Supervisors approve Placer County Government Center Master Plan Update

Published on April 26, 2019

The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a plan to reimagine the Placer County Government Center campus in North Auburn.

The plan continues Placer County’s commitment to providing efficient services to the community and creating possible solutions for attainable housing.

New District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson, sworn in Monday, abstained from the vote citing unfamiliarity with the project.

The master plan envisions potential new campus amenities like a community/events center and community central green; consolidation of county buildings to provide an intuitive navigational experience for visitors; a wellness-oriented work environment for employees to promote walkability; open space to help preserve the area’s natural foothill esthetic; a DeWitt heritage area to honor the campus’s rich history; and possible non-county land use opportunities such as mixed-use residential housing, hotel and commercial retailers. Under the plan, the County Executive Office and Board of Supervisors chambers, along with related offices, are envisioned to potentially move from their current location in Auburn and join other county services at the PCGC campus.

The approval on Tuesday included a provision that could allow community members up to two years to organize funding to rehabilitate the campus’s DeWitt Theatre. 

Meeting the various types of housing needs, such as multi-family and workforce housing, is a high priority.

In June 2018, the board unanimously approved an option-to-ground-lease agreement with Mercy Housing California that aims to develop 79-mixed-housing-units on 3 acres of county property at the government center campus.

The proposed development would include three three-story apartment buildings and seven two-story attached townhomes with a wide range of income limits and achievable rents, ranging from 30 – 60 percent of the local average median income. It would also include a multipurpose community building, parking and common green spaces with outdoor play equipment.

Since 2015, the master plan has undergone considerable analysis, stakeholder engagement, design and planning, public scoping meetings and Board of Supervisors review.

The master plan update was approved this year by the North Auburn Municipal Advisory Council, Placer County Planning Commission and Airport Land Use Commission.

The master plan for the 200-acre campus was last updated in 1993. The campus was originally the site of a World War II-era U.S. Army hospital complex that was in use for two years before the end of the war. It was then used as a state psychiatric hospital, and eventually deeded to Placer County by the state of California in the early 1970s. Since then, the county has striven to be a good steward of the campus, using the buildings to provide county services, and replacing a number of them over the years with more modern facilities. A portion of the campus has also been leased for private use by Home Depot.