Placer Ranch Developer Wants Annexation with Roseville

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When you boil it all down, says Placer Ranch President Holly Tyche: 
“Our decision to move to the city of Roseville is one that’s strictly financial.”
As in, the cost of services, like police, fire and parks.  Tyche says Roseville provides them much more economically than the county does.

“And given our proximity to the city of Roseville and the fact that that is what they do well, it seems to make sense to us to make that move.”
It’s a move that could profoundly affect both the city and the county.  Placer Ranch is a 2200-acre project just north of the current Roseville city limits – and on the other side of an industrial area from Rocklin.  And if you ask Roseville city manager Craig Robinson, it’s critical to his region’s future. 
“Because it brings a four-year university; probably would generate 10,000 jobs and mean $800 million to our regional economy.”

That economic impact would apparently come from the university alone.  Tyche says the surrounding businesses would bring another 10,000 jobs – mostly light industrial and office parks.
But it’s the university that has a lot of people excited.  Placer Ranch’s owner is billionaire real estate magnet Eli Broad.  He’s promised to donate almost 300 acres of land to the California State University system – with infrastructure like water and electricity already in place.  It’d start out as a branch campus for Sacramento State, but could eventually become a stand-alone CSU campus.  Sac State Provost Joseph Sheley says it’s a fairly low-risk way to meet the area’s huge population growth over the next few decades. 
“We can measure that growth, watch it happening, slow it down if need be, speed up if need be, but be able to respond as a CSU to that potential growth.”
Of course, Placer County is not exactly thrilled that it might lose the development.  Supervisor Robert Weygandt said the county has worked in good faith over the last four years to create a project consistent with the local community’s development plan.  But the county could not provide anyone to comment for this story.
Now, Roseville and Placer Ranch will ask a county commission to approve the city’s new boundaries.  That process comes with an environmental impact report – and a chance for the public to comment.