Making a great plan even better

By: Brett Storey, Rocklin Mayor
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Great communities are defined by high standards, resident involvement and – most importantly – follow-through. Rocklin is absolutely that kind of community. For decades, citizen volunteers, community leaders and elected officials have partnered to produce a place in which we can all take great pride. Our efforts have been based on the fact that we must balance the rights of individuals who own property in Rocklin with the overall needs of the community. For more than a century, we’ve done just that! That spirit and achievement is getting noticed across America. Family Circle Magazine recently named Rocklin one of America’s 10 best towns to raise a family in large part due to the city’s tremendous achievements in energy conservation, environmentally conscious community planning and high quality services. But, as always, Rocklin isn’t satisfied … we want to do even better. Clover Valley is an important part of our community. We have been continually working to improve it and we took a huge step forward last week when the City, the United Auburn Indian Community and Clover Valley Partners announced that the Tribe has contracted to purchase the valley floor area of Clover Valley. An open space conservation easement will be placed over the area and a long term open space management contract has been negotiated with the Wildlife Heritage Foundation. Based in Placer County, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation is a public, nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving California’s rich heritage of open spaces, agricultural land, and diverse wildlife. The conservation easement will increase open space in the Clover Valley development to 406 acres and provide increased protection to the Native American sacred sites in Clover Valley. This agreement follows through on a commitment made by the City Council to residents to work toward even greater protections in Clover Valley. We were able to take a balanced plan and make it even stronger. This agreement and open space conservation easement builds upon the successful February 2008 election in which voters approved a community plan to: Protect Clover Valley against sprawl while protecting private property rights. Guarantee that 60 percent of Clover Valley will be preserved as permanent open space without new taxes or higher fees – a more than 500 percent increase over earlier proposals. Provide protection for the valley floor for the wildlife, cultural and historical artifacts. Construct a new two-lane road connecting Park Drive and Sierra College Boulevard – completing the necessary traffic circulation pattern for the City, reducing traffic congestion throughout the City and improving emergency response time Create over two miles of hiking and biking trails in Clover Valley with full public access. Provide a site for the fourth City of Rocklin fire station thereby balancing citizen safety in that area. The City of Rocklin and the community have been working hard for many years and got major concessions from the land owners of Clover Valley. We expect that the Clover Valley Partners will submit a revised project to the City reducing development from the approved 558 homes down to 404 homes. It is a tremendous achievement that demonstrates clearly the integrity and commitment of the United Auburn Indian Community as well as the willingness of Clover Valley Partners to preserve the historical integrity of our community and follow through on their promises to Rocklin. Rocklin is clearly moving forward. We have overcome the challenges in Clover Valley, collaborated with the community and produced a solution that represents the best in planning and environmental protection. But unfortunately, the progress is on hold until resolution of a lawsuit filed by the Clover Valley Foundation and the Town of Loomis. We are hopeful that lawyers and political interests will not stymie the will of Rocklin residents. Rocklin is each of yours to value. Everyday, we are making progress that enhances our quality of life while maintaining the highest standards. Now is the time to unify behind a common sense, balanced solution and that is what I am trying to accomplish.