Local mayors cool tensions over beer summit

By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
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Last Friday, the Loomis and Rocklin mayors drove to neutral ground in Granite Bay to start a dialogue regarding contentious issues.

Friday’s meeting at New Glory Brewing in Granite Bay included discussion on a contentious issue between the two communities: the proposed Costco being built in Loomis off Sierra College Boulevard.   

According to a Loomis town staff report, the development would take up 152,000 square feet amassing more than 17 acres directly on the border of Loomis and Rocklin but in Loomis town limits. Loomis would enjoy $1 million in annual tax revenue. After the first draft of the environmental impact report (EIR) showed that 80 percent of the traffic would affect Rocklin’s side of town (Sierra College Boulevard), however, Rocklin leaders weren't happy about the Costco plans.

At a June 26 Rocklin council meeting, then Rocklin Vice-Mayor Patterson did not hold back on his views of the proposed Loomis project.

“This design is really disingenuous because, frankly, 100 percent of impacts will be on Rocklin taxpayers,” Patterson said then. “Most of the traffic will affect Rocklin residents (regarding the only entry and access point in the proposed development leading out to Sierra College in Rocklin).”

Patterson stressed last June that it’s not fair to Rocklin residents.

Now, the tables have turned slightly as new conversations are being made in 2019.

“This meeting was mostly just to get to know one another,” Rocklin Mayor Joe Patterson said about Friday’s meeting. “We talked about things like our amazing wives and children. Basically just to get to know one another as young leaders in our communities.”

The Costco project was brought up Friday.

“At the end of the day, while we remain protective over the limited resources of our respective jurisdictions, there are a lot of reasons why both Rocklin and Loomis can succeed.”

While Friday’s beer summit was the beginning of cooling conversations over a highly- contentious project, Patterson said it was a good start in coming closer together.

“We may not agree on everything but let’s hope this meeting was the first step in a new era of relationships where we can work as respected colleagues and not enemies,” Patterson said. “I appreciate Assemblyman Kiley for arranging the meeting.”

Loomis Mayor Tim Onderko said the meeting was an important start to finding common ground with his counterpart in Rocklin.

“We focused more about the future, less about the past,” Onderko said. “Rocklin has a lot going on that will affect Loomis and vise-versa. We talked about issues at our city/town border, economic development, schools, youth sports and the even the Super Bowl.”

Onderko said that meeting Patterson was a huge step in the right direction toward civility and cooperation between Loomis and Rocklin.

“You know what, at the end of the day, it mitigating efforts are made, I really don’t care if Costco goes into Loomis,” Patterson said.

Onderko shared the same sentiment collaboration.

“Maybe we do need to look at opening up a new point of access entry for the project,” Onderko said.

According to Loomis Town Manager Sean Rabe, the status of the Costco proposal is still in the works.

“Right now, we are in the process of recirculating the environmental impact report (EIR) in regards to the Costco proposal. Once that’s finished, the draft will be recirculated, addressing Rocklin’s traffic concerns in regards to the EIR,” Rabe said, “which includes redoing the traffic impact study and the mitigation measures so we can ensure that we can address Rocklin’s concerns and all other concerns that were expressed.”