Tuesday Jan 25 2011
Broad-based conservation plan gets Placer supes nod
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
A new roadmap for Western Placer County growth and land preservation is on its way to federal and state offices. Nearly a decade since first being proposed, the Placer County Conservation Plan was judged ready for review Tuesday by the Placer County Board of Supervisors and now goes to state and federal agencies for potential approval. About 212,000 acres of land are covered in the plan boundaries, including North Auburn, Lincoln and unincorporated areas of Placer County outside Loomis, Rocklin and Roseville. The plan creates a comprehensive framework for complying with federal and state environmental rules while providing a one-stop permit stop for builders with the county. Relying on a willing-seller policy, the plan attempts to streamline the approval process for development projects while balancing requirements to protect wetlands and wildlife. Terry Davis of the Sierra Club told supervisors Tuesday before a 5-0 vote to submit the conservation strategy to wildlife agencies that he’s optimistic that it will be well-received. “I see years of conflict and litigation come to a close when this plan is adopted – and I’m looking forward to that,” Davis said. Bob Shattuck, of Lennar Communities – a major developer in the 5,185 Placer Vineyards project west of Roseville – said there are still questions to be answered from federal and state regulators on wetlands rules will be applied. “But I do hope the federal and state agencies respond favorably,” he said. With a projected 90,000 new households in the conservation plan area by 2060, the proposal would result in preservation of about 57,000 acres of land. Much of the funding would come from impact fees from new developments. Chairman Robert Weygandt said that the plan could be finalized within two years.