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Mountain Democrat (Newspaper) - January 17, 2000, Placerville, California See below Home trashed by garbage truck Sports B-2 El Dorado upsets Trojans Foothill Don't miss Gold Discovery Day MONDAY JANUARY 17, 2000 Vol 149 No 9-20 Pages 2 Sections 3 Supplements Cortlnoous publication once JHountam 4- -i M c I 1 Ll't E i I j i r t www.mtdemocrat.com 500 includes tax County in deep hole over rock quarries, mining policy Review of mines' plans lagging State board blasts local officials By LEE ZION Staff writer FOLSOM State mining offi- cials censured El Dorado County, saying the county did a bad job in overseeing mining businesses Thursday. But despite earlier objections by county representa- tives that they weren't being heard, they didn't show up to defend themselves. Bob Grunwald, chairman of the State Mining and Geology Board, voted Thursday evening with his fellow board members in censuring the county for its alleged failure to comply with state law in oversee- ijig local mining operations. The unanimous decision also set up a possible hearing to be set later this year, in which the county's ability to govern local mining could be revoked. Earlier in the week, the county tried unsuccessfully in court to have Grunwald taken off the pro- ceedings for previous statements he made which county officials said showed bias against the coun- ty- see SMARA, page A-7 By MOLLY RHODES Staff writer Rather than drop a one-year review of two Sierra Rock mining reclamation plans, the El Dorado County Planning Commission requested that the review be scheduled for a public hearing as soon as possible. The Planning Department staff had requested the review be put off entirely, because its original intent a voluntary review to try to resolve differences with the state Department of Conservation could not be met when DOC was unwilling to discuss reason- able changes to the 1997 plans. The planning staff and DOC's attorney, Richard Thalhammer, made various, conflicting argu- ments about who was actually responsible for the stalled negoti- ations, yet neither side's argument negated the fact that a review that was suppose to be done had not been done, said Planning Commission Chairman Alan Tol hurst. "For the past year, I've been see REVIEW, page A-7 Placervilie Station close to reality Facility construction set to begin soon By ROB COLE Staff writer After a decade's worth of discus- sions and work, the city of Placerville's desires to establish a primary public and private transit station is finally materializing. Plans for the "Placerville Station" project passed some hurdles last %veek at the City Council meeting, where drawings of the new park and bus facility on Mosquito Road were unveiled by the Department of Public Works Director Jeff Crovitz. "This has been as tough a project PLACERVILLE STATION is shown In this artist's rendering. The transit hub will be located at Mosquito Road and Clay Street. to put together as I have ever been a part said Crovitz, a former engi- neer for the California Department of Transportation, on Friday. "It has been a fight to gain environmental clearances and right of ways get- ting the money for the project has been the easy part." The station, which should be ready for use by June 2001, is scheduled to be built on a 1.22-acre site at the corner of Mosquito Road and Clay Street. The property was recently purchased and is currently owned by the El Dorado Irrigation District with the exception of a small portion of the site which EID has in escrow. The city plans to complete a right of way contract and purchase agree- ment for the site with EID sometime within the next month, once it is out of escrow. When completed, the facility will be used primarily as a transit station for the El Dorado Transit Authority, but will likely also host other public and private busing services such as Amtrak or Greyhound. The building is planned to include a covered wait- see STATION, page A-7 Missouri Flat Road Wal-Mart store still on hold By ERICA BROOKS Staff writer Two years after the El Dorado County Planning Commission approved letting Wal-Mart build a store on Missouri Flat Road, the giant retailer still waits for the go-ahead. The planned store at the corner of Missouri Flat and Forni Roads remains on hold, mired in the logistics surrounding the county's planned developments in that area. "A number of things need to be accomplished" before construction proceeds on the Placerville Wal- Mart, said County Planning Director Conrad Montgomery. The Planning Commission approved three major retail developments for the Missouri Flat area in including Wal-Mart, El Dorado Villages, and Sundance Plaza, a shopping center planned behind Prospector Plaza at Highway 50 and Missouri Flat Road. Now, the Sundance project waits for approval from the Army Corps of Engineers, and the other develop- ments wait for Sundance. Because of Measure Y, which requires developers to offset the cost of road capacity improvements made necessary by their developments, the new pro- jects must shoulder the cost of millions of dollars in improvements. The county has planned an estimated million in improvements, including widening and realigning the Missouri Flat freeway overpass and interchange and building a bypass from about China Garden Road to Pleasant Valley Road near the Busy Spot Market. Without Sundance, the smaller developments, including Wal-Mart, simply do not have the money to satisfy that requirement Sundance, meanwhile, cannot proceed until the Army Corps of Engineers approves a parking lot that will pave over approximately 5 acres of wetlands. "We're on hold waiting for a response (from the said Bob Brown, project director of Roebbelen Land Co., the developers behind the Sundance project. There is no statutory or regulatory time limit for them to respond." The corps did not respond to messages left on its answering machine. Until the corps gives Sundance its approval, the project sits in the planning stages, and all Wal-Mart developers can do is wait and watch. "We are waiting now. That's all 1 can said Hayes. "We can't force the issue." Will the standstill ever end? "It's certainly ques- said Brown. "We've been working on (Sundance Plaza) for 10 years, and it hasn't happened yet." Currently, the Western Slope of El Dorado County has only one large retail store Kmart's Big K store, also located on Missouri Flat Road. "El Dorado County is a great location for a Wal- said Greg Hayes, a Wal-Mart spokesperson, in a telephone interview, and despite the delays, he remains optimistic. "I'm a hopeful he said. "I do think it's going to happen Wal-Mart would really like to be in that (El Dorado County) community." Runaway dump truck crashes into home By ELIZABETH BUCCERI Staff writer CAMERON PARK Mike Salata awoke early Friday morning to a crash so loud it practically knocked him out of bed. He found the crash was the sound of a runaway dump truck plowing into the living room ot his La Crescenta Drive home, damaging his furniture and knocking the roof of his carport down onto his 1987 Ford pickup. "I knew my truck was wasted, and my new furni- ture was said Salata. His neighbor, Tiona Styring, 17, said she got an early wake-up call as well, but she thought the sound was coming from below her feet. "I woke up to a big ol' shaking. It felt like an she said. "I ran and got my sister and went downstairs because I knew something wasn't right." Styring's confusion was soon erased after she ran outside to investigate and discovered the double- parked dump truck in her neighbor's driveway and saw the driver across the street trying to figure out see WRECK, page A-9 a Democrat photo by Linda Todd WAKE-UP CALL Onlookers view the damage after a dump truck plowed Into the Cameron Park home of Mike i Mriy Friday limning, carport State eyes ban on serpentine road paving County already has restrictions By MOLLY RHODES Staff writer El Dorado County residents could no longer be able to use serpentine aggregate to cover their unpaved roads if a proposed change to the state's airborne toxic control measure for naturally occur- ring asbestos becomes law. According to wording of the draft measure, "No person shall use or apply asbestos-containing mate- rial, serpentine or serpentine material for surfacing in California." The California Air Resources Board will hold a public meeting on its draft airborne toxic control measure for naturally occur- ring asbestos from to 4 p.m. Feb. 4, in the lower level board hearing room at 2020 "L" Street in Sacramento. The draft measure also covers proposals to limit dust from construction and mining sites. The California Air Resources Board announced the draft changes to the asbestos measure last week. If it chooses to adopt the draft measure as its final measure, El Dorado County would have four months to fully enforce the plan. Chrysotile asbestos can be found in certain strains of serpentine rock. The exact amount of exposure needed to pose any serious health risk has not been determined. Tremolite asbestos largely accepted as one of the see SERPENTINE, page A-9 More asbestos found in ED Hills No public health threat, say county health officials By MOLLY RHODES Staff writer Asbestos has been officially identified in at least 19 rock samples in El Dorado Hills, including not only at the original, preliminary test site along Woedee Drive but also along Harvard Way. Both sites are in or around Oak Ridge Subdivision, formally Seven Oaks Subdivision, east of El Dorado Hills Boulevard and within 200 yards of the El Dorado Hills Community Service District. While county officials had not been aware of the tests along Harvard Way until the California Air Resources Board released the results for both sites late on Thursday, "No great danger is reassured the county Health Officer Stephen Drogin in a public advisory released on Friday. "However, following the simple precaution of not making any more contact with the dirt than is absolutely necessary can markedly reduce or elimi- nate the advisory states. Precautions have already been taken at the Woedee Drive site, including putting a tarp over the open dirt piles and a fence around the property. The asbestos found along Harvard Way was not in open dirt piles, but in a vein in a dirt and rock bank by the side of the road, where no construction is currently taking place to further disturb the land. ARB conducted the official test sampling after tremolite asbestos a known carcinogen was dis- covered at a home construction site along Woedee Drive last month. Of the seven samples taken along Woedee Drive, one was 96.5 percent tremolite asbestos. Of the 19 samples taken along Harvard Way, one see ASBESTOS,
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