The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to initiate the master planning process for the Upper Westside Specific Plan, located in the unincorporated Sacramento County portion of the Natomas Basin.
The process, described as the first step in a long journey, would study the impacts of an application for a proposed 2,000 acre mixed-use, master-planned development that would include 10,000 residential housing units and five million square feet of commercial space.
The project would require amendments to the County’s General Plan as project boundaries are outside the County’s Urban Services Boundary as shown in the County’s General Plan Land Use Diagram
. Changing the Urban Services Boundary would require a 4/5 approval of the Board.
Included in the master planning process is a funding agreement between Sacramento County and the project applicant for reimbursement of staff work on the project. Also included is the direction to the Planning Director to assemble and convene a Technical Advisory Committee, as well as to implement an enhanced public outreach plan.
The Board made it clear to the applicants that the project would be held to the highest standards to achieve extraordinary environmental, social or economic benefits and opportunities to the County due to the request to expand the Urban Services Boundary.
“This must be an exceptional plan,” said District 1 Supervisor Phil Serna, who holds a master’s degree in urban planning. “It is going to have to be a model; it’s going to have to grace the cover of the American Planning Association’s Journal—that’s the only way this will continue to get my attention,” said Serna, who added his expectation that the community be net zero energy consumptive, offer hard-wired chargers for zero-emission vehicles for all households, and set a new bar for the amount of open space and habit that is preserved, among other features.