Visitors to Trinitas face hazardous conditions on seriously inadequate roads. Primary access to the property from the west is from Highway 26 to Ospital Road and from Highway 12 to Southworth Road, which merges into Ospital. Both are mostly narrow, shoulderless roads, with few turn-outs, many blind hills and curves, patched or rutted surfaces and places where the pavement drops off abruptly past the “fog line.”

If the Ridge at Trinitas proposal is approved:

  1. Bullet Daily traffic along the Ospital and Southworth Roads corridor and alternative routes to Trinitas will increase significantly. Trinitas will generate traffic from new residents, golfers, visitors to the clubhouse, restaurant, bar, banquet facilities, retail shops and 30-unit lodge/day spa/motel, and “special events.” While the RDEIR claims the project will allow only 12,000 rounds of golf annually, the traffic studies analyze the impacts of 24,000 and 36,000 rounds. The difference is significant. With REC zoning, no limits apply. (See RDEIR Table 3-13.18)

  2. Bullet Local residents can expect year-round “event” traffic. The proposal calls for 24 special events of up to 500 people per year, one event of up to 1,000 people, and unlimited events of up to 250 people. Any one “event” can last for several days, as tournaments often do. This could result in nearly constant events, which will route much more traffic through our neighborhoods. If the Recreation zoning adjustment is approved, county code would allow events of greater than 1,000 people. What would prevent attendance of greater than the allowed number? How are these limits enforced? Or will they be enforced?

  3. Bullet Traffic won’t just impact residents on the two main roads and the small rural roads feeding onto them. Local residents along Olive Orchard, Burson, Warren, Pettinger and Messing Roads – alternative routes for travelers east of the project – will also experience significant increases in traffic (and traffic noise) if the full proposal is approved. Traffic and congestion will worsen during special events.  Drivers making left turns at Highways 26 and 12 will experience longer delays, as will those trying to pass cars waiting to turn left off the highway - especially when event attendees are arriving or departing Trinitas. Local homeowners may even find it more difficult to move on or off Ospital or Southworth Roads to reach home or carry on normal activities during such times. This will extend travel times and increase gasoline expenses for everyone, including commuters and those just passing through.

  4. Bullet More traffic on dangerous roads will mean more accidents. Residents relate near-miss experiences on Ospital and Southworth Roads, even with current traffic levels. During the golf course construction, many survived hair-raising encounters with large vehicles topping a hill or rounding a curve across the center line.  Others are concerned for their family’s future safety from drivers under the influence of alcohol consumed at Trinitas, or even from sober visitors to the project who are unfamiliar with the roads, driving them at night, or in the rain or fog.

  5. Bullet  Local road surfaces will degrade at a faster pace, causing higher automobile maintenance and repair costs, from wear and tear from potholes, cracked and bumpy surfaces, or damage caused by chunks of loose asphalt or flying road debris.

  6. Bullet Trinitas access roads on Ospital Road have limited sight distances, making left turns dangerous both entering and exiting the property. Larger vehicles – such as tour buses or motor homes, that must move slowly into a 90 degree turn – will create a special hazard. Vehicles driving south on Ospital at normal speed will have little warning that an obstacle may be blocking the lane.

  7. Bullet An on-site road to the proposed home sites poses additional driving hazards. Because it runs parallel to Ospital Road, with very little separation, a driver going north on Ospital at night could be confused by headlights on the right, leading to unnecessary corrections and accidents.

  8. Bullet Trinitas event traffic congestion could hamper fire, ambulance or law enforcement personnel from responding effectively to an emergency. What if an accident along Ospital or Southworth Roads locks vehicles in place, with no way for emergency vehicles to pass?

  9. Bullet Trinitas impacts require road improvements. Who’s going to pay the bill? The sidebar mentions required mitigation measures to lessen the harmful impacts on the community. But unless the developers pay the full cost to construct them upon project approval, will they ever be built? RDEIR Table 3.13-10 addresses the cost of long-term Planned Circulation System Improvements, none of which will be in place any time soon. The cost of the left turn pocket at SR 12/Southworth Road is $412,000. Improvements to Ospital and Southworth roads could cost up to $3 million per mile. Will taxpayers subsidize road improvements necessitated by Trinitas?

  10. Bullet Trinitas lacks adequate parking for large events. The tentative subdivision tract map shows roughly 5 acres of parking spaces for the clubhouse, motel, and all commercial facilities associated with the project. How many parking spaces will be required for an event of 1,000 people, plus “ordinary” visitors? If Trinitas really intends to bring PGA tournaments on site – or even concerts on the scale seen at Ironstone Vineyards – attendance could far outweigh available on-site parking. Will visitors park along the adjacent roads and walk a mile or more along narrow roads to Trinitas, further compromising both pedestrian and vehicle traffic?

  11. Bullet Table 3.13-18 Total Project Trip Generation by Study Scenario

Traffic & Road Impacts


According to the RDEIR, traffic impacts will remain significant and unavoidable, even if all the following mitigations are fully implemented:

MM3.13-1a: The project shall contribute its fair share to the cost of regional circulation improve-ments and to passing lanes on SR26 and SR 12 in the project vicinity, through the countywide road impact mitigation (RIM) fee program prior to issuance of a building permit or other entitlement…

MM3.13-1b: “The project proponents shall install left turn lanes on SR26 at the Ospital Road inter-section.” (This intersection is in San Joaquin County. Has Calaveras County consulted with San Joaquin County about this mitigation?)

MM3.13-1c: “The project proponents shall improve Ospital Road in the area of the site access intersections, either by installing left turn lanes or by reconstructing Ospital Road along the project frontage to eliminate sight distance limitations created by short vertical curves.”

MM3.12-1f: …provide at least a 25’ separation between parallel roadways (on-site road adjacent to Ospital Road) with adequate vegetation to limit headlight glare between roads

MM3.13-2a: “The applicant shall widen SR12 to provide a west-bound left turn lane and to continue that lane west of the intersection as a “receiving” lane for northbound traffic turning left.…enter into a reimbursement agree-ment with Caltrans…to…pay only their fair share.”

MM3.13-2b: The applicant shall widen Ospital Road along the project frontage to the southern Southworth Road intersection… enter into a reimbursement agree-ment with the county.

RIDGE AT TRINITAS 2008 RDEIR  Chapter 13 - Transportation/Traffic

See Final EIR Chapter 13 for updates and revisions to the RDEIR mitigation measures.

Overview     Legal     Water     Traffic   Agriculture    Biological/Other   Events/Noise    Services    Economic

What Others Say:

Calaveras County Public Works:

“Adequate funding for road maintenance is not expected in the foresee-able future.

…Available funding is insufficient to effectively maintain over 689 miles of roadway.

…according to the current General Plan, new development is not to decrease existing roadway levels of service.

…the cumulative impact from development is often severe.”

9.8.08 Letter from Calaveras Co. Public Works re: “Clarification of topic 4: Transportation and Mobility Issues and Opportunities Report prepared by Mintier & Assoc. (June 2008)

Check out the “Roads” photo gallery for more pictures of Ospital, Southworth and other area roads to Trinitas, traffic trouble spots, and aerial views of Highway 26 and 12 intersections

Intersection SR 26 & Ospital & Wimer Roads

(GoogleEarth image)

RIDGE AT TRINITAS 2009 FEIR p.3.13-28  See FEIR Ch 3-13 p. 23 for Trip Generation by Ancillary Uses

Masthead photo:

Approaching Trinitas from Highway 26 on Ospital Road; an example of conditions drivers face on the narrow rural road – blind hills and curves, with limited visibility or opportunity to avoid collisions. if oncoming vehicles stray over the center line.

Intersection SR12 & Southworth Road (GoogleEarth image)

Copyright 2009 - Keep It Rural Calaveras (KIRC)

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are the property of KIRC. Documents were obtained from Calaveras County under the Public Records Act, and from cited local sources.

RIDGE AT TRINITAS 2009 FEIR  page 3.13-10

“Safety issues related to the vertical and horizontal alignment of the road are an existing condition. This problem will be exacerbated by the project.”

Jan. 2009 AD FEIR Table 6.1 Response to Comments, p.30

  1. BulletTable 3.13-10 Planned Circulation System

See Planning Commission Hearing Exhibit 18, written comments “Regarding: The Ridge at Trinitas, FEIR, Chapter 3.8, Land Use and Agricultural Resources” for more information on this topic.