Live Oak Comes Alive
Housing demand boosted by Camp Fire victims
September 30, 2019: Live Oak, the greater Sacramento region’s northernmost city (population 8,771), has quietly been building homes and hatching plans to revamp its Main Street, Highway 99.
The Camp Fire that leveled most of Paradise, California, created additional housing needs in surrounding cities and is causing a ripple effect throughout northern California communities as displaced residents search for new homes. City of Live Oak Councilmember Aleksander Tica estimated that as much as 70 percent of the new homes in Live Oak’s new 500-house Pennington Ranch neighborhood have been snapped up by residents displaced from Paradise or Chico.
To help spur more new home building, the City has just approved a 25 percent reduction in city fees for the next 200 housing units to help the Garden Glen development grow and any other homes to break ground. The 170-unit Garden Glen neighborhood benefits from a prior developer finishing all of the development’s infrastructure, leaving lots ready to construct homes on.
To complement the growth in housing, Highway 99 is being redesigned through town. The City and Caltrans have been diligently working together to add two additional travel lanes, add and improve sidewalks, increase crosswalk visibility and completely redevelop the streetscaping through town to transform the corridor. Caltrans construction should start in the spring with the city working on complementary projects on side streets after the Highway 99 work is completed. The highway does double duty as both a state highway and Live Oak’s Main Street and primary commercial corridor which make the improvements all the more critical for the small town’s prosperity.
Combined, the increase in homes and a new Main Street will help the rural economy of Live Oak develop and prosper into the future.