Reminder to City to follow State Law on Surplus Land

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and the Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA) have sent out letters to City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, as well as the Facilities & Real Property Superintendent Richard Sanders (at the Department of Public Works). These are to remind the City of Sacramento to follow the Surplus Land Statute.

In the letter to Mayor Darrell Steinberg, The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and the Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA) write:

We are prompted to offer this reminder of the Surplus Land Act because of concerning trends in the sale of city properties. Reviewing recent sales of seven city owned lots, only one was sold to an affordable housing non-profit (City of Refuge, who plans to build a homeless shelter for women and children on the land). The other six were sold to for-profit entities. Most alarming is the case of 4722 9th Ave and 4601-4625 10th Ave, where the city rejected a proposal to build 130-195 affordable rental units in favor of market rate apartments.

We are requesting city officials be particularly mindful of a few key provisions in the Surplus Land Statute.

1. Prioritize proposals that make at least 25% of the housing units affordable to low income households.

2. Give priority to the proposal with the most affordable units at the most affordable level.

3. Enforce the inclusionary requirement tied to the sale or lease of surplus land.

4. The City of Sacramento can sell or lease the land at a discount to affordable housing developers.

Click here to view the full letter to Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and the four key provisions in the Surplus Land Statute.

In the letter to Superintendent Richard Sanders, The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and the Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA) write:

The City has a real opportunity to lead on this important issue and we urge you to do so. For example, the City could serve as a clearinghouse for public surplus lands available in the city, including parcels controlled by other public agencies (local utilities, Regional Transit, RASA, etc.). Having a centralized location to get information about all public sites would support getting the most public benefit from the use of these sites and facilitate access to critical information to affordable housing developers and the public.

In summary, the Sacramento Housing Alliance and the Environmental Council of Sacramento specifically request [that] the City:

1. Establish specific policies and procedures to:

• Provide clear, consistent standards for evaluating the potential of publicly owned sites for disposition.
• Provide timely notice to public agencies and interested parties that a surplus site is available.
• Prioritize proposals for use of surplus properties that commit to making at least 25% of the housing units affordable to low income households.
• Prioritize proposals with the greatest number of affordable units at the most affordable price or rent.
• Ensure surplus property developed with 10 or more residential units include at least 15% of the units as affordable to lower income households.

2. Play a leadership role in maximizing the use of public surplus properties for affordable housing purposes by establishing a clearinghouse of sites available from all public agencies within the City including Regional Transit, public utilities, and RASA. In addition, the City should ensure all public agencies understand the law and their responsibilities regarding the use of public surplus property for affordable housing.

3. Evaluate establishing a phasing policy to maximize the potential reuse of surplus properties for affordable housing purposes.

4. Engage in a robust and transparent public process to establish such policies.

5. Encourage the Sacramento Area Council of Governments to establish a policy, similar to one adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the Bay Area, that incentivizes local governments using surplus public property for affordable housing purposes.

Click here to view the full letter to Facilities & Real Property Superintendent Richard Sanders.

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New Hospital Proposed for Elk Grove

May 30, 2019

In case you haven’t heard, there is a giant hospital planned for right next to the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Elk Grove. The City of Elk Grove has released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the California Northstate University Medical Center Campus Project. The City is encouraging public input during the NOP’s 30-day review period ending on 6/27. See the Notice of Preparation at https://bit.ly/2JLqKDW.

Community’s Concerns

The greatest concerns expressed by the community so far include:

  • Lack of transparency on behalf of CNU and city officials/unwillingness to correct false data and “misquotes” via the media
  • A facility even more expansive than originally disclosed elevates residents’ concerns
  • Financial failure, similar to the Elk Grove “Ghost Mall”, would leave behind an eyesore/empty shell of a hospital that would ultimately need to be demolished
  • Displacement and/or destruction of local small-businesses
  • Unreliable jobs projections, based on the original 24,000 being revised to only 1,400 over the next 10 years
  • A hospital more than 6x higher than the tallest homes in the West Elk Grove/destruction of the aesthetics of the surrounding area
  • Unsustainable traffic increases along Elk Grove Blvd., at the on-ramp and off-ramp of I-5 and on one of three main arteries into the Stonelake residential community
  • Parking overflowing onto community streets
  • Major safety concerns for nearby schools
  • Negative impacts on the natural environment
  • Lack of security available to accommodate the heightened safety risks
  • Impacts to local wildlife, such as the many birds who depend on the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge to survive
  • Growth Inducement

“Neighbors Ensuring Stonelake Transparency” (NEST)

Information about NEST and their concerns can be found at https://egnest.com/ and/or https://stonelakeneighbors.com.

[You may know of the]…recent demolition of what became known as “The Ghost Mall” within the City of Elk Grove It was a failed project of former Mayor Gary Davis. Davis is now a paid consultant to California Northstate University. Coincidentally, Davis had moved into the Stonelake neighborhood just a few months prior to the CNU hospital announcement.

https://egnest.com/

Habitat 2020/ECOS’ Concerns

The ECOS Habitat committee is also tracking the hospital proposal.

The Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a member of Habitat 2020 and submitted a letter outlining their concerns on May 13, 2019, prior to the release of the Notice of Preparation. You can read that letter by clicking here.

ECOS and Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge expect to send a joint letter on the NOP soon.

Environmental Documents

The Notice of Preparation and more documents on the hospital can be viewed at https://egnest.com/documents.

The Scoping Meeting is set for June 24, 2019 5:30 pm at elk Grove City Council Chambers.

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Editor’s note: A bridge to somewhere

By Foon Rhee
May 23, 2019
Sacramento News and Review

The I Street Bridge is 108 years old and rusty, and it rattles when a train passes over it. So, yes, a new span over the Sacramento River is way overdue. But the new bridge is not just another important transportation link between Sacramento and West Sacramento. It’s also an opportunity to make a design statement for the region.

The current I Street Bridge will stay open. The lower deck will continue to be used for passenger and freight trains, while the upper deck will be closed to vehicles and be converted into a pedestrian and bike path. The new bridge is just up river and will connect Railyards Boulevard on the edge of downtown Sacramento, and C Street in the Washington neighborhood in West Sacramento.

Click here to view the full article.

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