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County commission approves annexation

Village I area now part of Lincoln
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Village I, a housing development proposed for land located between the city limits and Turkey Creek Golf Course, cleared a major hurdle Wednesday when a key county commission approved annexation of the land into the City of Lincoln.

Placer County Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) members voted 6-0, with one absentee, Wednesday to approve the annexation. Placer County Supervisor, and LAFCO board member, Robert Weygandt was absent from the meeting.

The annexation adds 1,692 acres to the City of Lincoln.

Lincoln City Councilman Stan Nader, a LAFCO board member, made the motion for approving the annexation.

“I’m looking forward to this happening pretty quickly,” Nader said. “It’s been a long process and I’m glad we finally got it done.”

Timeline

Lincoln Community Development director Matt Wheeler said Friday that approval of the annexation is an important step in implementing the city’s general plan.

“Five tentative (subdivision) maps have come through already and one more, Hidden Hills, is almost ready. Those six maps represent 1,200 dwelling units,” Wheeler said. “Ultimately, there will be 4,700 dwelling units in Village I over the next 20 years.”

Wheeler said improvement plans for one of the subdivisions, Turkey Creek Estates, are currently in review. The improvement plans cover roads and public infrastructure.

“We expect to break ground on the public facilities this summer,” Wheeler said. “They could break ground on the homes as early as spring of 2017. We expect homes to start going up during the next construction season.”

Wheeler added that his staff is working on templates for the Development Agreements.

“We’re finishing up the infrastructure finance plan, which is a key component of the development agreements,” Wheeler said. “I expect the infrastructure finance plan will be finished in July and I expect the development agreements are on the same timeline.”

Each individual property owner has to have a development agreement for their project, Wheeler said.

History

Tony Frayji, owner of Frayji Design Group of Roseville, has handled much of the planning for the Village I land owners.

“This process has been a long one and started since 2006,” Frayji said Friday. “However, the tax-sharing agreement and LAFCO process started only a year ago, to be fair.”

Frayji said his initial involvement with Village I began in 2006 with Lake Development and the Lane-Duff family, when they submitted an application to the city for Walk-Up Ranch – before Village I. A combination of the General Plan update and the conception of Village I slowed down the Walk-Up Ranch project.

“Our application got changed from being individual properties to a large area specific plan with many lands that were not participating,” Frayji said. “Despite the collapse of the economy, and having to do the Village I concept, the team believed in Lincoln and decided to spend a lot of money to keep Village I moving forward.”

Saving downtown

Frayji said an important factor in Village I is its closeness to the downtown commercial corridor.

“Due to the proximity to downtown, it was imperative from the start to design a village that becomes the wallet to downtown merchants and support the downtown,” said Frayji, adding that the city asked early in the process for a study to show how much commercial development the project could have and still preserve the downtown. “The study limited our commercial to 10-15 acres max.

“We are very happy the Lincoln City Council and staff had the vision to protect downtown and we agree with that vision,” Frayji added. “Village I owners always believed in the viability of downtown and we believe Village I will add more foot traffic to the Lincoln Boulevard corridor.”

Frayji said that as Lincoln grows to the west Village I will become increasingly important to the downtown area.

“With NEV (neighborhood electric vehicle) connectivity to downtown, and the close proximity and limited commercial development in Village I, we can easily say: Village I, under the city’s clear vision and the cooperation of the developers, has saved downtown,” Frayji said. “We are looking forward to seeing builders like Elliot Homes, Epick, Silverado and many others interested to move forward in Village I and, hopefully, we see earth moving soon.”

Other issues

According to a LAFCO report, a portion of the land annexed by Lincoln had a variety of previous uses, including: a Placer County corporation yard, a rifle and skeet-shooting range and a Titan I missile base. The site of the former ICBM base and county corporation yard is contaminated with Trichlorethylene, a chemical solvent used for degreasing and classified as a carcinogen, as well as lead, from the shooting range, according to the LAFCO report. The site of the former missile base is not designated for development at this time and is located across Highway 193 from the area designated for Village I.

And, according to the LAFCO report, approximately 40 percent of the Village I project will be devoted to parks, open space and recreational facilities.