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West Placer Land Use Update

At its regularly scheduled Board meeting in Auburn on Tuesday, the Placer County Board of Supervisors received an update from staff on land use in Western Placer County and voted to conduct additional meetings in the coming months regarding land development in Western Placer County.

The Board last heard an update on the western area of the county in 2005. What they received on Tuesday comes amid renewed project implementation interest by the real estate development community of approved specific plans. Staff gave a brief overview of the West Placer area and made recommendations for future topics for discussion by the Board.

The western portion of the county, both unincorporated and incorporated, is a relatively large geographic area that has been recognized as a region that would contain a denser population. This area, known as the West Placer Study Area, contains the cities of Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville and Lincoln, and the town of Loomis. The area is bounded by Sacramento, Sutter and El Dorado counties, and North Auburn to the east. The unincorporated area contains a mix of land uses that include:

* Agricultural;
* Rural/low density rural;
* Higher density residential; and
* Commercial and industrial uses.

Within the Study Area is the Sunset Industrial Area, approximately 8,000 acres of industrially zoned, unincorporated land. This area has the capacity to accommodate 50,000 jobs and is a key element for achieving a job/housing balance in western Placer County. The Board has taken actions in the past to protect this area from residential development encroachment and to plan infrastructure that will facilitate the Area's build out. 

Placer County saw tremendous growth in the two decades between 1990 and 2010 when the population more than doubled in the Study Area. The incorporated cities saw 95 percent of the increase. Policy development in the county has been consistent in planning for the West Placer Study Area, including urban growth in the southwestern unincorporated Placer County. 

In addition to the potential growth in the Sunset Industrial Area, the unincorporated southwestern portion of West Placer Study Area (known as the West Placer Planning Area) contains approved development plans for about 20,000 homes.

Given the scope of existing approved projects and potential population growth in the area, topics to be discussed at future meetings include:

* Historic and current land development policy affecting the West Placer Study Area, project entitlements, and implementation challenges;
* Service levels and land development costs in a post-recession era, and the potential fiscal implications; and 
* Options and recommendations regarding West Placer projects.

Meeting dates, times and locations will be announced when they are finalized. 

Placer County News Headlines

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