Baltimore Ravine on the road to approval?

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The Baltimore Ravine Specific Plan and Study Area project may come one step closer to approval Tuesday night. The entire Baltimore Ravine project is planned to include 725 homes, 90,000 square feet of commercial space and 143 acres of open space. Plan area 1 is currently proposed for development. This area calls for 270 housing units and 54.5 acres of open space. There is no current timeframe of when plan area 2 would come up for development. Baltimore Ravine is located between the westbound Union Pacific Railroad track to the south, Auburn-Folsom Road to the east and Interstate 80 to the north and northwest. It is approximately two miles from Downtown Auburn. At 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers at City Hall the Auburn Planning Commission will once again hear from city staff and those opposed to and in support of the development. Because the project is a specific and not a general plan, the commission can approve parts of it and recommend approval of the rest of it. The potential development would then go before City Council, where interested parties could appeal the commission’s decision if they wanted to. If the commission does not recommend approval of the project, the project applicant, Stephen Des Jardins, could appeal its decision before City Council. The project could also be continued to another Planning Commission meeting. The Brown Act does not allow more than two planning commissioners to talk to each other about the project, so its impossible to say how each commissioner is feeling about it, said Planning Commissioner Bob Snyder. “I don’t know how it’s going to go,” Snyder said. “It’s a big project. Certainly it’s the biggest one I have seen come to Auburn.” Snyder said commissioners also aren’t told of any updates to the project before the meeting. “I think that (the public) has come and listened to staff presentations and expressed their concerns, and hopefully some of those concerns have been addressed between then and now,” Snyder said. “I don’t know that they have.” Reach Bridget Jones at