Mintier Harnish prepared a Mixed Use Design Manual for El Dorado County. El Dorado County comprehensively updated its Zoning Ordinance, prepared an environmental impact report, and developed Targeted General Plan Amendments. The new Zoning Ordinance allows mixed uses in several commercial and residential districts by approval of a Development Plan Permit. In conjunction with the Targeted General Plan Amendments and Zoning Ordinance Update, the Mixed Use Design Manual provides clarity on the County’s expectations for mixed use development.

The guidelines define a hierarchy among a menu of design features that provides performance standards and a corresponding “point system” that enables prospective developers and County staff to assign values to various design features to clearly show how projects meet the intended outcome of the design guidelines. In this way proposed developments have flexibility in meeting the County’s expectations. Greater certainty in the development review process will also help facilitate mixed use development in El Dorado County. The Design Manual is published as a set of highly illustrated guidelines that incorporate concepts and principles from, and ultimately replace, the County-adopted guidelines.