Planning Commission recommends approval for Sunset Area Plan, Placer Ranch Specific Plan

Published on Nov. 21, 2019

The Placer County Planning Commission on a 6-1 vote today recommended approval of entitlements for the county’s proposed Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan to the Board of Supervisors. 

The board is scheduled to consider the plans and their associated final environmental impact report at their Dec. 10 meeting in Auburn. 

The Sunset Area is an 8,497-acre area in unincorporated Placer County between the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln. Placer Ranch is 2,213 acres of land, located entirely within the Sunset Area Plan. 

The goal of the Sunset Area Plan Update is to re-envision and re-brand the Sunset Area to create a unique employment, entertainment and education center that would provide regional benefit and create high-wage jobs for residents of nearby cities and unincorporated areas. 

The Sunset Area Plan is an update to the county’s existing Sunset Industrial Area Plan, a community plan policy document aimed at guiding land development in the Sunset Area. In addition to the Sunset Area Plan policy document, zoning, development standards and design guidelines are proposed to guide future development in a cohesive manner. 

The Sunset Area Plan establishes new land use designations and zoning districts that provide a regulatory framework for future land development projects. It includes land use and zoning changes that would allow land use types including innovation center, general commercial, entertainment mixed-use, business park, eco-industrial and light industrial. Land use and zoning changes proposed in the Sunset Area Plan would also allow for workforce housing aimed at supporting the employment-generating uses. 

The proposed Placer Ranch Specific Plan is a development project that includes approximately 8.5 million square feet of commercial, employment and university-related, non-residential use; of which 4.5 million square feet would be located in a campus park district that would include office, research and development, light industrial and commercial uses. 

The proposed plan includes 300 acres of land planned for a future California State University, Sacramento satellite campus. At build-out, the school could support as many as 25,000 Sac State students. Sierra College may plan to locate a transfer center on the site to serve an additional 5,000 students. Ultimately, it’s envisioned that students will be able to begin their studies at Sierra College and complete four-year degrees at the same Placer campus. 

Placer Ranch also proposes about 5,600 homes in a variety of density ranges; elementary and middle schools; approximately 330 acres of open space and parks; a town center with a vibrant, high-density residential and commercial, mixed-use area; and a bike and trail network that ties into existing trails and connects the university campus with the schools, parks and neighborhoods. 

After Placer Ranch’s former developer withdrew its application from the City of Roseville in 2015, Placer County in 2016 decided to process the project on its own to continue the forward momentum for the Sunset Area overall. The cost to the county of the permitting process will be reimbursed by the project’s eventual developer.

The Sunset Area and Placer Ranch Specific Plan are intended to create a major job center, catalyzed by proximity to the university campus. 

Representatives from both California State University, Sacramento and Sierra College expressed support for the Placer Ranch Specific Plan, saying there is a demonstrated need for their educational offerings in western Placer County. 

The final environmental impact report, provides a program-level environmental analysis of the Sunset Area Plan and a project-level environmental analysis of the Placer Ranch Specific Plan. 

The final environmental impact report is available for public review during normal business hours at the Placer County Libraries in Roseville, Rocklin, and Lincoln; the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency offices at 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn; and at the Placer County Clerk’s Office at 2954 Richardson Drive, Auburn. It’s also available online, along with final copies of the Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan documents, at https://www.placer.ca.gov/3307/Sunset-Area-Plan-Placer-Ranch-Specific-P