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Organization endorses Baltimore Ravine

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The local chapter of a national environmental group is now officially supporting the proposed Baltimore Ravine development in Auburn. The Sierra Club announced Wednesday that it endorses the development because of several smart growth criteria. The Sierra Club is a national grassroots environmental organization that aspires to protect the community and planet through clean energy solutions, green transportation, maintaining resilient habitats and more, according to its website. A main factor that led to the group’s support of the project has to do with potential future residents’ effect on the world around them, said Terry Davis, a volunteer with the Placer Group and a coordinator with the larger Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club. “For development in Placer County, Baltimore Ravine is quite compact,” Davis said. “More than half the homes would be clustered around a park and a shopping area, creating a walkable village in which residents could drive less and have smaller carbon footprints. And we are also pleased that 10 percent of the homes would be affordable to those with modest incomes.” According to the club’s press release, to help reach a decision about the project, the Placer Group’s elected Executive Committee used a smart growth checklist to rate Baltimore Ravine. The result was a favorable score of 11.5 on 14 smart growth criteria, or 82 percent. “Demand for new homes in the foothills will no doubt return, and when it does we need to have responsible ways of dealing with it,” Davis said. “Otherwise that demand will be met by the usual suburban sprawl which destroys the character of the foothills.” ~Bridget Jones