Elk Grove expansion into habitat, farmland approved

There’s already plenty of land available for growth without causing more urban sprawl across the County of Sacramento and within the Urban Services Boundary around the City of Elk Grove in the south of the county. We need to focus on smart growth, infill development, public transit, water supply, air quality, and open space in order to support the quality of life for future residents.

There was a great team effort by groups like ECOS, Habitat 2020, Friends of Swainson’s Hawk, Save Our Sandhill Cranes, the Sierra Club and community members from all over the county who presented a strong case against Elk Grove’s latest sprawl push.

Unfortunately, on February 7, 2018, the Kammerer Road-Highway 99 Sphere Of Influence Amendment passed with a 4-3 vote by LAFCo (Local Area Formation Commission) members. This allows the City of Elk Grove to expand urban development beyond their currents limits.

In favor of the expansion: Patrick Hume, Sue Frost, Susan Peters, Ron Greenwood

Opposed to the expansion: Angelique Ashby, Gay Jones, Jack Harrison

Learn more about the City of Elk Grove’s Sphere of Influence here.

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ECOS Board Meeting – Jan. 23rd, 2018

Location: Sierra Club California Conference Room, 909 12th Street, Sacramento (2nd floor)
 
Join the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) for our January 2018 ECOS Board Meeting! Everyone who is interested is welcome. Bring a friend!
 
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018
 
5:30 pm Reception
Please come and meet and socialize with ECOS Board Members and guests. Light appetizers and refreshments served. Feel free to bring something to share.
 
6:00 pm Meeting Begins
 
Presentations:
  • Sustainable and Zero Net Energy Housing
    Bryan Dove, Director of Asset Management of Mutual Housing California, a member organization of ECOS
    (10 minutes)
  • Sacramento’s Housing Crisis, Gentrification, and What We Can Do About It
    Veronica Beaty, Policy Director of Sacramento Housing Alliance, a member organization of ECOS
    (10 minutes)
  • Discussion/Question and Answer session (10-15 minutes)
As usual, ECOS Committees will report on their current business. Announcements from members and attendees are welcome at the end, as time allows.
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Disparate Interests Pan Elk Grove’s Expansion Plans at Sacramento LAFCo Meeting

December 18, 2017

Elk Grove News.net

Notwithstanding their 40-plus minute presentation, the City of Elk Grove was criticized at last week’s meeting of the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) for its plans to enlarge the city. The criticisms, which were made by a variety of interests, condemned Elk Grove’s planned expansion through the sphere of influence (SOI) process.
 
The presentation to the LAFCo commission was made by Elk Grove assistant to city manager and planning specialist Christopher Jordan [sic] at the Wednesday, December 6 meeting. Jordan’s presentation, which was as much part history lesson and part public relations pitch, focused on the city’s state-mandated general plan update and three current SOI applications, which are the initial steps to annex property.
During public comment, the presentation was criticized by three environmentalist, two agriculture interest, and one Elk Grove resident. There were no public comments in favor of Elk Grove’s expansion plans.
 
Speaking on behalf of the Mother Lode chapter of the Sierra Club, [and Co-Chair of the Environmental Council of Sacramento’s Habitat Conservation Committee] Sean Wirth noted there was nothing in Jordan’s presentations on the effects on the environment. He also opined what environmental documents included in the application were faulty. 
 
“If this new SOI is approved outside the urban services boundary, there is going to a general belief that other areas nearby will also be able to be part of this sphere,” Wi[r]th said … [“It is going to be impossible to do conservation in that area. The effect will be that it is going to be too expensive to buy any land there.”] … .*
 
Wirth also noted flooding that occurs every seven to ten years on the southern portions of the city along the Cosumnes River which affect sandhill cranes. When flooding occurs, the cranes flee to higher ground and if the land is developed, they will lose habitat. 
 
Speaking for agriculture interests was Bill Bird from the Sacramento Farm Bureau who in part echoed Wirth. Bird said agricultural uses were not taken into account and once the land is annexed, farms will be abandoned for a variety of reasons.
 
“When you consider all three sphere of influence amendments, you are talking about taking roughly 1,800-acres out of agricultural production,” he said. “Once these amendments are granted, the writing on the wall for farmers is crystal clear – the message is – GET OUT!”
 
Addressing Elk Grove’s performance regarding employment development was resident Lynn Wheat. In her comments Wheat noted there was no mention of the quality of the new jobs developed, the 2,000 promised new jobs should the Wilton Rancheria gain approval of their proposed casino will be low wage hospitality jobs, and that the Elk Grove Unified School District remains the largest employer in the city.
 
Wheat also noted former Mayor Gary Davis’ announcement two years ago that NRC Manufacturing, whom he called a large Silicon Valley concern, was locating to Elk Grove. Since that time NRC has not relocated any of their operations to Elk Grove.
 
“A firm from the Bay Area NRC was to come a couple of years ago,” Wheat said. “Since it was presented to our city council and spoken about we haven’t heard anything, so the joke in our community is N R C stands for not really coming.”

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to read the comments the Environmental Council of Sacramento have submitted on these attempts by Elk Grove to enlarge their city.


*This sentence was originally misquoted and the meaning was unclear. It was corrected for the purpose of this post.

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