A $1.1 billion project will mean thousands of jobs in Sacramento. Will renters be displaced?

By Theresa Clift | September 14, 2020 | The Sacramento Bee

Guadalupe Del Angel-Garcia moved into her North Oak Park apartment 14 years ago. Three years ago, her rent was about $800 a month. Now it’s $1,100.

The rent is increasingly difficult for her family to pay, especially since her husband was laid off from his restaurant job due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Oak Park is home. She’s lived there more than two decades and belongs to a close-knit community through her church.

When she heard about Aggie Square, a sprawling new project bringing thousands of jobs to the UC Davis Medical Center about a mile away, she was deeply concerned.

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to learn how ECOS is involved in trying to get UC Davis to uphold the community development principles taught in their classes and make sure Aggie Square doesn’t cause more displacement in Sacramento’s underserved neighborhoods.


Image by Leroy Skalstad from Pixabay

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Elk Grove Hospital Draft Environmental Impact Report Released

The City of Elk Grove released the draft environmental impact report (“DEIR”) for the California Northstate University (“CNU”) Hospital Project (“Project”) on August 14, 2020, finally giving the public the first look at the Project’s potentially significant environmental impacts and an opportunity to provide comments. The deadline to submit written comments and receive a response in the Final EIR is 5:00 pm on September 28, 2020.

Who: The City is the lead agency for the Project, meaning it is responsible for preparing the DEIR and complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”).

What: The Project is the total redevelopment of the shopping center located directly east of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and north-west of impact mitigation land for Swainson’s hawk. The Cosumnes River Preserve is only 12 miles from the Project site. CNU, a for-profit medical school already operating on site, intends to construct a 12-story hospital topped with a helipad, a dormitory, and numerous parking and auxiliary structures. The Project would be developed in three phases over a period of 10 years.

When: The 45-day public comment period began on August 14, 2020 with the release of the DEIR. The deadline to submit written comments and receive a response in the Final EIR is 5:00 pm on September 28, 2020. Oral comments may be provided at the September 16, 2020 City Council meeting and the City will provide responses to those comments in the Final EIR as well.

Where: The DEIR and supporting documents is available at: http://www.elkgrovecity.org/city_hall/departments_divisions/planning/current_development_projects/california_northstate_university_hospital/documents__visuals. Physical copies of the DEIR are available at the City Planning Division counter at 8401 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758.

Why: Concerned members of the public should submit comments on the Project to demonstrate opposition to this intrusive Project that would have negative consequences for residents and wildlife alike. The City is already conceding that the Project would have significant impacts that cannot be mitigated. With respect to impacts to local residents, the Draft EIR admits that the Project would create light and noise pollution and increase criteria air pollutant emissions. The Project also poses a significant threat to native protected species like Swainson’s hawk, sandhill cranes and burrowing owls that inhabit the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding habitat. Noise and light pollution would disturb roosting birds, while helicopter flights and the massive hospital building would pose a danger for bird strikes. Long-term, the Project would contribute to depleting groundwater levels and impaired air quality. Now is the time for the public to voice their concerns and let the City know that Project is not right for Elk Grove.

Click here to learn more about the hospital plans and the environmental concerns.

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ECOS Comments on NewBridge Specific Plan, FEIR

On September 1, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) submitted comments on the NewBridge Specific Plan and Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), dated Aug. 21, 2020.

Below is an excerpt from our comment letter.

CONSISTENCY: The Jackson Corridor projects should be treated consistently in terms of the County’s requirements for project approval. The requirement to meet state mandated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions targets is a particularly important one. Mather South demonstrated that it met state mandated GHG emissions reductions targets in the Climate Change chapter of its Specific Plan/FEIR. By contrast, the NewBridge FEIR currently calls for a demonstration of adequate emission reductions at the time of tentative map approval.

Close scrutiny of the project by the public and yourselves as County leaders occurs at FEIR approval. We ask that the NewBridge FEIR be modified prior to your approval to ensure GHG thresholds are met and the project’s impact is reduced to a “less than significant level.”

Mather South’s FEIR, CC-2 measures (GHG-reducing measures) are named and quantified: EV Charging and 100 Percent Solar on All Nonresidential Buildings and Residential Buildings. In addition, the CC-3 measure for purchase of carbon offsets is described and quantified. The NewBridge FEIR simply lists the CC-2 measures as a menu to be selected at tentative map approval. No quantification is provided. A demonstration that GHG thresholds are met is not provided.

For reference, please see this excerpt from the Mather South FEIR, page 7-29:

“Implementation of Mitigation Measure CC-1 requires the project to comply with all provisions included in the AQMP. This mitigation would be consistent with provisions of General Plan Policy AQ-4. Implementation of Mitigation Measure CC-2 would further reduce GHG emissions associated with residential and nonresidential building energy and transportation. However, GHG emissions would not be mitigated to a less-than significant level through the provisions of the AQMP and Mitigation Measure CC-2 alone. Thus, the purchase of carbon offsets as discussed in Mitigation Measure CC-3 would reduce the transportation-related GHG emissions to reduce mass emissions by 301 MTCO2e/year for the transportation sector by 2032. With implementation of Mitigation Measure CC-3, all GHG thresholds would be met and this impact would be reduced to a less-than-significant level. [Mather South Final EIR, page 7-29, PLNP2013-00065]

Click here to read the letter in full (PDF).

Click here to view the environmental and planning documents.

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