One of the last wildlife sanctuaries along the Lower American River is in danger of disappearing forever. 

The City of Rancho Cordova is poised to fill in 20 acres of the American River floodway raising the grade 10 feet in order to mass 29 million-dollar homes along the bluff overlooking the River and Parkway. The remaining acreage on the lower terrace will be developed with an additional 188 dwellings instantly obliterating approximately 300 trees including an historic walnut orchard. 

To Parkway advocates, this proposed development plan is an egregious breach of the public trust. The plan:

  • Abandons the existing easements providing hikers, bikers, equestrians, and fishermen with safe and convenient access to the River and Parkway. 
  • Eliminates 20 acres of scarce floodway preserved to protect neighborhoods from catastrophic flooding.
  • Destroys critical habitat the diversity of wildlife living in and on the River and Parkway need to survive.

While the upper 21 acres of the former Kassis property adjacent to Folsom Boulevard are ideal for development, the lower 20 acres adjacent to the lower American River, a State and Federal designated Wild and Scenic River, must be protected. Save the American River Association is working in partnership with Preserve the American River to stop this development.

October 2023 Update:

In a significant step guided by SB 330 (Housing Affordability Act), on October 24, 2023, the City of Rancho Cordova has issued a letter to Trumark Development, highlighting that the proposed project does not align with established city standards. This is an important milestone, yet our journey towards fully preserving the American River's vital habitat continues. Our collective efforts now pivot towards advocating for a modified project that respects the delicate balance between housing needs and the environmental sanctity of the American River Designated Floodway.

In light of these developments, Trumark is now at a crossroads: to proceed with the application process, accepting the City's terms, or contest the decision. For reference, the City's statement, titled "Trumark Project (formerly Kassis) Consistency Letter 10.24.23," is accessible on the City’s website: City of Rancho Cordova - Housing Submittals

August 2023 Update: 

On December 21, 2022, Trumark withdrew its original development proposal and replaced it in June 2023 with a development application pursuant to SB 330 to build even more homes. On August 25, 2023, Trumark's application was deemed complete by the City of Rancho Cordova. From this date, the City of Rancho Cordova has 60 days to review the application package for consistency with the City’s adopted standards. SB 330 limits City discretion to deny a proposed development.

See Trumark's application on the City of Rancho Cordova's website.              

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Help us stop Trumark from paving over 20 acres of an historic walnut orchard critical to the Parkway's wildlife.

1) Sign the petition.

  • Insist that the City of Rancho Cordova require Trumark to preserve the 20 acre floodway portion of the property overlooking William B. Pond and River Bend Parks, and save for generations this irreplaceable land's recreational, educational and natural values for the citizens of Rancho Cordova and all of the Parkway's thousands of annual visitors.
  • Urge the Rancho Cordova City Council to reject the Trumark plan as proposed. The former Kassis site is a unique site that deserves a unique plan. It sits at the western gateway to the City. Any development on the upper 21 acres deserves a lot of care and imagination. Trumark's plan seeks to maximize development in a very conventional manner, and does not reflect the current needs of the residents, respect for Rancho Cordova's colorful history and a vision for the future.

2) Make a donation.

  • You can help fund our efforts by donating to the former Kassis Property Preservation fund.

3) Contact the City of Rancho Cordova about unblocking public easements on the property.

4) Visit Preserve the American River for templates of messages you can send to elected officials and government agencies.

 

A WILDLIFE REFUGE

This land is home to the river's bald eagles, deer, bobcats, foxes, hawks, owls, and many more of the Parkway's wild residents. Endangered Swainson's Hawks have been spotted in the vicinity. Fisherman routinely find their way to the base of this property to stand quietly in the pursuit of steelhead.

Here is where the wildlife escapes to when the river floods their homes on the American River Parkway. The property has approximately 350 trees, the majority consisting of walnut and pecan trees that are part of an historic orchard critical to the Parkway's wildlife. The proposed project would remove ALL the trees (except a few directly on the river bank) of which 150 are protected trees subject to tree mitigation fees.

As those before us worked so hard to do, so to are we charged with continuing to protect and preserve the lower American River and Parkway.

 

SUPPORTING ARTICLES AND DOCUMENTATION

Current Proposal to Develop Kassis Property Found Inconsistent with City Standards - Grapevine Independent, Nov 21, 2023, By Shaunna Boyd

Celebrating the American River - Grapevine Independent, October 29. 2021
"Nature walks showcased public easements that traverse the adjacent Kassis property."

Cooley Focuses on Rancho Cordova - The Independent, June 25, 2021
"I think that is just an absolutely unique piece of ground that is a part of our community,” Cooley said. “It’s something that the City Council will need to struggle with, what is the right way to balance development with access for something that serves the interests of the entire community. That, of course, is the true mark of serving in public life, this balancing act, of reconciling public values with private values.”

E-mail from ECOS, Sierra Club Sacramento Group, and SARA to Central Valley Flood Protection Board: Request to schedule a future public workshop to discuss the need for either regulation changes or new policies relating to the appropriateness of development within the floodway of rivers, August 13, 2021

Comments on Rancho Cordova June 21, 2021 - City Council Meeting: Agenda Item 11.1 - Adoption of the 2021-2029 Housing Element Update, and Addendum to the City’s General Plan Financial Impact Report  

As vote looms over Rancho Cordova’s last open space, city’s mayor and vice mayor took money from the developer aiming to build over it - Sacramento News & Review article, March 24, 2021

Rancho Cordova residents rally to save one of the city’s last pieces of open space - Sacramento News & Review article, January 27, 2021

Letter from Rosemont Community Association to City of Rancho Cordova - January 1, 2021

Planning Underway for Housing on 42 Acres of Open Space East of BRECA Area - By Jim Morgan, December 2020

An overview of the proposed project site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Gaylord Moulds
    followed this page 2023-10-18 16:12:31 -0700
  • leanne kelly
    commented 2022-11-30 15:52:59 -0800
    It is really important for people and especially kids to have easy access to the natural world. Building exclusive homes along this property would be the worst thing for nature and those who seek some time in nature to relax, unwind and connect with something larger than themselves. The public easements should be enforced and the land should be kept as natural as possible. Future generations will be thankful at the foresight of today’s leaders to preserve the rapidly disappearing natural landscape.
  • Kelly Cohen
    commented 2021-09-18 14:03:21 -0700
    It matters not whether the developer, Trumark, is from out of town or from Sacramento. The proposed development would be a permanent, irreparable & significant loss of contiguous wetland & upland habitat along the south bank of the lower American River. Islands appear during summer’s lower flows & functions as feeding & resting areas for shorebirds, waterfowl, & wildlife, & as points of connectivity for the wildlife & water birds that move up & down river along the north side of the river and in & around William Pond to & from the south side & back.

    It is in the best interests of the American River & Parkway ecosystem, & its long-term viability as the metro area population & Parkway recreation increase, for the lower ~20 acres to be purchased for Sacramento County Regional Parks as part of the American River Parkway, where it will be managed & protected in perpetuity.

    As a state & federally-designated Scenic River, these acres of high ecological value, with its rich riparian & associated habitat, meets all criteria for protection by the State of California under the jurisdiction of Sacramento County Regional Parks.

    It is in the best interests of everyone who values the magnificent natural resource snaking through the center of the Sac Metro Area that we fondly call “the river” or “the Parkway,” to give enough of their time to speak out as requested above. This effort isn’t solely for us here today, but for our children & our children’s children into the future. Sadly, it takes many, many of us constantly making noise & standing as a sizable presence for as long as it may take to possibly be heard & persevere over the gold nuggets of developers & politics of city & county jurisdictions. When a community of citizens wins its fight for right, the feeling is priceless, for what was won benefits all into the future, whether directly or indirectly.

    This is the ONLY shot we have at obtaining additional river-adjacent land for the Parkway & protecting this ecologically-substantive habitat by bringing it into our Parkway.

    Thank you for reading. If you didn’t already care or see the importance of this effort, I hope I convinced you. ;-)
  • Donald Childs
    commented 2020-12-29 16:43:26 -0800
    Robert McGarvey was not re-elected to city council in November 2020 General Election. Siri Pulupati was elected to city council. Her email is [email protected] https://www.cityofranchocordova.org/government/city-council
  • Sara Stephens
    published this page in Home 2020-12-10 14:27:40 -0800

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