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Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program
1984 to 2008 TIME SERIES
Roseville and South Placer County

Urbanization in western Placer County, 1984-2008. 

In this Image

Changes in this area are predominantly conversions from dryland farming (yellow) and grasslands/grazing land (brown) to urban (red). Much of the grey area is low-density residential development on the grassy and oak-studded foothills. Information on these changes was gathered from air photos, local comments, and field reconnaissance. Area shown is approximately 9 miles east-west and 14 miles north-south.

Placer County has been among the 'Top Ten Urbanizing Counties' as mapped by FMMP between 1994 and 2008. Growth in Urban land totalled just under 28,000 acres during this time on the image shown.

A brief history of south Placer County

Placer County is located about 15 miles northeast of Sacramento, and its name came from the Spanish word for sand or gravel deposits containing gold. Gold mining was a major industry through the 1880s, but gradually the new residents turned to farming, harvesting timber and working at the Roseville switching yards of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Most of the towns grew up along the railroad, which roughly parallels the route of Interstate 80. The map above shows a number of communities in south Placer including Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Loomis and Granite Bay.

South Placer contains most of the county's 334,400 residents and is growing faster than California as a whole.  The Department of Finance estimates that the population of Roseville increased by nearly 260% (from 27,400 to 98,566) during this period, Lincoln by 353% (from 5,175 to 23,450) and Rocklin by 438% (from 9,250 to 49,765) during the same time frame. Job growth in the 1990's has accelerated since major computer companies located in the area. Additionally, population is increasing with the development of the active adult communities of Sun City Roseville and Lincoln Hills (located at the western and northern edges of the map above).

Most of the irrigated farmland in this area is located to the northeast side of the map, centered around Loomis, where a foothill fruit-growing industry grew up in support of both local population and rail-shipping opportunities. The remainder of the area has traditionally been used for either dry farmed grain or grazing.