The El Dorado County Courthouse located on Main Street Placerville is of significance to Placerville’s history and economic stability. On June 10, 2015, the Judicial Council approved the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) to build the new Placerville Courthouse project, despite concerns brought up by residents and merchants. The project approval means that the new Placerville Courthouse is expected to be built on Ray Lawyer Drive by 2020. The historic Placerville Courthouse building on Main Street will revert back to County property. The City plans to work with the County to repurpose the building. The County does not have a good record of taking care of its historical resources, which could jeopardize the future of the building.
Timeline of the New Placerville Courthouse project
March 4, 2016, article in Mountain Democrat, Locals disagree over planned county courthouse relocation
March 1, 2016, Respondent Judicial Council of California and Real Parties in Interest County of El Dorado and El Dorado County Board of Supervisors’ Joint Opposition Brief to Petition for Writ of Mandate
July 13, 2015, Press Release announcing lawsuit filed to block the New Placerville Courthouse project. The Writ of Mandate is attached at the end of the Press Release.
March 26, 2015 update by Judicial Council Watcher, The Alliance Responds to Chief Justice’s State of the Judiciary Address
February 13, 2015, Letter to Judicial Council regarding corrupted process
The Blue Ribbon Committee was formed with the foregone conclusion that the New Placerville Courthouse will be built on Ray Lawyer Drive and that the Main Street Courthouse will no longer have court rooms. If the Placerville City Council wants to keep court rooms on Main Street to retain downtown Placerville’s economic vitality (as stated by City Clerk Susan Zito), then why isn’t the Blue Ribbon Committee and the City Council lobbying the Judicial Council of California to adopt Alternative 2 of the Draft Environmental Impact Report?
Link to City Manager’s January 27, 2015 Report regarding the formation of the Blue Ribbon Committee: http://www.cityofplacerville.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=9371
“The historic courthouse is an integral and central part of the economic, social and cultural life of the city, and its abandonment would cause irreparable damage to the city. If the courthouse moved to a new location, the public defender’s office, the district attorney’s office, the CASA office and numerous attorneys and other services adjunct to the judicial system would soon follow, leaving downtown Placerville a blighted ghost town.
There appears to be a conflict of interest in regards to the ownership of the property. John Briggs is the father of a sitting El Dorado County Supervisor and grandfather to a past City of Placerville Planning Commissioner who advocated for this specific location. John Briggs is presently marketing the property as the future site for potential leased county facilities.” December 1, 2014 Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Report John Briggs is speculating that future Board of Supervisor decisions will favor these potential county facilities and increase the market value of his land.