Sly Park Recreation Area Master Plan and Master EIR

Pollock Pines, California

Foothill Associates prepared the Master Plan and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) for the 2,000-acre Sly Park Recreation Area located in central El Dorado County. Sly Park is a regional destination for visitors throughout northern California. The Master Plan provides EID with guidance for developing, redeveloping, maintaining, and managing the recreation facility over the next 20 years. This project involved detailed site and facilities analyses. One of the key challenges of developing the Sly Park Recreation Area Master Plan was balancing multiple recreation and resource objectives, including opportunities for quality recreation, revenue generation and fiscal constraints, user conflicts, public safety, protection of natural, cultural and historical resources, and environmental constraints. The project included preparation of a Master Plan, EIR, and Market and Economic Analysis.


The Master EIR analyzed potential physical environmental effects resulting from implementation of the Master Plan, as well as development of over 20 individual projects pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The transfer of ownership of the recreation area from federal entities resulted in the transfer of land use authority to El Dorado County, necessitating a General Plan Amendment (GPA), Rezone, and Special Use Permit for implementation of the Master Plan and individually proposed projects. The Master EIR was comprehensively prepared to cover the contents of the Master Plan, as well as to clear individually proposed projects, and addresses the GPA, Rezone, and Special Use Permit requirements specified by El Dorado County. Foothill Associates selected and worked closely with technical experts in forestry, traffic, cultural resources, noise, and geotechnical issues. The Master Plan was adopted and the EIR was certified by EID.


The Master Plan provides specific direction to integrate water quality preservation, resource protection and recreation uses in a manner that is both environmentally and fiscally sustainable. The Master EIR provides full CEQA clearance for implementation of all Master Plan projects.


A comprehensive Existing Conditions analysis examined user demand as well as the geology, biological resources, hydrology, cultural resources, and visual resources of the site. This informed all subsequent project decisions from facility improvements to regulatory and CEQA compliance.


Issues of carrying capacity and conflicting user interests were addressed in public workshops.


Using Market and Economic Analysis, responses from the public, and Existing Conditions analysis, proposed park improvements were identified.


Twenty-four separate facilities were addressed with conceptual plans and cost estimates for implementation and operation developed for each.


Visual simulation techniques were used to examine the impact of proposed shoreline recreation improvements on the viewshed enjoyed by boaters. The analysis compared the existing view to the future views at 1-, 10-, and 30-years post-construction intervals.