Wheatland Braces For Long Term Growth

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WHEATLAND -- The small agricultural town of Wheatland with a population of 3,500 could become the largest town in Yuba County if the dreams of home developers come true.

Plans have been submitted for 17,000 housing units to be built around the small town, with several developments projected to break ground before the year is out.

Some say more residents will be good for existing businesses, but culture shock will come as well.

"Wheatland is a sleepy little town, everybody knows everybody...it's going to help people with businesses here, but I think it's gong to be overwhelming," said Wheatland resident Mike Trumm.

The combination of cheap land in an inexpensive Yuba county has had home developers buying up property for years.

It's important to note the housing plans have been on the books for a decade, but few have been built as the housing bust caused property to change hands and delays in development plans.

There are still obstacles like financing a water treatment plant and other infrastructure, as well as expanding police and fire services and building more schools. But city officials are planning ahead.

While several of the long delayed projects may get underway this year, housing developments are usually constructed in stages and take into account the changes in economic conditions.

Still it could be the beginning of a change in lifestyle for residents.

"When developments go in, it's going to turen into more of a suburban lifestyle," said Yuba County resident Nick Henry.