LINCOLN (CBS13) — Placer County has approved the single-largest development in the market, but will it create a traffic bust?
The Sunset Industrial Area is a piece of land that was set aside decades ago for commercial and residential development. On Tuesday, Placer County Supervisors gave the green light to build 8,000 homes on the 8,000 acres.
The open space off Highway 65 on the outskirts of Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville will soon have thousands of homes. It’s called the Placer Ranch Project.
“The timing is right because the partners have come together,” said Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler.
Uhler says the board unanimously approved the plan to build 5,600 homes on 2,000 acres with the rest to come later.
“The homes are just a little over half of the land for the residential. The vast majority is the educational opportunities as well as commercial/industrial opportunities and the job opportunities,” said Uhler.
The owner of the property is donating over 300 acres to Sacramento State University for a satellite campus.
“Today we have, depending on the semester, somewhere between 3,500 to 5,000 Placer County residents driving down to Sac State, clogging up our freeways,” said Uhler.
But people who live and work in the area worry about clogging up local roads
“It’s always backed up so I avoid it like the plague,” said Gary Walsh.
Walsh owns an ice cream business. His drivers spend a lot of time on 65 by the Galleria.
“It costs me money because my drivers are stuck on the highway when they should be out delivering,” said Walsh.
“I think they probably need to look at expanding the highway,” said Rose Burke.
Placer County outlines several improvements to roadways nearby including a long-awaited four-lane expressway connecting Highway 65 and 99.
“The more people you add… you are definitely going to have to do something,” said Diane Prince.
Many are happy to hear there will be new jobs, the county says more than 55,000 will be added when all is said and done. And, there will be more affordable housing. But when it arrives is still up in the air. The county expects to be sued.
“If the Governor wants to understand why it is we cannot deliver affordable housing all he has to do is look at the California Environments Quality Act, because people have figured out how to make millions suing developers driving up the price of housing,” said Uhler.
One estimate would be several years before construction gets underway. Sierra College called a transfer center there “innovative” and a cost-saver for local families.