Rancho Cordova neighbors fighting new housing development along American River
RANCHO CORDOVA — A neighborhood in Rancho Cordova is banding together to stop the development of new homes along the American River.
Trumark Homes changed the initial proposal it submitted to the City of Rancho Cordova about three years ago and resubmitted it under Senate Bill 330, a bill that facilitates affordable housing developments.
It doubled the number of units it wants to build to 440 on the former Kassis property on Folsom Boulevard. More than half of these units would be low-income housing, and nearly 30 luxury homes would overlook the river.
“The neighborhood here has been pretty quiet,” said Ike Leitis, a neighbor who lives near the proposed project.
The project would create a road where there is a dead end at Stirling Park Drive.
“It’s not going to be just one house per acre, it’s going to be as many houses as you can fit in on this property,” said Cindy Elliott who is against the plan.
Elliott is one of the many members from the neighborhood that is part of the group “Preserve the American River.”
Elliott said the undeveloped land surrounding the American River is a floodway and likely erosion zone.
“To me it’d be a disaster if this was able to go through,” said Elliott.
Trumark’s proposal for the housing development said it would build a 6-foot retaining wall and raise the site of the homes to keep back the river.
“I think they could easily put in 120 units near Folsom Boulevard and everyone would be happy,” said Leitis.
The City of Rancho Cordova’s hands are tied with how it can regulate the development since the plans were submitted under SB 330, also known as the 2019 Housing Crisis Act. This was enacted to boost housing development and streamline affordable housing.
Elliott is concerned about how the development would impact the wildlife and history that has been on the land for hundreds of years.
“There is a Native American group that migrated through here and lived here in the summertime so there are possibly still artifacts out here,” Elliott said.
Other concerns are more traffic and the easement that has been in the area for decades being erased.
“We think the American River has been impacted enough by development already,” said Leitis.
In its application, Trumark said that the location is ideal for bringing new families to an area that needs retail and community support.
The Preserve the American River group is trying to raise funds to hire a lawyer to help prevent the plan.
The City of Rancho Cordova is currently reviewing the resubmitted application and no hearings are set yet.
It provided this statement to CBS13 about the housing development proposal:
Under Senate Bill 330, Trumark submitted an application to the City of Rancho Cordova on June 12, 2023 for a single-family and multi-family housing project that is adjacent to the American River on land formerly known as the Kassis property.
Senate Bill 330, also known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, is a state law that amended the Housing Accountability Act to limit cities’ local authority to downzone property or adopt new, subjective design standards. This law limits the enforcement of design standards established after January 1, 2020, as well as the number of hearings held on projects that comply with SB 330.
The city sent Trumark an incompleteness letter on July 12, 2023 because the application was missing a required lighting plan.
Trumark provided the lighting plan on July 27, 2023, and the city has 30 days to review it.
Per state law, the city has 60 days to conduct a consistency review once an application is deemed complete; there are no hearings scheduled yet until the application is deemed consistent with the city-adopted standards.