As devastating as a wildfire can be, there are still some positive by-products that can arise from natural disasters – even those as deadly as the Camp Fire last November.

The city of Live Oak is experiencing a population surge post-Camp Fire with about 70 percent of the single-family homes in the new 500-unit Pennington Ranch development occupied by survivors of the Nov. 8, 2018 wildfire. It’s the first of two housing developments coming to the city. Garden Glen is currently in the design phase, councilman Aleks Tica said.

He said Garden Glen is about a 160-home development once complete. To expedite the process the city approved a 25 percent reduction in fees, which equates to approximately $7,806 for anyone moving into the city limits.

“We didn’t want to give Garden Glen (the sole) benefit,” Tica said. “We wanted to give it to everybody in the city.”

Tica said the time limit for the fee reduction runs from Nov. 1 through Oct. 31, 2021.

“We’re hoping to develop and grow the city and give people the opportunity for a new  job, shops,” Tica said. “It’s a quiet, peaceful (area) away from the traffic.”

Tica said Live Oak has already seen a population jump between 100 and 200 people to about 8,781 residents.

He said with the added developments the city projects its population to surpass Marysville by 2040.

Marysville currently has a population of 12,072 as of the 2010 U.S. census.

“We’re building out for the future,” Tica said. “That’s why infrastructure needs to be there. California isn’t just LA, San Diego and the Bay Area. Our region is taking notice as well.”

The Pennington Ranch development is about 90 percent sold with residents moved in already, Tica said.

Tica said projections for the cost of any single-family home in Live Oak should range from high $200,000 to low $300,000 – much cheaper from the Bay Area, he explains, which keep things competitive.

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