Development hopes for Granite Bay aired

By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press Tribune
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Will effluent flush plans for development in Granite Bay? That’s what some residents say should happen as officials consider changes to land use in semi-rural Granite Bay as part of a controversial community-plan update. “The sewer is actually the issue,” said longtime resident Peter Kessler at a municipal advisory council meeting on Wednesday. “Who shoulders the cost of the connection in the community?” The issue came as county planners shared the final tally of land-use requests, which were submitted as part of the opening of the Granite Bay Community Plan, spearheaded by Supervisor Kirk Uhler. A meeting to share policy-change requests will take place at the MAC’s meeting at 6 p.m. Sept. 2. Unlike a community meeting in February that quickly turned testy, Wednesday’s meeting, at which no action was taken, saw little in the way of fireworks. County planner E.J. Ivaldi told the MAC that owners of 53 parcels had submitted land-use changes – essentially, requests to change zoning from one use designation to another. “The big question everybody wants to know is what’s that mean for density,” he said. He said if all requests were approved, a total of 392 residential units would be possible that aren’t under the current regulations. The original community plan was adopted in 1989, and spells out exactly how and where property in the unincorporated area can develop. It’s characterized by larger lot requirements, further road setback restrictions and lower density compared with neighboring cities – features many say contribute to Granite Bay’s rural feel. Some property owners are requesting use changes that would allow big increases in density, while others are more moderate – for instance, landowners seeking to split their 5.3-acre parcels in half. Among significant requests are: n A request allowing construction of 65 “entry-level” detached housing units in a 10.9-acre parcel off Eureka Road adjacent to Roseville, currently zoned for low-density residential. n A request allowing 189 additional single-family residential units on three contiguous parcels off Douglas Boulevard near Woodgrove Way totaling 68 acres currently zoned rural residential n A request from developers of Rancho Del Oro, a residential site off Cavitt Stallman Road north of Miner’s Ravine, to increase the maximum number of homes possible by 47 units. n Developers of The Enclave, a proposed senior community on Elmhurst Drive at the intersection of Swan Lake Drive, want to change their designation, from rural residential to low-density residential. Pursuing a separate track, they are also asking the Planning Commission for approval this month. But not all the requests would be possible, officials said, because planners have to consider infrastructure. “Sewer is a big issue,” Ivaldi admitted. Resident Patricia McKinney questioned the process of examining land-use changes prior to policy-change requests. “It seems to me that we are putting the cart before the horse talking about all these land use requests as if we were just going to consider all of them,” she said. “Look at policy first and that will guide you as far as what to do with these requests.” Uhler, who has drawn criticism for his push to update the planning document, said the requested changes don’t amount to much. “It’s fairly reflective of the fact that we are mostly built out,” he said. “The overall impact it will have is negligible.” For previous coverage on the plan update, go to and search “Granite Bay Community Plan.” Nathan Donato-Weinstein can be reached at