Placerville, CA – November 15, 2023 – In response to California’s directive urging local jurisdictions to address housing shortages, the picturesque city of Placerville is making strides by earmarking three sites for high-density housing projects. Pierre Rivas, the city’s development services director, expressed enthusiasm about surpassing the city’s fair share allocation of housing units through 2029.
With a dearth of new apartments built in the last two decades, Placerville is embracing the challenge to meet its regional housing needs allocation. Rivas explained that the city introduced an overlay zone for housing, specifically on areas with existing commercial zoning. While this designation doesn’t mandate property owners to build housing, it grants them the right to do so.
Under the new zoning framework, Placerville has identified three sites for high-density housing. Coloma Road could see up to 67 units, while Green Valley Road and Mallard Lane boast two adjoining sites slated for 33 and 27 units, respectively. Another site on Ray Lawyer Drive is earmarked for up to 54 units.
The zoning adjustments also formalized plans for two sites, Mallard and Middletown, currently undergoing city review for affordable housing projects. Mallard, located within the Ridge at Orchard Hill project, is set to house 72 units for individuals earning 30% to 60% of the area median income. Middletown, featuring 82 units, would impose similar income restrictions and be situated at Cold Springs and Middletown roads.
Despite some local resistance, particularly around the Middletown site, Rivas emphasized the city’s obligation to designate housing sites. Placerville is navigating the delicate balance between urban development and community concerns, recognizing the imperative to address higher density in its housing landscape.
As Placerville takes this bold step, it joins a statewide effort to alleviate housing shortages, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful urban planning in meeting the diverse needs of its growing population.