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Voice your concerns about the Orchard

By: Gary Liss, Loomis Town Councilman
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An important meeting is coming up next Tuesday, Jan. 24, that could impact traffic on Taylor Road in Loomis and our rural lifestyle. The developer of the Orchard at Penryn proposes to build a 150-unit apartment complex on 15 acres in Penryn, on Penryn Road, about 1/2 mile north of I-80. The Horseshoe Bar/Penryn Community Plan (Community Plan) is very similar to that of Loomis, as they want to preserve their rural environment, natural beauty, and open spaces. This proposal does not do that. The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) highlights that this project will destroy three riparian areas and over 300 trees, many of which are blue oaks, which are already facing extinction in California. The few trees retained will be around a few rock outcroppings. The 15 acres will be stripped of about 90 percent of all vegetation and trees, a stark contrast to the surrounding rural area of large estate homes with trees and open spaces. The Community Plan designates this to be their central business district with mixed-uses in the area. With two multi-family projects approved for the area, the space for professional and commercial use for the benefit of the community has already diminished. The Draft EIR has determined that this project will significantly increase vehicular traffic at local Penryn and Loomis intersections – including some that are already at failing levels of service. They propose 375 parking spaces, as this is a car-focused development. The Draft EIR found that this project would negatively increase noise, greenhouse gases and air pollution. The Town of Loomis submitted 38 pages of comments to express our concerns about what is planned. The Final EIR was just released last week, and will be considered by the Penryn Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) on Jan. 24, at 7 pm at the Loomis Veteran's Memorial Hall on Horseshoe Bar Road. Residents that travel Taylor Road, between Penryn Road and Horseshoe Bar Road, and all those concerned with open space, trees, wildlife and our rural lifestyle should attend this MAC meeting and express your concerns about how this project may impact you. A citizens group has been formed to stop this project or reduce the scale of it. For more info, go to http://savetheorchard.blogspot.com/. Please respond to penrynorchard@gmail.com if you are able to assist or want to be on an email notification list for further information.