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Concerns over growing population, affordable housing

AUBURN, Calif. – Placer County’s population is growing and many residents pay more for housing than they can afford.

New rules proposed by the county’s Community Development Resource Agency are aimed squarely at making sure Placer has the right amount and mix of housing to accommodate all of its residents.

The county this week released a notice of preparation of an environmental impact report for the proposed changes, available for public comment until Sept. 27.

“The way we want to live is changing,”

Shawna Purvines, Placer Community Development Resource Agency

“We’ve heard from our residents that they want greater variety and more affordable housing options like small duplex and triplex units, and even tiny houses and accessory dwelling units. Our housing regulations need to evolve to accommodate these changing needs, but in harmony with existing communities. We really need our community members’ feedback to help us find that balance.” – Shawna Purvines, Placer Community Development Resource Agency

Among the housing-related code updates being proposed are several zoning changes to encourage more ‘town center’ type live-work communities, as well as adding new standards for emerging community types like cottage housing, co-housing and open space-oriented communities.

Tiny Houses

New tiny house rules are also on the table. Homes smaller than 450 square feet – a typical definition of a tiny house – are already allowed on fixed foundations. In this update, Placer proposes to allow tiny houses on wheels as primary or secondary dwelling units, or as part of tiny house communities.

A community meeting to solicit input on the scope and focus of the environmental impact report will be held Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. at the Placer County Community Development Resource Center, Planning Commission Room, 3091 County Center Drive, in North Auburn.
The meeting is just the first of many planned community input opportunities before the proposed changes are brought before the Placer County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for consideration, expected in summer 2020.

Public Review

The notice of preparation is available for public review during normal business hours at the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, Auburn, CA 95603. It’s also available at Placer’s libraries in Applegate, Auburn, Colfax, Foresthill, Granite Bay, Kings Beach, Penryn, Rocklin and Tahoe City; and online.

Comments may be addressed to the Placer County, Community Development Resource Agency, Attention: Shirlee Herrington, Environmental Coordination Services, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, Auburn, CA 95603; at the scoping meeting, or by email to cdraecs@placer.ca.gov. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 27.

The facility for the scoping meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Those needing special assistive devices will be accommodated to the county’s best ability. For more information, please contact Shirlee Herrington (at the contact information above) at least 48 hours before the meeting.