Monday, June 25, 2007

Academic Strategy

The building of colleges in our region is a great blessing, and the communities that will eventually surround them greater still.

Colleges a growth tactic
Campuses anchor three subdivisions in the early planning stages in region.
By Eric Stern - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Monday, June 25, 2007

In its bubble of academia, dorms and downtown shops, the city of Davis -- home of a University of California campus -- certainly has a college-town feel.

What if cool college towns sprouted near Roseville and Rancho Cordova?

Developers hope the idea will generate excitement -- and support -- from city and county officials. It also would open the door to build more homes. Thousands of them.

Forget about sports arenas. The latest strategy to break up farmland for development has developers teaming up with colleges and universities, using them as potential anchors for massive new subdivisions.

"What reason would anyone want to stop a university?" developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos once asked.

Three projects are in the early phases of the planning process. They are in areas that are not off-limits to future development, but they are not without controversy.

Critics such as Graham Brownstein, executive director of the Environmental Council of Sacramento, said developers are using "Trojan horse universities" as a way to build more homes in the countryside.

The latest proposal involves the startup University of Sacramento, a private Catholic school that hopes to build a campus for 7,000 students.