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Local Rocklin projects take center stage

By: Robin Trimble, Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce
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Development in and around the city of Rocklin has met some important milestones in the last several months, including the scheduled unveiling of some significant projects. The dates have been set and the celebrations planned as the city of Rocklin gets set to put the finishing touches on both the I-80 interchange project at Sierra College Boulevard and the new Mercedes Benz dealership on Granite Drive. Twenty-three months in the making from start to finish, the new on- and off-ramps of the I-80 interchange are now operable and functioning and the improvements have increased the driving lanes from two to five on Sierra College and added bike lanes and sidewalks for safety and enjoyment. A celebration complete with ribbon cutting is scheduled to take place in April. Part of a growing stable of luxury car dealerships, Mercedes Benz joins neighbors LandRover of Rocklin and Niello Porsche in launching its Rocklin area auto dealership on Granite Drive, scheduled to open to the public this month. Sometimes a simple tweak on a basic product can make a lot of sense. That’s what county officials found when they started work on renovating the facility on the corner of Rocklin Road and Granite Drive to become the city’s new central library. The building already had a lot going for it, including a more accessible location for the area’s residents, unique exterior landscaping complete with a pond and fountain and plenty of large glass windows to work with. The city’s central library is scheduled to nearly double in size from 7,800-square-feet to 16,600-square-feet and will include major interior improvements. Placer County has targeted the end of the year for the unveiling to the public. The county has completed the process of hiring an architect and is taking the next step of finalizing the design for interior improvements. To get feedback from local residents, the county conducted a community forum on Feb. 3 and has provided a survey link on the city of Rocklin Web site to encourage residents to weigh in with their ideas and suggestions. The project architects will use the Rocklin Library survey and consultants to evaluate community needs and to design a library that will best address them. The deadline for completing the survey is March 6. Making progress on the downtown Rocklin revitalization plan, the city has completed and adopted the Conceptual Downtown Rocklin Plan, which will help finalize an overall strategy to promote and revive the downtown area. The next steps in moving forward are to include the pertinent provisions in a proposed General Plan Amendment. Currently, a master EIR is also being prepared on the GPA that will address the environmental impacts of the Downtown Plan, as well as other pertinent elements to the city’s overall GPA. Once the final EIR is approved, the city will change the zoning ordinance to implement appropriate provisions of the DRP. The Downtown Rocklin Plan also calls for some roadway improvements, including the extension of Civic Center Drive from South Grove to Pacific Street. Integral to the revitalization of the Downtown Plan, construction on Civic Center Drive is scheduled to begin in late May with completion slated for late fall of this year. The project calls for a new two-lane roadway connecting Winding Lane (from its intersection with South Grove Street) to Pacific Street, a new traffic signal at Pacific Street, landscaping improvements and improvements to the overall drainage system in the Civic Center area. The city is in the engineering design phase of the roadway project. The new revitalization plan and roadway improvements will enable the downtown space to reflect an authentic walking village with tree-lined streets and vibrant storefronts where residents and visitors can stroll and enjoy the community’s small-town charm. Another roadway improvement making its way into the city is the trend towards utilizing modern round-abouts to control and manage traffic flow. The city is considering utilizing this technology at the intersection of Rocklin Road, Pacific Street and the freeway. For more information, or to get the latest updates on the city of Rocklin’s improvements and development, contact the city of Rocklin at 625-5100 or visit www.Rocklin.Ca.Us. – Robin Trimble is the CEO of the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 624-2548 or robin@rocklinchamber.com.