Affordable housing eyed for Placer County Government Center campus in North Auburn

Published on September 05, 2017

A new affordable housing development with up to 80 units is being considered as part of a reimagining of the Placer County Government Center campus in North Auburn.

The county will move forward with a request for proposals to partner with an affordable housing developer after the Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a multi-family residential project’s inclusion in an upcoming environmental impact report for the campus’s master plan update. Several developers have already expressed strong interest in the opportunity.

“With our recently-completed Animal Services Center receiving LEED Gold certification for its environmental sustainability features, we’ve really set the tone for the campus of building with the future in mind,” said Paul Breckenridge, project manager for the master plan update. “Sustainability is at the core of our new vision for the campus and infused throughout our plans.”

County staff presented the board with a concept for the future of the campus that, in addition to the possible affordable housing project, could see construction of several new buildings to house county services, include a historic district preserving several of the campus’s original World War II-era hospital buildings, retail and commercial space, open space, and set aside land for a possible new community event center. The concept was shaped in part by months of community engagement and the strong support by both community members and the board for providing affordable housing on the campus.

Under the master plan concept, the campus would be clustered into four main focus areas or districts. Existing buildings for county services, as well as the proposed HHS building, would comprise a government services district. A community district in the center of the campus would include open space and land set aside for the possible community event center.

Five original buildings from the DeWitt General Hospital, including its chapel, would be preserved as part of a historic district to honor the campus’s history and could offer space for other possible uses like a business incubator, maker space, art studios and community meetings. And a mixed-use district could be home to the proposed affordable housing development as well as potential commercial and retail space, including a possible farmers’ market-type concept to showcase Placer’s agricultural offerings.

Planning and environmental review for the proposed housing development and a building for the county’s Health and Human Services department will be included in the environmental impact report for the master plan update to help with consideration of those projects.

A public scoping meeting on the new master plan concept and its EIR is planned for Sept. 18 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Community Development Resource Center in North Auburn (3091 County Center Drive). A copy of the notice of preparation for the master plan EIR will soon be available on the county’s website for the master plan update.