The funding was approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors on a 5-0 vote, with supervisors Jennifer Montgomery and Jim Holmes saying their “yes” votes didn’t mean the proposed entrance and parking lot on Bell Road was approved or met their approval.
Montgomery amplified her point by asking Parks Administrator Andy Fisher whether one of the alternatives in the study will be for no project. Fisher said that was the case, adding that the $50,000 would help come up with solutions for some of the problems the Bell Road access point could conceivably cause.
Both Montgomery and Holmes said increased traffic on the road caused by a new access is a concern.
“I support the motion but that doesn’t mean I support the project,” Holmes said. “Traffic analysis will be key. It’s one of my primary considerations.”
The new funding increases the amount in a consultant services agreement with AECOM Technical Services to $283,000 from $233,000. The county is exploring the possibility of an access point in the 5300-block of Bell Road in North Auburn as part of Hidden Falls trails expansion.
Opposition has been steady to the access-parking lot idea and public comment at Tuesday’s meeting on the funding increase reflected that concerns are continuing.
Jim Goddard, an Auburn, Placer resident for 42 years, said people who invested early in the Placer Legacy land preservation program “would be appalled with what’s going on. Two-thirds of the Hidden Falls visitors are from outside Placer County and “contribute nothing,” he said. “The choice is clear, support those who do not live in the county or support those who live in the county.”
Lloyd Harvego, a property owner near the park, said he wants the county to “sit down and talk with us. I’m a supporter of what you do but there are real complications on the road,” Harvego said.
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