For Immediate Release, December 11, 2019


Ross Middlemiss, (707) 599-2743,

Supervisors in California's Placer County Approve Sprawl Project

AUBURN, Calif.— The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to approve the controversial Sunset Area Plan development. The plan, encompassing more than 8,500 acres in western Placer County near the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, includes a 5,636-dwelling unit residential community in addition to industrial and commercial land uses.

The project would destroy nearly 3,000 acres of vernal pool habitat that supports rare and threatened species such as vernal pool fairy shrimp and western spadefoot toad. It would generate 900,000 vehicle trips per day on already packed regional roadways, further degrading air quality and undermining California’s climate goals.

“Supervisors shouldn’t have backed a sprawl development that will be incredibly damaging to wildlife and human communities in western Placer County,” said Ross Middlemiss, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Most people don’t want a project that destroys rare wildlife habitat while putting nearly a million more cars on the road every day.”

In approving the plan, the county supervisors agreed to decrease the existing buffer zone around a landfill that’s in the center of the plan area. This will allow new homes, schools and a prospective university site to be built within a half mile of a landfill.

“Tearing up open space and agricultural land to build car-dependent homes next to a dump is not an acceptable way to address the housing challenges facing California,” said Middlemiss. “The supervisors have abdicated their responsibility to chart a sustainable future for the wildlife and residents of Placer County.”

The Center and allies repeatedly raised these concerns in comment letters, public hearings and meetings with the county. Today’s vote leaves the public with approximately 30 days to file litigation challenging the county’s environmental review of the project.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.