The 600-acre Greenbriar development proposed on farmland near Sacramento International Airport received city approval and home construction could begin next year.
The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the development agreement and other final documents for the 3,000-home project, which council members characterized as an important step toward alleviating the city’s growing housing crisis.
“It’s amazing that this is the culmination of almost 10 years,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said.
The project is planned for the city’s northwestern edge, south of West Elkhorn Boulevard in a Y-shaped area created by the split of Interstate 5 and Highway 99.
The developer, Newport Beach-based Integral Communities, plans to build more than 2,400 houses geared toward both first-time and move-up buyers. It also will offer nearly 500 rental units, including 200 for lower-income seniors.
The city gave initial approval to Greenbriar in 2008. But the project was stalled by a building moratorium imposed by the federal government on the entire Natomas Basin due to flooding concerns, as well as the recession and collapse of Sacramento’s new-home market.
City guidelines call for Greenbriar to be designed as a pedestrian-oriented community in the style of the city’s older neighborhoods such as Land Park and Curtis Park. A proposed light-rail line connecting Sacramento with the airport would, if built, run through the planned development.
Drew Kusnick, a representative of Integral Communities, said 94 percent of Greenbriar’s homes would be within a half-mile of the light-rail station.
City officials said the project will provide funding toward construction of light-rail’s Green Line to the airport. Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, who represents the North Natomas area, noted that the project reserves a corridor for light rail. What’s been lacking in moving the light-rail extension forward, she said, is “rooftops.”
Ashby said Greenbriar is the largest housing project the city is likely to see in the near term.
The project will feature three commercial sites, including retail around the planned light-rail station.
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