Process & Timeline
The preparation of the proposed Central El Dorado Hills Specific Plan and its associated applications and environmental analysis is a complex process involving agency, stakeholder and public input over several months. The environmental review process, which includes the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), is necessary to identify any impacts associated with the proposed land uses and is essential to the decision-making process for the County of El Dorado. The County cannot make a decision based on the merits of the project until after the conclusion of the environmental analysis, and more importantly, after a series of public hearings to gather community input.
Please visit the El Dorado Long Range Planning County website for information about the Central El Dorado Hills Specific Plan and application process.
The information that follows is a brief overview of the environmental review process as required by the California Environmental Quality Act. For complete information, please visit the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
What is CEQA?
CEQA stands for the California Environmental Quality Act, a law enacted in 1970 for the protection of environmental resources. It requires California agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and describes measures to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
What is a Lead Agency?
A Lead Agency is the public agency that has the primary responsibility for approving a project that may have a significant impact upon the environment. The Lead Agency for the Central El Dorado Hills Specific Plan is the County of El Dorado.
What is an EIR and why is it prepared?
An EIR (Environmental Impact Report) is a document required by CEQA when a Lead Agency determines that a proposed project may have a significant effect on the environment. The Lead Agency has determined that an EIR is needed for the Central El Dorado Hills Specific Plan and the EIR will describe the proposed specific plan project, the existing environmental conditions, the impacts from construction and operation of the proposed project, mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate impacts, alternatives to the proposed project, and cumulative impacts.
Information in the Draft DEIR enables decision-makers, interested parties and the public to evaluate the proposed project and its environmental effects prior to decision-making, discusses ways to mitigate or avoid environmental impacts, and discloses to the public any potentially unavoidable impacts.
How does the public participate in the EIR process?
A Notice of Preparation (NOP) is issued at the beginning of the environmental review process and its purpose is to inform agencies and interested parties of a Lead Agency’s decision to prepare an Environmental Impact Report. The NOP is circulated for a 30-day review period, followed by a public Scoping Meeting. The purpose of the NOP and Scoping Meeting is to solicit input from agencies and interested parties, and identify the scope of the potential environmental impacts. All comments received by the Lead Agency during the NOP/Scoping phase will be considered during the preparation of the DEIR.
Several months after the NOP and Scoping Meeting, the Lead Agency prepares and releases the Draft EIR (DEIR) in hard copy or electronic format for public review for 45 days (minimum). During this 45-day review period, the public, agencies and other stakeholders may voice their opinions by submitting written comments to the Lead Agency.
What happens to the public comments that are received?
Under CEQA, the Lead Agency must respond to each written comment received during the DEIR review period. Each individual comment is evaluated for relevance to the DEIR and a response is prepared. In some instances, a comment may result in revision to the DEIR. The collection of comments and responses together with the DEIR constitute the Final EIR (FEIR). The FEIR must then be certified by the Lead Agency as adequate and in compliance with CEQA before a project can be approved.
What happens at the conclusion of the Final EIR?
The Final EIR (FEIR) includes all written comments received during the DEIR review period, including the Response to Comments and any revisions made resulting from public input. The FEIR is presented to the Planning Commission, which then votes on a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to approve or deny the project.
Current Project Status
The County and their consultant are preparing Responses to Comments in preparation of the Final EIR and public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
November 13, 2012
County approves contracts with consultants to prepare the Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
November 21, 2012
Serrano Associates, LLC / Parker Development Company files applications with the County
November 2012 to February 2013
Serrano Associates, LLC / Parker Development Company hold public outreach meetings prior to beginning the EIR process
February 20, 2013
County issues Notice of Preparation (NOP)
March 14, 2013
Scoping Meeting 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Oak Meadow School Multi-Purpose Room, 7701 Silva Valley Parkway, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
March 22, 2013
Written comments on the NOP are due to the County by 5 pm.
March 22, 2013 to November 20, 2015
The County and their environmental consultant prepare the Draft Environmental Impact Report
November 20, 2015
The County releases the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and supporting documents for public and agency review for a 60-day review period. For additional information and to access the documents, please visit the Long Range Planning Division’s website.
December 2, 2015
The County hosts an informational Open House about the proposed project and the DEIR. 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Oak Meadow Elementary School Gymnasium, 7701 Silva Valley Parkway, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
February 19, 2016
Comments on the DEIR are due to the County by 5 pm
April 16, 2016
The County releases a Notice of Availability (NOA) of a Partial Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (RDEIR). The RDEIR includes revisions to Section 3.6 (Greenhouse Gas Emissions), Chapter 4 (Alternatives Analysis), and Chapter 5 (Other CEQA Considerations), which included information pertaining to GHGs. The remainder of the previously released Draft EIR is not part of this recirculation. The RDEIR is available for public and agency review for a 45-day review period at the Long Range Planning Department’s website.
June 6, 2016
Public comments on the RDEIR are due to the County by 5 pm