Some residents say the property near planned Aggie Square is suited for infill development
Amid a worsening housing shortage, a Manhattan Beach-based property management company is seeking to sharply reduce the number of homes it would need to build on a key property in an up-and-coming neighborhood.
Located on the former State Fair site near Tahoe Park, the undeveloped 8.68-acre lot at 325 Fairgrounds Drive would be down-zoned from multi-unit zoning—requiring at least 18 units per acre, or nearly 160 units—to single-unit zoning for future construction of 68 single-family homes.
The property is blocks from economic hubs in the UC Davis Medical Center and planned Aggie Square, the highly-anticipated technology and innovation campus. The move toward less future residential development has some nearby residents concerned.
“This is a prime infill opportunity,” said Tahoe Park resident Zach Miller. “If we want to avoid gentrification effects from Aggie Square, we should be looking at building more homes, not less.”
Nestled between newly-built single-family homes to the north and townhouses to the south, a multi-family development on the property would make for an awkward fit, says City Councilman Eric Guerra.
“There’s no question we need more housing,” Guerra said. “But I would like to look at places like Stockton Boulevard—higher transit frequency spots—for multi-family construction. Trying to squeeze a couple hundred units [at 325 Fairgrounds] wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it just doesn’t fit.”
Alex Kelter of the Environmental Council of Sacramento took the opposite view, noting the lot’s central location, along with its proximity to two light-rail stations and multiple bus lines running up and down Broadway and Stockton Boulevard.
“This not Roseville or Rancho Cordova,” Kelter said. “It’s the middle of our metropolitan area. If we don’t put density here, where are we going to put it? It just doesn’t make sense for this property, especially with the current housing market.”
Jim Perley of Western American Properties, the listed applicant, didn’t respond to written and phone inquiries from SN&R. (Dylan Svoboda)