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West Roseville residents eager for completion of developments

Frustrated with delays on Village Center, new high school
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Residents of some west Roseville neighborhoods have often expressed concerns about increased density in their community.

They're worried about the impact on traffic, schools and property values, and have spoken up repeatedly during public comment at Roseville City Council meetings over the past couple years, as amendments and zoning changes are proposed.

But a bigger issue remains: When will the Westpark and Fiddyment Farm developments be finished?

Both developments are part of the West Roseville Specific Plan, which was adopted in 2004 and covers 3,162 acres west of Fiddyment Road, north of Pleasant Grove Boulevard. The groundbreaking for the second elementary school in the plan area took place Wednesday.

The campus will be located in Fiddyment Farm. The school, yet to be named, will open in fall 2013, said Roseville City School District Superintendent Richard Pierucci.

This groundbreaking may be an encouraging sign, but some homeowners still anxiously await the completion of other amenities promised to them in the specific plan. Near the top of that list is the Village Center.

"The delays with getting the Village Center and high school built are a frustration to us because, while we can sympathize with issues of the economic slowdown, our residents have purchased their homes with certain expectations given to us," said Sue Cook, president of the WestPark-Fiddyment Farm Neighborhood Association.

She said residents pay high Mello Roos fees per agreements made in conjunction with those expectations and "the slow progress made does not meet those expectations."

The Roseville Joint Union High School District had planned to open a new campus in 2013 in Westpark but then housing construction stalled, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Ron Severson previously told the Press Tribune.

The district doesn't have a revised timeline for the campus, but Severson said it could happen as early as 2017.

The 120-acre Village Center will include shops, restaurants, a main street and an urban park. It's intended to be the pedestrian-friendly heart of the specific plan and a social and commercial hub. Residents want assurance that this project will be completed within Phase II, currently under way, as was originally represented in the specific plan.

"The (city) and the developers have been pretty good about meeting with residents to keep us updated and get our input as progress continues," Cook said. "Although slower than originally projected when we started purchasing homes in 2006, residents seem pleased with the facilities which have been completed so far."

Most recently, two large neighborhood parks - Festersen and Nichols - opened and construction for Fire Station No. 9 kicked off in February. Plans for W-53 Park and a dog park are also under way.

The specific plan includes 8,792 single and multi-family units, 57 acres of commercial, 109 acres of industrial, 255 acres of park, 705 acres of open space and 108 acres of schools. At build-out, the area is expected to accommodate about 22,332 residents. 

City of Roseville Community Development Manager Chris Robles said progress will continue as the economy allows.

"It's interesting to see what is still going forward," Robles said. "It's all market-driven. The focus is on tenant-improvements on exiting buildings. People just aren't building new buildings."

Home construction is showing growth in the greater Sacramento region, with 50 percent of that occurring in Placer County and about 60 percent to 70 percent of that increase in Roseville, Robles said.

The vast majority of building permits issued by the city is going to the western part of town, Robles said. He said Roseville remains a desirable place for people looking to buy new homes.

"Bottom line is (developers) can sell houses," Robles said.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.