The property sits empty and undeveloped except for an old oval track, a testament to its previous history as a training facility for the California Highway Patrol.
It won’t stay this way for long.
The 102-acre site — south of Meadowview Road, north of Cosumnes River Boulevard and east of 24th Street – recently was purchased for $12.3 million by the City of Sacramento, which has ambitious ideas for its potential uses: affordable housing, a service center, a community park.
On a recent weekday afternoon, a group of City officials toured of the newly acquired property in South Sacramento to get a better feel for its layout and discuss potential access points for the site.
Long-term uses of the property will be decided after significant community input, officials said. However, in the short term, a small portion of the land could be used to provide safe parking and other services for people experiencing homelessness.
“Addressing the immediate needs of our unhoused neighbors by providing direct services and creating short-term safe spaces is important for all communities in Sacramento,” said Councilmember Mai Vang, who represents the area and was instrumental in the acquisition of the property.
Vang said in the coming months her office will host a series of community listening sessions with residents “to determine what kind of amenities, affordable housing and locally owned businesses they want to develop onsite.”
“We have a huge amount of space to dream big,” she said. “I’m thrilled because there is so much room for civic amenities that will benefit every individual, family, and child in South Sacramento.”
The councilmember has created this webpage to provide more information for people interested in attending her upcoming community listening sessions. Visitors also can take a survey there to help determine potential uses for the site.
Community listening sessions are expected to begin in March, Vang said.
As part of the purchase agreement with the federal government, 25 percent of the site must be used for affordable housing. However, before any development can occur, City staff first needs to determine exact boundary lines and rights-of-way associated with the property.
While this work is ongoing, it will be months before even the short-term uses can be realized, said Nick Golling, manager of homeless services for the Department of Community Response.
“We’re looking at what it will take to make a few acres of this site accessible for safe parking,” Golling said as he walked the unpaved site. “We need to have a driveway and parking area, electricity, lighting and a few other services. But this is a great opportunity to provide a safe place for people who are currently living in vehicles to stabilize and reduce their barriers to housing.”
Safe parking is just one of the many strategies the City is using to address homelessness.
The City and County of Sacramento and their partner agencies remain committed to creating positive outcomes for unsheltered residents. Since 2017, the City and County have collectively moved approximately 13,500 people from homelessness to permanent housing.