Rocklin council votes to move forward on Rocklin Commons shopping center

By: Susan Belknap, Placer Herald Editor
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The mood was celebratory at last week’s Rocklin City Council meeting as Scott Yuill was sworn in as mayor with almost 300 people in attendance filling the council chambers. Yuill, 43, had served as vice mayor this past year with Mayor Peter Hill. The position of mayor in Rocklin is rotated amongst the five city council members and this is the first time Yuill has taken the reigns of the mayor position. In addition to Yuill’s appointment, the city council recognized the retirement of three city employees who, between the three of them, have contributed a total of 60 years of service to the community. “These are the people who make the city run,” Hill told the crowd. Hill presented Diana Mattix with a plaque honoring her 22 years of employment as an administrative assistant in the community services department, Jane Wallace for seven years devoted to the city’s preschool’s program and Michele Young for her 31 years as the senior employee in the Rocklin recreation department and her role in the development of the preschool. Also on the council’s agenda was a public hearing and presentation regarding the proposed Rocklin Commons shopping center. Only one comment was heard from the public regarding the center, which is to be located north of Interstate 80 on Sierra College Boulevard. Dave Butler told council members, as a member of the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce, that he and the chamber are in favor of the project. “We encourage the council to support Rocklin Commons,” Butler said. “The Chamber supports it. This project is good for economic development of the city. It will generate sales tax.” Besides a few staff reports relating to the project, Mark Perlberger, representing Donahue Schriber Realty Group L.P., addressed the council in regards to this project. He told the council at its Dec. 8 meeting that Rocklin Commons would be a 415,000-square-foot retail center with 17 buildings and 1,828 parking spaces on the 39.13 acres that is located at the northwest quadrant of I-80 with entrances at Sierra College Boulevard and frontage on Granite Drive. “It’s taken us a long time to get here,” Perlberger said. “A lot has changed since we first started this project.” While a few issues such as finding a major tenant, fencing and signage have not been worked out, the council unanimously voted in favor of the project going forward. “This is a good project,” Hill said. “I have confidence the project applicant will make it a good one.” Councilman George Magnuson agreed and added, “It takes a gutsy move to proceed with this project without a major tenant. But I think it’s fantastic.” Councilman Brett Storey reminded council that the project has been a part of the city’s general plan for a long time. “The future of Rocklin depends on a project like this.” Storey said.