FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OUTRAGED SENIORS SUE LENNAR & PARKS DISTRICT:
Seeks to Defend Quality of Life & Endangered Species
DATE: May 31, 2022, El Dorado Hills, CA
Concerned Residents of EDH Heritage Village (CRHV) filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief with the El Dorado County Superior Court against developer Lennar Homes and El Dorado Hills Community Services District (CSD), and CSD General Manager Kevin Loewen. CRHV represents residents of Heritage Village, a Lennar 55+ active adult community. The complaint alleges the negative impacts of Heritage Park on the quality of life for the senior residential community and direct harm to the adjacent sensitive wetland nature preserve.
The seniors are locked in a two years struggle to address concerns about safety, health, traffic, noise, light pollution, nuisance, and other issues with the CSD and Lennar. Heritage Village residents participated in numerous public hearings and delivered 400+ letters to Lennar’s Florida corporate headquarters and CSD Board of Directors, yet the Park is still scheduled to open this summer without mitigating the concerns.
A storm of protests ignited when the shocked seniors witnessed the installation of 50-foot field stadium lights in the small, 4.6-acre neighborhood park with dawn to dusk operating hours. CSD’s Kevin Loewen admitted that he approved the Lennar lights design plan, but he “did not recognize that the lights were as tall as they were/are going to be.” Bowing to resident pressures, Lennar offered to remove the lights at the company’s expense.
Rather than correct the error, Loewen and the CSD Board of Directors steadfastly refused to remove the lights. CSD insists that lights remain in case future needs for extended play evolve for a park that closes at dusk. CSD illogically promotes the Park as a premier sports complex for regional competitive league use, violating the Carson Creek Specific Plan mandate for a neighborhood park serving the senior community. Ignoring the desires of its residents, Lennar declines to remove the lights as the current parkland owner without CSD permission.
No analysis of the lights’ impact was conducted throughout the five-year design phase. Earlier this year, two brief tests resulted in lighting so excessive that it flooded bedrooms and other living areas of the homes of nearby residents. This form of lighting trespass violates El Dorado County’s outdoor lighting codes and impinges on the quiet enjoyment of homes.
Many other issues exist with Heritage Park’s poor design, including compromising access by emergency vehicles into the senior community. Health-related impacts of noise and added traffic remain unresolved.
In addition to impacts on senior citizens’ well-being., Heritage Park will harm endangered, threatened, and special concern species in the ecologically rich Carson Creek Preserve. Located within feet of the Preserve, the Parks lights, noise, and excessive run-off will impact species like the California pond turtle, burrowing owl, tricolored blackbird, golden eagle, bald eagle, and other species observed within the immediate radius of the Preserve. Letters of concern have also been sent to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Corp of Engineers, and El Dorado County.
The El Dorado County Superior Court is asked to intercede on Heritage Park operations until EDHCSD and Lennar address the negative impacts satisfactorily.
On Thursday, May 12, the EDHCSD Board of Directors and GM Loewen affirmed an intent to open the Park before resolving issues including intrusive lighting trespass, 50-foot stadium lights, safety, noise, unfair assessments, increased traffic, public nuisance, faulty sports courts, and harm to endangered, threatened and special concern species in the Carson Creek Preserve.
As a public benefit nonprofit corporation, the CRHV writ “involves the enforcement of important rights affecting the Heritage community and the general public interest by conferring a substantial benefit on the citizens of El Dorado Hills and El Dorado County.”
The complaint documents nuisance claims, inconsistencies with County policies, non-disclosure to homeowners in Lennar sales documents, unfair assessments, harm to the wetlands, and other issues. CRHV also establishes good-faith attempts to negotiate.
Adding insult to injury, Heritage residents are assessed almost 80% of the costs for maintenance and operation for a Park designed and promoted for remote competitive league use. Further, they are forced to pay for a court action that protects them and the environment from being unfairly abused.
A legal defense fund is established at www.crhv.org
Robert Williams, CRHV president firstname.lastname@example.org
Download to complaint available www.crhv.org website.
ABOUT: Concerned Residents of El Dorado Hills Heritage Village (CRHV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation dedicated to the defense, protection, education and research on the quality of life of senior citizens and the natural environment.