Elk Grove Seeks to Expand Sprawl… Again

March 10, 2017

The City of Elk Grove has once again applied to amend their Sphere of Influence (SOI) and ECOS is again at the forefront, working to halt urban sprawl.

What is the problem?

A “Sphere of Influence” (SOI) is defined as a planning boundary outside of an agency’s legal boundary (such as the city limit line) that designates the agency’s probable future boundary and service area.

Planning boundaries were put in place to direct growth and to prevent urban sprawl. Expanding these boundaries, especially when there is still plenty of room to build within them, increases the human impact on the environment and decreases the efficiency with which a city or county uses its resources, such as water, electricity, transportation dollars, etc.

Where is the problem?

The City of Elk Grove wants to expand to the south of their urban growth boundaries, into green fields and wildlife habitats that have never before been built upon.

Look at all this green!

Didn’t this already happen?

The City of Elk Grove has submitted previous applications to expand their sphere of influence in the past. In 2008, the City of Elk Grove (City) applied to Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (Sacramento LAFCo) for a Sphere of Influence Amendment (LAFC#04-08) to the south and east of its current boundary consisting of approximately 10,536 acres, which was subsequently closed and a new application (LAFC#09-10) submitted by the City for 7,869 acres. The City withdrew its application in 2013. Both of these larger areas included the proposed SOIA Area addressed by the current proposed project. This project is separate and distinct from the previous proposals.

More Background

The affected territory includes a 1,156-acre area that abuts the southern portion of the City of Elk Grove’s existing jurisdictional boundary. This is called the proposed Sphere of Influence Amendment Area (SOIA Area) or “the project site.” This proposed SOI amendment requires approval by the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), which has sole discretion on the establishment and amendment of SOI boundaries.

LAFCo is charged with oversight of changes in governmental organization and has the authority to consider:

  • Annexations to, or detachments from cities or districts;
  • The formation or dissolution of districts;
  • The incorporation or disincorporation of cities;
  • The consolidation or reorganization of cities or districts;
  • The establishment of subsidiary districts, and
  • The development of, and amendments to, Spheres of Influence.

LAFCo has the authority to approve, modify and approve, or disapprove applications, and to impose mitigation measures and conditions of approval. Per statute, LAFCo shall not impose any conditions that would directly regulate land use density or intensity, property development, or subdivision requirements.

Read the Kammerer/Hwy 99 Sphere of Influence Amendment (LAFC #07-15) Draft Environment Impact Report (DEIR) by clicking here


ECOS Comment Letter on the Municipal Services Review

Here is an excerpt from the ECOS comment letter on the current Elk Grove SOI expansion application Municipal Services Review, which includes the shortage of water in the area:

“…While we have many concerns about the Elk Grove expansion proposal, with regard to the MSR our primary concern is future water supply. Water is an essential service for prospective urban development and an important factor in the LAFCo approval process. The availability of water to meet the competing needs of habitat, agriculture and urban uses is an ongoing and increasingly acute issue in the Sacramento region and elsewhere in the state. This is one of the threshold issues facing LAFCo, and we feel that the prospects of future water supply to this area have not been adequately analyzed or illustrated in the MSR…”

Read our full comment letter by clicking here or on the image of the letter below.

To be continued…

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Request for public input during the process of redrafting Measure B

DATE: March 9, 2017

TO: Sacramento Transportation Authority Governing Board

RE: Request for public input during the process of redrafting Measure B

Measure A, adopted in 1988, was developed through a process that included input from a wide range of community representatives, and its renewal in 2004 was partially based on guidance from stakeholders. In contrast, the Sacramento Transportation Authority prepared Measure B with minimal public involvement — and only at the end of the development process — which the STA Governing Board largely discounted in its final deliberations.

We believe a robust public input process should be used in the development of any future transportation measure for Sacramento County, as the County is currently using for its Communitywide Climate Action Plan. The County has been holding workshops in several neighborhoods, pursuant to encouraging “public participation and input … to ensure the Communitywide CAP reflects the needs of Sacramento County” (from the County CAP website). We request that the STA Governing Board adopt a plan for public participation before initiating the development of a revised funding package.

We welcome the opportunity to work with you to develop funding options for transportation policies in Sacramento County that align with regional needs regarding climate change, housing, equity, and air quality. Strong public input is critical for the development of a measure that we can wholeheartedly support.

Sincerely,

Ralph Propper and John Deeter, Co-Chairs
ECOS Transportation, Air Quality & Climate Change Committee

Co-signers:

Nick Lapis, Vice-Chair
Sierra Club, Sacramento Group

Coco Cocozzella, STAR Action Team
Sacramento Transit Advocates and Riders

Stephen Green, President
Save the American River Association

Rick Bettis and Sue Teranishi
Co-Chairs, Policy Committee
Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails

Laurie Litman, Board President
350 Sacramento

George Parrot, President
Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association


Click here to read the full letter.

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Downtown Specific Plan NOP

The City of Sacramento, Community Development Department, as Lead Agency, has issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report for the Downtown Specific Plan.

The comment period is from February 15, 2017 to March 17, 2017.

The issuance of the NOP is to inform all responsible agencies of the decision to prepare an EIR. The purpose of the NOP is to provide information describing the project and its potential environmental effects and to seek input from responsible agencies as defined by CEQA (PRC Section 21069) and the public. Agencies should comment on such information as it relates to their statutory responsibilities in connection with the project. The full NOP is attached here and is available at the City’s Community Development Department webpage at:
http://portal.cityofsacramento.org/Community-Development/Planning/Environmental/Impact-Reports

A public scoping meeting will be held on Thursday, March 2 2017, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Sacramento City Hall, 915 I Street, Room 1119, Sacramento, California 95814. Responsible agencies and members of the public are invited to attend and provide input on the scope of the EIR. Written comments regarding relevant issues may be submitted at the meeting.

Comments and suggestions as to the appropriate scope of analysis are invited from all interested parties. Written comments or questions concerning the proposed project should be submitted to the following address no later than March 17, 2017 (Public counter hours are between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.):
Tom Buford, Senior Planner
Community Development Department
300 Richards Boulevard, Third Floor
Sacramento, CA 95811
Email: tbuford [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org

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