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Residents Say Proposed 737-Unit Apartment Complexes Would Worsen Arden-Arcade Traffic

SACRAMENTO -- With housing throughout the Sacramento region growing more scarce and prices continuing to rise, a local developer's decision to build apartments instead of stand-alone homes has created quite an uproar in the Swanston Estates neighborhood right next to the Arden Fair Mall.

There was a passionate discussion Thursday night at the Howe Park Community Center over the vacant 25 acres near the mall.

Local developer SKK Developments plans to build 737 units in two, stand-alone apartment complexes. They say it will offer affordable housing for young professionals and also attract people looking to make the move from the Bay Area.

"The type of occupants they are looking to bring in actually would elevate the neighborhood," said resident Marshelle Backes. "It's the scope of the amount of population they are bringing in that I have a problem with."

That many apartment units would mean somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,300 to 1,400 residents. Many at the meeting felt that was a recipe for disaster in a neighborhood that already has major traffic issues.

"This isn't the area for it. The infrastructure isn't there," Backes said. "That's a project for out in North Natomas, where they've got lots of empty fields, they've got plenty of street capacity. The infrastructure is already there to handle that kind of influx of population."

"I don't want to see Sacramento Inn remain a field," said nearby resident Frank Pitts. "This to me is a great project. My big concern is going to be traffic and how it's going to be handled."

The meeting lasted well past 9 p.m.