RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – An empty Rancho Cordova space could soon be the center of a massive project, creating hundreds of new jobs and eventually 8,000 new homes; but it’s already causing controversy.

That building boom was the focus of a six-hour marathon meeting Wednesday night. The development, called Cordova Hills, would be southeast of Rancho Cordova.

Both sides made strong cases in what appears to be a fight over the right to develop a piece of rural land into a new community.

Opponents spoke out about a $2 billion proposal to build up to 8,000 new homes in an undeveloped area in Sacramento County east of Grant Line Road.

“It’s going to take range land, open space, and pave it over,” said Alex Kilter with the Environmental Council of Sacramento.

The developer wants to build a new residential community mixed with schools, parks and open space.

They’ve also set aside land for a new private university that is actively being recruited.

“I submit to you that this is an extremely well-planned community, highly sustainable and, frankly, a poster child for your new general plan,” a Cordova Hills spokesperson said.

But critics say that there’s already plenty of land that’s zoned for housing that hasn’t been developed.

“There’s already a glut of houses on the market. We don’t need new, we don’t need more housing,” opponent Michael Seaman said.

Sacramento County supervisors looked at whether the benefits of a new community built around a university outweigh environmental concerns of building something so far away from the urban core.

“We don’t believe it’s in the middle of no where,” Cordova Hills spokesperson Michelle Smira said.

In the end, supervisors decided to continue the debate, requesting additional details about traffic impacts before they make a final decision.

The next meeting is scheduled for January.


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