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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Volunteer for Sacramento Earth Day

Sacramento Earth Day happens Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 from 11am – 4pm. We are excited to again bring live music, educational exhibits, healthy cuisine, and much more to Southside Park. Join the team. Sign up to be a Sacramento Earth Day Volunteer today!

Register to Volunteer Here

We need volunteers for the following essential tasks:

  • Pre-Event

If you are interested in getting involved with the team putting on Sacramento Earth Day each year on a deeper level, please consider assisting with us with volunteer coordination, promotion, flyering, fundraising, exhibitor coordination, or some of the other many tasks involved with hosting Sacramento Earth Day each year.

  • Event Set-up (2 shifts: 7:00am – 9:00am; and 9:00am –  11:00am)

This includes unfolding and placing tables and chairs in pre-planned locations, helping direct and support exhibitors as they bring in and set up their display materials. If you are physically capable of helping with set up or breakdown, we would appreciate your assistance with those tasks. If not, we still need help coordinating volunteers and organizing the info booth!

  • Waste Diversion Education (2 shifts: 11:00am – 1:30pm; and 1:30pm – 4:00pm)

Teach people lessons that can last a lifetime and will help our planet tremendously. For two hours between 11am – 4pm, help Sacramento Earth Day attendees choose which receptacle is most appropriate for their “garbage” – recycling, compost or landfill.

  • Volunteer Coordinator (choose 2-3 hours or more between 7:00am – 6:00pm)

If you have experience with volunteer coordination, we could use you as a team leader during the event.

  • Event Headquarters (choose 2-3 hours or more between 7:00am – 6:00pm)

Help us host the event! At the Headquarters, we need help providing information to attendees with inquiries, signing in/coordinating volunteers, selling merchandise, signing up new members of the Environmental Council of Sacramento, manage onsite communications, etc.

  • Water Stations (choose 2-3 hours or more between 11:00am – 4:00pm)

Manage water distribution stations to help everyone stay dehydrated.

  • Litter Patrol (choose 2-3 hours or more between 11:00am – 6:00pm)

We also need volunteers to help keep the park clean during the event, picking up any stray items that end up on the ground. The goal is to Never Let It Hit The Ground! But if it does, we want to make sure it’s picked up ASAP. As responsible stewards of the planet, Leaving No Trace is of the highest priority.

  • Breakdown/Clean-up (4:00pm – 6:00pm)

This mostly includes helping exhibitors pack their items and exit the park, packing up tables and chairs and helping us leave the park clean and beautiful at the end of the day. If you are physically capable of helping with set up or breakdown, we would appreciate your assistance with those tasks.

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Spring Native Plant Sale and Volunteer Celebration March 25th

SPRING NATIVE PLANT SALE and VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION
Hosted by the California Native Plant Society Sacramento Valley Chapter, a member organization of the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS)

When: Saturday, MARCH 25th, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery
2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
(On the American River Parkway at Soil Born Farms)
Contact: Chris Lewis
Email: cnpschris [at] gmail [dot] com
Web: SacValleyCNPS.org

Do you want to have a garden that is in sync with nature? Native Plants are not only beautiful and climate adaptable but they feed and shelter birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Come find a wide selection of native perennials, shrubs, and trees, grasses, vines and native annuals! There will be plants from Cornflower Farms, Hedgerow Farms and Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery. Plant Advisers will be available to help you find the plants you desire and that will fit your garden. Landscape Designers will also be available to give 15-minute consultations for a donation to CNPS.

Elderberry Farms is 10 years old! Celebrate all the volunteers who have made this possible! Come see what we have accomplished and what we learn about growing native plants.

All new or renewing CNPS members may choose a FREE 1-gallon Elderberry Farms plant.

The Plant Sale is a volunteer-run event and we would love to have you volunteer! Please contact Lauren at laurenbertelson [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.

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Soil Born Farms will also be hosting a Spring Gardening Clinic and their own organic plant sale. Learn how to grow vibrant, tasty, and healthy plants from Soil Born Farm’s knowledgeable staff. SBF will be selling seasonal vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs, flowers, and edible perennials. For more information about Soil Born Farm’s event, visit their website: SoilBorn.org

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