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:
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.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Help us stop Trumark from paving over 20 acres of an historic walnut orchard critical to the Parkway's wildlife.
2) Make a donation.
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.
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
Cooley Focuses on Rancho Cordova - The Independent, June 25, 2021
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
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