Monday, September 19, 2005

Rockville Trails Estates new proposal puts 370 homes on 1,580 acres in hills north of Rockville Hills Park including 810 acres of open space

Article Last Updated: Sunday, Sep 18, 2005 - 11:18:54 pm PDT

Water issues cloud proposed Rockville Hills community

By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD - Figuring out how to provide water for the proposed Rockville Trails Estates community is among the issues that will delay the release of the project's environmental study.

Solano County expected the study to be done by now, but finishing the document will take at least a few weeks longer.

Rockville Trails Estates is a new version of the controversial White Wing Estates proposal from the 1990s. The county turned down White Wing as inappropriate for rural land.

The new proposal puts 370 homes on 1,580 acres in hills north of Rockville Hills Park. The project includes 810 acres of open space that is to have a public trail system.

Homes would get water from wells drawing on the Suisun Valley aquifer, but figuring out how to do this has proven a sticking point.

The Solano Irrigation District is working with the developer on the issue.

"The tricky thing about it is it's an area where we're not quite sure how much water there is," said Jim Daniels, engineering and planning manager for SID. "We have to verify the amount of water available."

That means doing test pumping and watching the effects on adjacent wells, Daniels said. SID will oversee the pumping and the developer will pay for it, he said. He was uncertain how long this will take.

Rockville Trails Estates developers also considered having SID run the proposed community's sewage treatment system. But the agency at this point isn't interested.

"We're asking them to take that option out of their report," Daniels said.

The SID board will discuss Rockville Trails Estates when it meets at 7 p.m. today at its headquarters at 508 Elmira Road in Vacaville.

Residents and agencies earlier this year had the chance to write in what issues they wanted the Rockville Trails Estates environmental study to cover.

The Green Valley Landowners Association fought the White Wing Estates project. It submitted a number of concerns over the new project, such as increased traffic in Green Valley.

"The pace of development should never overwhelm our existing community resources or adversely impact the environment of this unique area and regional resource," the association wrote.

Other letters made more general comments. The Cordelia Fire District wants to make certain the environmental study addresses issues involving firefighting.

It's possible Rockville Trails Estates could go before the county Planning Commission in November and the Board of Supervisors in December, county planning manager Mike Yankovich said, but that will depend on how long it takes the consultant to finish the environmental study.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at

At a glance

Who: Solano Irrigation District Board

What: Discussion on water issues relating to the proposed Rockville Trails Estates development.

When: 7 p.m. Monday

Where: SID offices, 508 Elmira Road, Vacaville

Info: 448-6847

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