The California State University Board of Trustees has approved plans for a Sacramento State satellite campus, a centerpiece of a major development in south Placer County that could bring in more than 19,000 residents to the area.
But the development has been criticized by some who say it will worsen traffic and produce unaffordable housing that will continue to sprawl.
The trustees on Tuesday approved the plan for the Placer Center and a donation of 300 acres from Los Angeles developer and philanthropist Eli Broad and his company, Placer Ranch, Inc.
The Sacramento State satellite campus will be part of the 2,200-acre Placer Ranch development off Highway 65 within the Sunset Area, Sacramento State officials said in a news release.
The donated land is valued at $27.4 million, and the Placer County Board of Supervisors has partnered with Placer Ranch, Inc., to provide necessary infrastructure for Placer Center, according to university officials. Construction is expected to begin within a few years, but no exact date has been set.
In December, supervisors approved planning documents for the housing and job development. More than 8,000 new homes are expected to be built in an area of more than 13 square miles and bring along thousands of students as well as economic opportunity.
The development area is sandwiched between Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln. Critics argue the county, which both applied for and approved the project, hasn’t adequately planned for the growth and has rushed the review process.
County officials say the area has been planned for development for more than two decades. University officials said the area has been set aside for decades to generate job growth, and “Placer Ranch businesses, industry and housing eventually could generate a significant number of jobs.”
The Placer Center initially could serve hundreds of students, but later expand to serve thousands of Sacramento State and Sierra College students with CSU approval, university officials said.
They also said the first Placer Center buildings are expected to be a Placer County crime lab and a Sierra College transfer center. Other buildings will follow based on fundraising and partnerships between public and private organizations.
“The impact of this decision for the Placer region and most importantly our students is unprecedented,” Holly Tiche, president of Placer Ranch, Inc., said in the news release. “Today is a testimony to the power of partnership among education, government and private industry.”