June 1, 2018
Sierra Club, ECOS, et al. File Legal Action to Reverse Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) Approval of Expansion of Elk Grove Sphere of Influence
On June 1, 2018, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Sierra Club, Friends of Swainson’s Hawk, Friends of Stone Lakes Wildlife Refuge and Habitat 2020 filed an action to block Sacramento LAFCo’s approval of an expanded Sphere of Influence for the City of Elk Grove. “Numerous legal errors occurred in the Commission’s consideration and approval on a 4-3 vote of this landowner*-initiated amendment to Elk Grove’s potential boundary. The decision permits previously protected farmland to now be considered for annexation into the City,” said Don Mooney, attorney for the environmental groups. “My clients represent the public interest in curbing sprawl and preserving farmland in this region.”
The Sierra Club, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and associates have long maintained that the health and sustainability of the Sacramento region depends upon the preservation of farmland and avoidance of further urban sprawl. “LAFCo has pivoted away from long established regional goals with this approval,” said Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter Conservation Chair Sean Wirth,” and we aim to hold them accountable. All of our region’s planning for infrastructure, the Regional Transportation Plan, the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan, water supply, sanitation, and the Air Quality Plan are based on an Urban Services Boundary that LAFCo pushed aside in its February 7 decision. This blatant disregard for decades of careful planning must be challenged.”
Ralph Propper, President of ECOS, noted that “Although the Sphere of Influence Amendment is just the first step in urbanization —no dirt will be turned soon—, the Environmental Impact Report identified 22 significant and unavoidable impacts from this decision that cannot be mitigated. This is a damaging land use decision that threatens the health of our community.”
Jim Pachl, Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter Legal Chair, pointed out that “there are over 4000 vacant acres zoned for new development within the City of Elk Grove, including 1800 acres with residential project approvals that remain unbuilt. Some projects were approved over ten years ago and remain unbuilt. Lent Ranch Mall remains a half-built shell. LAFCo lacks a legitimate reason to allow a conversion of farmland for expansion of Elk Grove’s footprint.”
LAFCo denied a request to reconsider its decision on May 2, setting the stage for the filing of litigation.
*The Sphere of Influence Amendment was sought by landowners of 1,156 acres south of Kammerer Road and west of Highway 99. The applicants are Gerry Kamilos and Martin Feletto.
Lawsuits are pricey! If you would like to provide monetary support for this, you can donate online HERE OR send a check to the Environmental Council of Sacramento, P.O. Box 1526, Sacramento, CA 95812. Please include a notation “for Elk Grove lawsuit” in the memo field of Paypal or your check to ensure that your donation goes to the lawsuit.
In The News
Suit filed to block step toward annexation of land by Elk Grove
June 5, 2018
The Sacramento Business Journal
Environmental Groups File Lawsuit Against Sacramento LAFCO, Seek to Halt Elk Grove Expansion
June 5, 2018
Environmentalists sue to block city’s southern expansion
Elk Grove Citizen
June 8, 2018