A proposal to build a 150-unit apartment complex in the rural Placer County community of Penryn has the residents and officials from the neighboring town of Loomis up in arms.
They contend that the complex, to be built on 15 acres near the intersection of Penryn and Taylor roads, violates density rules in the community plan, which guides land use decisions.
County staff says the proposal is within allowable density limits.
"It's not NIMBY," said Loomis Councilman Gary Liss. "People have the right to develop the community in accordance to a community plan."
The project, which has sparked the opposition group "Stop the 150 Apartments," narrowly survived a June county Planning Commission vote.
The company proposing the development, Penryn Development LLC, did not return calls for comment.
Stop the 150 Apartments is hosting town hall-style meetings on the project at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Loomis Train Depot.
The opposition group and the Loomis Town Council are asking that Placer's Board of Supervisors reverse the Planning Commission decision. The supervisors are expected to take up the matter in September.
Penryn, population 2,300, has remained decidedly rural. Resident Annette Nylander occasionally drives home that fact by taking her horse and buggy to the market.
While the nearby community of Lincoln nearly quadrupled in population during the last decade, Penryn added about 350 people, a more modest growth rate of 17 percent, census figures show.
"The county staff appears to have assumed the project must be rubberstamped at the proposed 150 units, simply because that is what the developer has proposed," reads a letter from the opposition group.
E.J. Ivaldi, the county's supervising planner, said the community plan does speak of a commercial corridor and allows multi-family housing.
"The idea (behind the community plan) was that those higher intensity uses and mixed uses would all be located along that corridor," said Ivaldi. "The plan allows for both. It allows for multi-family uses and commercial uses."
But Keith Wagner, an attorney working for the Stop 150 Apartments Group, said they don't dispute the plan's allowance for multi-family housing, just not at the density level proposed by the developers.
Wagner points to a section of the document which reads: "Development shall be of a relatively low density, low profile type."
Above all, Wagner said, the plan doesn't fit the rustic, laid-back community. "It is completely out of character for the area," he said. "How can anybody conclude that this project is anything but a tremendous impact?"
Editor's Note: This article has been changed from an earlier version to correct the name of the development company proposing the apartment complex. Corrected on Aug. 20, 2012