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Heritage vs EDHCSD

INTRODUCTION

]. Carson Creek Specific Plan (CCSP) is a 710-acre age-restricted residential
development under the jurisdiction of El Dorado County. The CCSP includes 37 acres of park
land, with 7 acres of public neighborhood parks and qualifying private neighborhood park
facilities, and a 30-acre regional park suitably located near planned industrial and research and
development uses to avoid inevitable land use conflicts between sensitive residential uses and
intensive lighting typically used in regional parks for competitive sports activities. The general
location of the parkland is shown on the CCSP Land Use Map (Exhibit 1); the exact location of
neighborhood parks and private recreation facilities was finalized with approval of tentative
maps for the subdivisions. A portion of the CCSP was acquired by Lennar for development of an
age-restricted residential community known as “Heritage El Dorado Hills” (“Heritage”).

2. Within the CCSP, a 4.65-acre Heritage Neighborhood Park (“Park”) has been built by
Lennar under the terms of a 2015 Parkland Dedication Agreement (PDA) between Lennar and
the CSD. (Exhibit 6) Despite express language in the CCSP limiting uses allowed within this
Neighborhood Park, at the direction of the CSD, Lennar designed and built tennis and pickleball
courts with intensive stadium-style lighting on 50’ tall poles adjacent to the age-restricted homes.
Playground equipment, required under the Zoning Ordinance to be centrally located within the
park to avoid noise impacts on adjacent property owners, has instead been placed adjacent to the
rear yards of the age-restricted homes, and has been equipped with noise makers to increase,
rather than mitigate the noise impacts on adjacent properties. Plaintiff is informed and believes
that neither Lennar nor the CSD has processed an amendment to the CCSP to authorize these
more intensive park uses and neither Lennar nor the CSD obtained a Conditional Use Permit
(“CUP”), required under the County’s Zoning Ordinance to authorize improvements within the
Neighborhood Park that are not otherwise allowed by right under the CCSP, General Plan or Zoning Ordinance. Approval of a CUP is a discretionary project that requires a public hearing and is subject to the requirements and procedures of CEQA. At a minimum, the permitting
process requires an assessment of the impacts of noise and light intrusion on adjacent properties,
compliance with relevant ordinances, and imposition of feasible mitigation measures. The
planning permit can be approved, conditionally approved, or denied, and a Planning Commission
decision can be appealed to the Board of Supervisors. Failure to obtain proper permits in
compliance with the County’s Zoning Ordinance constitutes a nuisance per se.

3. Despite Lennar’s active involvement in the planning, design and construction of the
Heritage Neighborhood Park, Plaintiff is informed and believes the disclosure documents Lennar
provided to homebuyers from at least 2017 through 2022 contained patently false statements
including that the developer did not know what type of facilities would be included in the Park
and did not know whether the Park would be lighted. Plaintiff is further informed and believes
that Lennar sales agents made false and misleading statements, with many buyers being told that
Heritage Neighborhood Park would be a passive park with lawn and picnic tables, and more
recently that the Park has been designated “dawn to dusk” only, and that the intensive 50- to 60-
foot stadium style lighting would be removed due to neighborhood protests. Those purchasers
who bought homes in close proximity to the Park, in particular, were thereby induced to rely on
these misrepresentations to buy their homes, unaware that the quiet enjoyment of their properties
would inevitably be disrupted by Heritage Neighborhood Park as it was being planned and
constructed by Lennar, under direction of the CSD.

4. Following vociferous objections from residents as construction progressed and the
Neighborhood Park plans became apparent, Lennar asked the CSD Board to authorize removal
of the stadium-style lighting at Lennar’s expense. The CSD Board, despite a prior unanimous
vote to designate the Heritage Neighborhood Park a “dawn-to-dusk” facility, has refused to allow
removal of the lighting. GM Kevin Loewen, who has admitted that he did not realize the light
poles were so tall, now asserts that the CSD cannot determine what the future holds, and that the
lighting may well be needed in the future. Two cursory tests of the lights were conducted
without prior notification to nearby residents or El Dorado County enforcement officials.
Significant lighting trespass was observed by residents as shown in Exhibit 2. Another test of the
lighting scheduled for March 31, 2022 was cancelled and Plaintiff is informed and believes that
it will not be rescheduled, and that Lennar will not remove the lighting unless authorized by the CSD. This leaves homeowners caught in the middle, facing an imminent public nuisance, negative impact on their property values and the disruption of the quiet enjoyment of their
retirement homes. Plaintiff has also raised other issues related to the Neighborhood Park,
including but not limited to impacts on the health and safety of residents, from inadequate
parking, noise and lighting impacts exceeding allowable thresholds, and the environmental
impacts of lights, noise and other factors on the Carson Creek Preserve, a protected wetlands
containing endangered species, adjacent to the Neighborhood Park.

5. Plaintiff seeks a resolution of this stalemate to require the defendants to either process
and obtain required planning permits from the County, or to direct Lennar and/or the CSD to
remove at their expense any unauthorized improvements, including tennis courts, pickle ball
courts and related lighting prior to commencement of operations at the Heritage Neighborhood
Park. Further, Plaintiff seeks an order prohibiting operation of the Heritage Neighborhood Park
by the CSD until such time as the required planning permits have been issued and any required
mitigation measures for impacts such as light, noise, parking and traffic safety on the Heritage

homeowners and the Carson Creek Preserve have been implemented.
PARTIES AND ATTORNEY FEES

6. Plaintiff and Petitioner CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF EL DORADO HILLS
HERITAGE VILLAGE is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation (““CRHV”,
“Plaintiff” or “Petitioner”). CRHV was formed to represent homeowners within the multi-
phase master planned senior adult residential community known as Heritage – El Dorado Hills
within the Carson Creek Specific Plan (“CCSP”). Formation of this entity was made necessary,
at least in part, because the Heritage El Dorado Hills Master Association (“HOA”’), the
homeowner’s association for the community, remains under the control of the developer.

7. Defendant and Respondent, LENNAR HOMES OF CALIFORNIA, INC., is a
California Corporation. LENNAR HOMES OF CALIFORNIA, LLC., is a California Limited
Liability Company. The California Secretary of State website reflects a “Legacy Conversion”
effective January 31, 2022 whereby LENNAR HOMES OF CALIFORNIA, INC. was
“converted out” to LENNAR HOMES OF CALIFORNIA, LLC. Plaintiff is informed and
believes that both entities, own or have owned portions of the CCSP and are or have
participated in the development of HERITAGE — EL DORADO HILLS. The two entities are collectively referred to herein as (“Lennar”). In Lennar’s Answer to the original Complaint…

Steve Ferry

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