Lawsuit Aiming To Protect Historic Theater Could Halt Affordable Housing, Placer officials Say

Saying that a major development project places Auburn’s historic DeWitt Theater in danger of demolition, a citizens group has sued Placer County – a move that jeopardizes a plan for badly needed affordable housing, county officials say.

The lawsuit, filed May 22 by Concerned Citizens for Community and Public Lands, challenges the Placer County Government Center Master Plan Update, a massive development project in North Auburn. The plan has been in the works for about five years, according to Kirk Uhler, chairman of the Placer County Board of Supervisors.

According to Uhler, the $37.7 million project consists of large scale construction at a 200-acre site in North Auburn that formerly housed a state-owned psychiatric hospital until 1972, and before that, a World War II hospital. The DeWitt Theater was built on site in 1943 to entertain recovering patients.

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