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Planning Advisory Council Makes Recommendation on UC Housing Development

The Fair Oaks Planning Advisory Council has approved the UC Davis housing proposal to build 17 homes on the 7.07-acre Davis Ranch lot.

The tentative has moved one step closer toward development, following a recent meeting between Sacramento County Planning Commission representatives and the Fair Oaks Community Planning Advisory Council.

The CPAC made the recommendation in front of a packed room of community members, recommending the 17-lot subdivision go forward in the approval process, with certain considerations.

CPAC member Ralph Carhart explained the council came to its decision based on information provided by UC Davis Endowment Real Estate Services. In that report, it states in addition to the 17-lot proposal and the removal of 239 of the 435 trees on the property, special considerations be given to the street-scaping, maintenance and improvement of certain historical aspects connected to the property.

According to minutes from the meeting provided by the Planning Commission's Principal Planner Tricia Stevens, the CPAC recommends that Pollard Avenue, a residential street that dead-ends at Davis Ranch, be extended through the property and connect at Fair Oaks Boulevard on the condition that priority be given to local community member input. The report also indicates the proposed housing developers include a separated sidewalk on Fair Oaks Blvd. as opposed to curb and gutters.

The recommendation goes further to suggest a speed study be conducted on a northern parallel street, Shangrila Drive, to see if it would make sense to include undulations on Pollard Ave.

Carhart explained the County worked with UC Davis and explored a number of options that had the potential to be more intrusive on the property, but eventually landed on a plan that, "maintains the character of the existing neighborhood."

According to an environmental impact report conducted on the property, 196 trees could remain on the property. The other 239 would likely either be destroyed or transplanted, Carhart said. Many of the trees CPAC would like to see transplanted include palms and olive trees.

Residents were also able to voice concerns related to the project, including a lack of meeting notifications on the proposal's development, the potential speeding risks associated with connecting Pollard Dr. to Fair Oaks Blvd. as well as fire truck accessibility. One resident also noted the existing neighborhood is a mature one and that most infill projects with higher densities tend not to fit in with the neighborhood aesthetic.

Carhart explained CPAC and the planning commission would work together to make sure that, as the project developed, it maintain the look of less dense residential zones, like a RD-3 zone, which is regulated to a lot size of 10,000 net square-feet, with a minimum lot width of 65 feet.

The university's real estate services representatives will next go before the county planning commission, Stevens said; though that meeting has yet to be scheduled. Stevens said it will likely be sometime in June.

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