El Dorado Hills is a census-designated place which encompasses 17.9 square miles (46 km2) of land along the western boundary of El Dorado County, California. Its actual extent as the El Dorado Hills Community Region is about 44 square miles, containing a population estimated by the El Dorado Hills Fire Department to have been 42,078 at the beginning of 2008. Population of the smaller area of the El Dorado Hills Community Services District was 35,276 at the start of 2006. Either measure makes it the largest community in El Dorado County, about 4 times larger than the City of Placerville. It is located in El Dorado County 22 miles (35 km) east of California's State Capitol, Sacramento.
El Dorado Hills residents and businesses are most closely affiliated with El Dorado County, a generally rural area. However, the U.S. Census Bureau considers El Dorado County to be part of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area because it is an outlying county socially and economically integrated with Sacramento County and the City of Folsom. El Dorado Hills, or EDH as it is otherwise known, is recognized nationally for its high median household income, ranking 77th in CNN Money Magazine's best places to live in 2007.
The modern history of El Dorado Hills dates back to the early 1960s when original developer Alan Lindsey began its development as a master planned community. The original master plan, prepared by architect Victory Gruen, covered the area generally north of U.S. Highway 50, and part of the area south of US 50 now considered to be part of the community. El Dorado Hills was envisioned as a large-scale master-planned community that would be completely planned from its inception as a group of residential "villages". Other land uses in the master plan included a business park, two 18-hole golf courses, community parks, schools, a community shopping center, and small commercial centers in each village. The master plan emphasized open space between villages and opportunity for outdoor recreation.
Between the late '60s and mid-1990s growth occurred at a moderate pace as new families relocated from Sacramento, Southern California and the Bay Area. This growth consisted primarily of residential housing, as retail developments were limited to two shopping centers on the corners Green Valley & Francisco and El Dorado Hills Blvd. & Hwy. 50. Each neighborhood created during this time period was given a name and referred to as a "village" by local inhabitants. The original villages of El Dorado Hills include Park, Ridgeview, Saint Andrews, Crown, Governors, Stonegate, Franciscan, Marina, and Lake Hills Estates. In the 1980s and 1990s the major part of Lake Hills Estates north of Green Valley Road, was reorganized into Lake Forest Village, containing the neighborhoods of Waterford, The Summit, Green Valley Hills, Winterhaven, Marina Woods and Windsor Point. Additional villages that have developed subsequently include Fairchild, Sterlingshire, Highland Hills, Highland View and the master-planned community of Serrano.
By the 1990 census, El Dorado Hills had an estimated population of 6,395 residents. Growth slowed during the early part of the '90s due to an economic recession throughout California, but resumed at a staggering pace by the mid 1990s. Businesses, particularly those interested in escaping the high costs of Silicon Valley began to set up operations in the El Dorado Hills Business Park south of Highway 50. In 1995, the Parker Development Company acquired 3,500 acres (14 km2) along the eastern boundary of El Dorado Hills to create Serrano, one of the largest master planned communities in Northern California. Serrano was the site of an innovative case of recycled water irrigation on a large scale. http://www.owue.water.ca.gov/recycle/WCN/Green-Grass_WCN1002.pdf
Actual geography of the El Dorado Hills Community Region is significantly different from the corresponding Census Designated Place. The CDP is to be updated for the 2010 Census. At present the El Dorado Hills Fire Department's district covers about 2.5 times as much land area as is included in the CDP boundaries.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46.4 km²). In a 2005 proposal to incorporate El Dorado Hills as a city, the El Dorado Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) defined different boundaries, enclosing 20,023 acres (81.0 km², or 31.3 sq mi).
In recent years El Dorado Hills has been the subject of a naturally occurring asbestos investigation after high traces of tremolite were found in the fields surrounding Oak Ridge High School. In May 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency released its findings: after taking 400 air samples throughout El Dorado Hills they found that almost every single sample had traces of asbestos fibers. El Dorado Hills citizens responded to the findings by deriding the EPA and hiring Richard Lee, an "expert" that has received more than $7 million dollars over the years for testifying on behalf of the asbestos industry. Lee had previously testified against the EPA in the Libby, Montana case. Lee declared the EPA's findings to be incorrect. There has been no clear resolution to date and citizens continue to live in El Dorado Hills despite the findings.
The subsurface environment of El Dorado Hills is relatively free of groundwater and soil contamination, based upon an areawide analysis of the potential for pesticide contamination and evaluation of underground storage tanks.(Earth Metrics, 1989)
El Dorado Hills was mainly a bedroom community from its origin in 1962 until nearly the end of the 20th century. Around the year 2000 its population growth and commercial development accelerated. Development began in its Town Center area to form a true downtown business area, and its Business Park experienced increasing rates of construction and occupancy.
Total population within the El Dorado Hills Community Services District (CSD) was certified as 35,276 in January, 2006 by the California State Department of Finance. The El Dorado Hills Fire Department reported a population of 42,078 in its service area at the end of 2007. The Fire Department's district covers a larger geographic area than the CSD and is more nearly equivalent to the El Dorado County definition of the El Dorado Hills Community Region.
The El Dorado County General Plan defines the El Dorado Hills Community Region to be about 44 square miles (110 km2) in size. In 2008 El Dorado County will redefine the area to be considered as the Census Designated Place (CDP) for El Dorado Hills in the 2010 Census to be more consistent with actual community size.
Detailed demographic data has not been updated since the census of 2000, in part because El Dorado Hills remains unincorporated. Also, the Census data applies to a much smaller area (17.9 square miles) is currently recognized as El Dorado Hills.
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,016 people, 5,896 households, and 5,206 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,006.3 people per square mile (388.6/km²). There were 6,071 housing units at an average density of 339.1/sq mi (131.0/km²). SACOG's estimate for December, 2003 was 9,713 dwelling units.
The Census Bureaus's assessment of racial makeup of the CDP was 90.11% White, 0.77% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 4.11% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 1.37% from other races, and 3.01% from two or more races. 4.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,896 households out of which 50.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 79.5% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.7% were non-families. 9.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the CDP the population distribution was 33.2% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the CDP was $113,927, and the median income for a family was $125,230. Males had a median income of $75,369 versus $45,978 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $40,239. 1.7% of the population and 1.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 1.5% of those under the age of 18 and 2.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
In the state legislature El Dorado Hills is located in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Dave Cox, and in the 10th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Alyson Huber, who resides in El Dorado Hills. Federally, El Dorado Hills is located in California's 4th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +11 and is represented by Republican Tom McClintock.
As an unincorporated area the local government of El Dorado Hills is that of El Dorado County. Three supervisorial districts include parts of El Dorado Hills. District 1 is represented by John Knight, District 2 by Ray Nutting, and District 4 by Ron Briggs.
A number of services are provided by other local agencies. These include the El Dorado Hills Community Services District (CSD), the Rolling Hills Community Services District (CSD), the Marble Mountain Community Services District, the El Dorado Hills County Water District (fire department), and the El Dorado Irrigation District.