One of the last wildlife sanctuaries along the Lower American River is in danger of disappearing forever.
The former Kassis property in Rancho Cordova is one of the last sizable areas of open space along the American River Parkway. 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 Hawk 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 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.
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.
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.
Sign the petition.
Help us stop Trumark from paving over 20 acres of an historic walnut orchard critical to the Parkway's wildlife.
- Insist that the City of Rancho Cordova require Trumark to preserve the lower 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.