park, Diamond Springs/El Dorado and El Dorado Hills; 3) Authorized the Purchasing Agent to execute said Agreement, contingent upon Counsel and Risk Management review and approval and minor revisions; and 4) Made findings that it is more feasible and economical to engage an outside Consultant for the provision of land use planning services in accordance with Ordinance 3.13.040.
Commercial/Multi-Family Residential Design Standards Project
Utilizing a community-based planning process, the Commercial/Multi-Family Residential Design Standards Project will result in comprehensive design regulations and supporting standards for commercial and multi-family residential projects in the County’s four Community Regions: Shingle Springs, Cameron Park, Diamond Springs/El Dorado, and El Dorado Hills. Shingle Springs is serving as the project’s prototype community. Based upon the process and design standards developed for Shingle Springs, design standards will be prepared for the remaining three communities. El Dorado County expects to adopt the Shingle Springs’ component of the project in early 2022 and the other three communities’ component in mid-2022.
For the project webpage, click here for more information.
Board of Supervisors Agenda Items
Please note: These agenda items may not reflect the most current information and are subject to change. For the latest information on agenda items related to this project, refer to the County online agenda calendar: https://eldorado.legistar.com
Community Development Services, Planning and Building Department recommending the Board: 1) Award Request for Proposal 19-918-013 to the successful proposer, DeNovo Planning Group; 2) Authorize the Planning and Building Department to negotiate a three year Agreement with DeNovo Planning Group, for an amount not to exceed $250,000 to assist in Community Planning efforts in Shingle Springs, Cameron Park, Diamond Springs/El Dorado and El Dorado Hills; 3) Authorize the Purchasing Agent to execute said Agreement, contingent upon Counsel and Risk Management review and approval and minor revisions; and 4) Make findings that it is more feasible and economical to engage an outside Consultant for the provision of land use planning services in accordance with Ordinance 3.13.040.
Community Plan Development
The County’s General Plan recognizes historical patterns of development where, over time, common land use issues and themes have arisen. Those issues and themes, in conjunction with natural topographic and human-made barriers, have developed into unique sub-areas of the County. A community plan is a public document which contains specific proposals for future uses and public improvements in a given community. It provides tailored policies and a long-range physical development guide for elected officials and residents engaged in community development.
A community plan is defined in Public Resources Code §21083.3 as a part of the General Plan which (1) applies to a defined geographic portion of the total area included in the General Plan, (2) includes or references each of the mandatory elements specified in §65302 of the Government Code, and (3) contains specific development policies adopted for the area included in the community plan. A community plan also identifies measures to implement those policies, so that the policies which will apply to each parcel can be determined.
Community plans address a particular region or community within the overall planning area of the General Plan. It refines the policies of the General Plan as they apply to smaller geographic areas, and is implemented by local ordinances such as those regulating land use and subdivision. Community plans also provide forums for resolving local conflicts among competing interests. Community plans must be consistent with the General Plan of which it is an integral component
Similar to the development of a comprehensive General Plan, a community planning process involves many steps that correspond to those in a conventional planning process, including: a complete survey of existing population, land uses and public facilities; projections of future needs and expectations; clear documentation of the communities economic and social role within the County; and an inquiry into the objectives of the area’s residents, businesses, employees, and organizations. These steps lead, in various ways, to an array of major options for development of a community plan. Most importantly, given the local nature of a community plan, it is especially important to involve landowners as well as special-interest groups and associations in the planning process.
Community-based planning is a process that empowers individual communities to create their own unique vision and plan for how their community is identified and shape its future. A community plan helps transform a vision from conceptual to realization. To help communities get started, the County developed a Community Planning Guide to provide a framework for community members to go from a grassroots level discussion about community identification to an enforceable community plan. On November 17, 2014, the Board approved the Community Planning Guide.
Historic Area Plans
In the 1970's and 1980's, the County prepared Area Plans for over 20 local communities within the County. Scanned copies of these Area Plans are posted below. Note: These Area Plans are County historical planning documents for reference purposes only. For current land use planning documents/ordinances, see the County's adopted General Plan and Code of Ordinances.
If you have questions or would like more information on the community-based planning process, please contact:
Aaron Mann, Senior Planneraaron.firstname.lastname@example.org ; (530) 621-6565 Direct