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Development Threatens Chinese Diggings, Folsom Preservation League Says

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The Heritage Preservation League of Folsom, a citizens group that aims to preserve historic elements in the city, is concerned about a development they say threatens the local Chinese Diggings.

Jeff Ferreira-Pro, an HPL member, said the group is concerned that a hotel project, scheduled to go before the Folsom City Council, is seriously flawed.

The historic Natoma Ground Sluice Diggings, known as the Chinese Diggings, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1990. The Heritage Preservation League says it is opposed to the development project, that fails to even meet Folsom's own regulations and standards of quality.

The group's main objections to the project are:

  • Potential Damage to the Diggings: Grading, excavation, and blasting have the potential to affect the stability of the trench walls and the underground drainage tunnel, which crosses under the hotel site to Folsom Boulevard. As do the 600-900 truckloads of dirt that will need to be trucked in for this project.
  • Faulty Environmental Review: This project relies on a 20-plus-year-old Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and an Addendum that states there is no effect on the Scenic Corridor.
  • Parking: Per the Development Agreement the project is required to provide parking for the Diggings site yet the current proposal barely provides for its own needs.
  • Visual: Folsom Boulevard is a designated Scenic Corridor. The removal of the trees and lack of an acceptable landscaping plan fronting Folsom Boulevard does not meet Folsom's own standards.
  • Tree Preservation: The project wipes out virtually all the trees and mass grades the slope along 1000 feet of Folsom Boulevard.
  • Bicycle Master Plan: If this project is approved as designed, a critical link in the Folsom Boulevard bicycle route can not be built even though the Bicycle Master Plan was adopted prior to the de-sign of this project.

    Ferreira-Pro said the Heritage Preservation League has a complete list of issues with this project, at the www.folsompreservation.org website, including a letter to the Planning Commission.

    At the time of writing, the Hotel project is tentatively scheduled to be heard by the Folsom City Council April 27.

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