Friday, 03 August 2007 02:00

ACTC Commissioners Make Historic Recommendation on a Project

slide13The Amador County Transportation Commission held a special meeting Wednesday night to discuss the Jackson Hills Golf Course and Residential Community. ACTC staff had asked their Commission’s Board of Directors to take a specific action regarding a recommendation to the Jackson City Council for the project.

That recommendation from staff remained that Jackson deny the Jackson Hills Development Project based on current project related information, including lack of adequate mitigations/conditions to address short and long term regional traffic and circulation concerns. At the July 9, 2007 Jackson City Council meeting ACTC Executive Director Charles Field stated that the ACTC staff had recommended denying the Jackson Hills project not the ACTC commissioners- who at that point, had not taken any formal position on the project. The meeting began with a presentation by Field, as he asked the Commissioners which presentation they would like to view. Commissioner Richard Forster asked that the most inclusive presentation be shown because the commission “normally has not taken policy positions like this.”

The presentation covered new funding sources for projects which are not currently being funded, compromise recommendations, the slide17 fact that the proposed Jackson Hills development is not currently consistent with the city’s general plan, the fair share program and updates on the strain our roadways will soon be seeing. At the meeting it was stated that Jackson’s transportation system is already strained and adding projects like Jackson Hills only further strains that system. One way to combat that strain is to incorporate smart growth principles into development, these principles help ease traffic congestion and improve air quality while protecting Jackson’s small town charm. After the presentation by Field and a brief question and answer period, Marty Tuttle, the Project Manager for the Jackson Hills Project, introduced himself and asked the commissioners to remember that the Jackson Hills project has many issues at the moment, with transportation only being one of the many. However it is an important issue, he stated and Jackson Hills has made a commitment to pay the regional traffic impact fee at whatever price it is at when construction begins.

Mike Cook, the project’s attorney, also  commented, stating that the August 13th Jackson City Council Meeting will be the first of many meetings in regards to the development agreement- which will take some time to prepare. During the process of preparing that development agreement, ACTC will be able to voice concerns and ideas concerning traffic issues. After both men were done with their presentations the public hearing was opened. Rosalie Pryor Escamilla who currently sits on the Jackson City Council asked the ACTC commissioners to please remember that “in all due respect this is a decision for the Jackson City Council.” In the end the ACTC commissioners with a 3-2 vote (Baldwin, Sherman, and Boitano voting yes, and Forster, and Richards voting No) to recommend denial  of the Jackson Hills Golf Course and Residential Community to the Jackson City Council based on available information and proposed mitigations related to traffic and circulation.