By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A planned six-story student-housing complex near the Sacramento State campus is drawing scrutiny from neighbors concerned it will force several 100-foot tall redwood trees to be cut down.

Now a group of River Park neighborhood advocates is sounding the alarm to protect the trees. Kate Riley is a part of the River Park Tree Canopy Project.

“I mean if anyone could just stand here and say ‘yeah, no this one should go,’ I just don’t understand that,” Riley said. “These trees need to be saved.”

The majestic redwoods at the corner of J Street and Carlson Drive stand more than 100 feet tall. They are half a century old. They are also on the footprint of a proposed big new housing complex proposed to go up right across the street from the Sacramento State J Street entrance.

A rendering of the proposed student housing. credit: Peak Campus.

“Sacramento is the city of trees, so if we can’t save these trees, what trees can we save?” Riley said.

John Hodgson works for the student housing company ‘Peak Campus’ that is developing the new housing 565-bed complex.

“We’re in the very preliminary stages,” Hodgson said. “This is the project that makes the most sense. It’s designed the best. It provides the most amenities.”

Hodgson says if the redwood trees stay, they would take away from a development aimed at reducing the carbon footprint- of student commutes.

A rendering of the proposed student housing. credit: Peak Campus.

Councilmember Jeff Harris wrote the Sacramento City Tree Ordinance and lives in the River Park neighborhood where the homeowners are raising the redwood concerns.

“What can we get for the immediate neighborhood to mitigate this loss?” Harris said. “I just want to have this conversation before people say no.”

Planned state-of-the-art Sacramento State student housing, standing in the same spot as soaring redwoods that are now at risk.

“It will be a very different place to live,” Riley said.

The developer does plan on more community outreach before going to the planning commission. The proposal calls for construction to start by the end of next year.

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