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District 1 Update

Placer Ranch Rises Again
By
Jack Duran, District 1 Supervisor

On April 5, 2016, the Placer County Board of Supervisors, voted, in concept, to assist with moving the Placer Ranch development project forward as a county project.  This means that the county will be taking the lead in preparing the environmental project documents and permits to advance the project’s development.

With the news that Placer Ranch developers had pulled out of the project  for business reasons last fall, which included a CSU-Sacramento satellite campus and several thousand homes, the region was left to ponder “if not now, when”?  While the community pondered next steps, some pointing fingers, others looking to place blame, the county doubled down, seeking alternatives to continue to advance the project. 

I, along with District 2 Supervisor, Robert Weygandt, worked over time to meet with representatives of the Placer Ranch owner, Eli Broad, along with county staff, CEO David Boesch, Community Resources Development Agency Director, Michael Johnson and Treasurer-Tax Collector, Jenine Windeshausen.  Collectively we all agreed that the Placer Ranch Project was worth pursuing for various reasons, many of which were developed over the two years the project was in pre-development.  During that period, it was made clear that the project would not only be a good thing for the county, but more importantly, it was critical to the entire Sacramento and Northern California region.  It also helped that Mrs. Windeshausen and I are Sac State alumni.

Placer Ranch is a project with tremendous merit and not only folds nicely into the county’s Sunset Industrial Plan Area , but is one of the most coveted, non-developed, parcels of land in the northern region of California.  Incidentally, at the time the Placer Ranch project came off line, in the fall of 2015, the county had just completed its economic study of the SIA which is chock full of both large and small economic development opportunities, including business and commercial parks and technology centers, all essential elements of creating high-paying job opportunities and advancing the regions Next Economy project. 

As I stated in a previous article on this topic, collaboration with our business partners, regional economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and area residents, is critical to creating a project all of us in Placer County can be proud of and that sets us up for success in the future.  Most importantly, and not surprisingly, the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, collectively representing one-half of the residents of the county, have all offered their support and shared vision to bring this project to fruition. In collaborating, I see many opportunities for all jurisdictions to participate in the economic windfall that this project brings to Placer County.  I also see opportunities for economies of scale that create real savings for our citizens, from the provision of critical services, such as law enforcement and fire, to water, wastewater and power to the Placer Ranch Project.  

While there will be many benefits to come, there will also be challenges that come with building a project that borders three incorporated jurisdictions - jurisdictions that have done a tremendous job of creating the quality of life and work environment we all enjoy.  I am exceedingly hopeful that moving forward we can all set aside the tribalism that sometimes gets in the way of shared progress and “get along” for the common benefit of our citizens and the greater region.  

Moving forward, Placer County staff intend to present a detailed outline of pre-development project costs and timelines for discussion and approval at our May board meeting.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at jduran@placer.ca.gov or call my office at 916-787-8950.

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