For decades, Placer County has been planning and establishing policies for urban and suburban growth in the unincorporated western areas of the county. County staff has considered land use, the balance between jobs and housing, and the need for infrastructure and services, and how those will be funded, in their planning. Those policies have been periodically reviewed by the Board of Supervisors, who has directed staff to make revisions as needed. As the area slowly emerges from the recession and considerations for a multitude of economic recovery issue are being addressed by the County, proposals from developers for implementation of projects will ultimately require some policy consideration by the Board.
Last week, staff provided additional information, reporting to the Board on historical and current land development policies in the West Placer area. Staff addressed specific goals and policies that the County has relied upon in reviewing development proposals over the last few decades. This review is part of a series of meetings and workshops on land use and development set up under Board direction last November when the Board heard a broad overview of West Placer development.
Growth projections for the western end of the county show a potential of doubling the population by 2060. The significant percentage of new urban/suburban growth is anticipated in the unincorporated area of the west county, and most dramatically in the West Placer Planning Area. Between 2007 and 2009, three specific plans (Placer Vineyards, Regional University, and Riolo Vineyard) were approved within the West Placer area, resulting in an authorization to develop approximately 20,000 homes, 4 million square feet of non-residential development, and one university campus site.
While no formal application for changes to project entitlements have been received from any of the development interests, owners have had discussions with county staff about specific plans and requirements for development of those plans.
The report presented to the Board last week gave policy detail on the three specific plans in the West Placer Planning Area. The County Executive Office and county departments with land development responsibility will return with workshops on West Placer Area Development in the coming weeks with a discussion of service levels, land development costs, and potential fiscal implications,