The University of California, Davis has made an application to Sacramento County for a property subdivision map of 17 parcels that would include the removal of at least 208 trees and a historic ranch in the heart of Fair Oaks.
The proposed subdivision, first reported by The Sacramento Bee, if approved by the county, would call for the development on a 7-acre piece of property donated to the UC Davis School of Medicine. The property, originally owned by Walter Magnum Davis, had been designated for residential development in Sacramento County's general plan, said Assistant Director of Endowment Real Estate Allen Meacham.
Davis, a prominent surgeon, who practiced medicine from about 1890 till 1910, left the property to his daughters Oma and Elizabeth who donated the property to UC Davis with the intention of funding scholarships for the school of medicine, said Meacham.
"The possible residential development of the property has been considered by the Fair Oaks Community Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC) on two different occasions," Meacham said. "Based on the comments from the neighbors (of the property) during those CPAC discussions, our sense was that proposing a subdivision that was similar to the nature of the subdivisions they live in would be most acceptable to those living around the property."
Meacham goes further to cite the county's general plan actually calls for denser development of the property and that his organization chose not to pursue that denser development.
"We felt that a density similar to that of the neighboring single-family neighborhoods was probably more appropriate."
According to The Bee's report, the reason the project doesn't coincide with the county's general plan is because it's considered "infill" development, construction in an already established neighborhood.
Meacham could not elaborate as to the viability of the local real estate market and how the development could potentially contribute to the community.
The ranch, which is located in a secluded area, densely populated by the trees, is at the end of Pollard Avenue.
According to the development proposal, the project would remove trees possibly as old as the ranch itself, which would make them older than Fair Oaks. The majority of those trees being oaks, but also pines, olive, orange, palm, juniper and sycamore, just to name a few. All of the trees are native to California.
Fair Oaks, is this the best use for this land? Could the UC Davis School of Medicine find a more effective way of using the land to fund scholarships? Let us know in the comments below.