By Graham Womack April 1, 2020 Sacramento News and Review
“The reality is Aggie Square could be the best thing for the neighborhood, and it could be the worst thing for the neighborhood,” said Sacramento City Council member Eric Guerra, whose district is directly east of UC Davis Med Center.
Even a UC Davis official—Hendry Ton, the university’s associate vice chancellor for health equity, diversity and inclusion—has questions about Aggie Square causing gentrification and displacing residents. “I think there’s a lot of questions about that and I certainly have questions about that as well,” Ton said. “I think that the potential is that if the people in Aggie Square and the university are thoughtful and careful and collaborative about this, this can be a very significant force for good in the neighborhood.” So far, however, collaboration hasn’t exactly been smooth, with officials and residents clashing on plans to ensure the neighborhood benefits from the project. A group connected to the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative, known as Sacramento Investment Without Displacement, has been working on a legally binding community benefits agreement for Aggie Square. A January draft of the agreement called for local hiring from nearby zip codes, anti-demolition policies to protect homes and enrollment of at least 50 percent of Medi-Cal recipients living within five miles of Aggie Square. “We believe that this project has a lot of potential to be successful. But it also has a lot of potential to displace working families.” Gabby Trejo is executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together. “We want to see Aggie Square be successful,” said Gabby Trejo, who has been working on the agreement and serves as executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together. “We believe that this project has a lot of potential to be successful. But it also has a lot of potential to displace working families. And we want to make sure that working families in our region are protected.” City leaders have yet to commit to a community benefits agreement, however. Guerra and Councilman Jay Schenirer, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, are instead working on a letter of intent, which city leaders declined to provide. “I’m less concerned about the type of document and more concerned about an honest agreement… that will last longer than whatever we call the agreement,” Guerra said. But Trejo and Sasso said the letter is insufficient. “We’ve seen other folks be bad actors in that things are promised and then they’re never delivered,” Sasso said.
ECOS is a part of the Sacramento Investment Without Displacement coalition to work towards preventing the displacement of long-time residents and local businesses that could occur as a result of this significant, new project at the UC Davis Medical Center.
“Each campus within the University of California system periodically prepares a long range development plan (LRDP) to guide campus development in anticipation of projected growth of student enrollment and new university-added programs. The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Sacramento Campus 2020 LRDP Update will propose general types of campus development and land uses to support projected on-campus population growth and to enable expanded and new program initiatives for the UC Davis Sacramento Campus. The 2010 LRDP remains in effect as the guiding land use document for the UC Davis Sacramento Campus, and its overall program of growth and development remains accurate. The proposed 2020 update to the 2010 LRDP will largely focus on making minor adjustments to the 2010 LRDP land use plan and policies. UC Davis will prepare a supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR), as required by Public Resources Code (PRC) Sections 21080.09 and 21166, to evaluate the environmental effects of incremental growth under the 2020 LRDP Update through the year 2040. The 2020 LRDP Update SEIR will be a program EIR that can be used at a program-level in the environmental review of subsequent campus development projects, as well as a project-level EIR for the Aggie Square Phase 1 and Replacement Hospital Tower (RHT) projects.”
OR you can submit your comments via postal mail to: Matt Dulcich, AICP Director of Environmental Planning Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616
What are the concerns?
It’s possible that Aggie Square can exacerbate gentrification in the surrounding Sacramento neighborhoods, or it can lead to economic growth through increased opportunities for local residents.
How do we invest in the neighborhoods most impacted by UC Davis without displacing existing residents and local businesses?
Fix Our Streets, Fund Our Public Transit, and Make Biking and Walking Safer For All
Why this matters
The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board is considering a ballot measure for November 2020 asking voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund countywide transportation projects and programs. If approved, the new local Measure A would generate an additional $8 billion in local transportation funds over 40 years – $200 million annually. The proposed sales tax measure will shape our transportation system for generations, and it should be spent so that Sacramento County residents have the option of living and working within walking distance of a transit stop from everything they need.
The SacMoves and SMART coalitions are a growing group of business, labor, transportation, environment, public transit and community leaders. We have presented a forward-looking plan to STA that supports this vision by prioritizing expanding rail and transit service, fixing our existing neighborhood roads, while making them safer and connected for bicycles and pedestrians. This will relieve congestion while addressing our air quality, traffic congestion, and creating economic opportunity that will guarantee Accountability, Transparency and Public Participation. Transportation is Sacramento County’s #1 contributor to climate pollution, primarily from the tailpipes of cars and trucks.
It’s important that you let STA board members know you support the SacMoves and SMART Coalitions, along with the Environmental Council of Sacramento and the Sierra Club, in immediately tackling congestion and air quality by investing first in major improvements and expansion of transit, and fixing our local surface streets. Under our plan, transit expansion can eliminate 4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas each year from going into our atmosphere. And, to ensure that local streets and roads provide more types of transportation choices for local trips and getting to transit, 10% of funding should be clearly dedicated for bike, pedestrian and complete streets projects, making local streets safer. Focusing on these two priorities alone will move Sacramento County in the right direction.
Tell your local representatives
Click here for a convenient way to write to your Sacramento County Board Supervisors as well as the Mayors and City Councilmembers of the cities of Sacramento, Galt, Folsom Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and Isleton.
Attend a meeting, testify
We need everyone to attend the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) meeting on February 26, 2020. The STA Board will be making final consideration on the spending ratios of the Measure. The time is now to tell the board that we want them to Fix our Existing Streets! Fund our Public Transit! Making Biking and Walking safe for all! Safe Routes Everywhere for Everyone!
Special Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board Meeting – Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm at 700 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Special Meeting – The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board is considering a ballot measure for November 2020 asking voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund countywide transportation projects and programs. Sierra Club, ECOS and our coalition of public stakeholders presented guiding principles to STA that will improve rail and transit, make existing neighborhoods safer and connected for bicycles and pedestrians. This will relieve congestion while addressing our air quality, traffic congestion, and creating economic opportunity that will guarantee Accountability, Transparency and Public Participation.
Come and participate at the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board Meetings every second Thursday of the month at 1:30 pm
Stakeholders must be at the table to deliberate the allocation of sales tax funds starting with submitting comments to all STA Board Members at every 2nd Thursday Meeting (In person or electronically). How they will spend our money is being developed over the following weeks with developers heavy influence on their interests and not our communities. Without your direct involvement, it will be very difficult to change a plan that does not reflect what Sacramento needs! If we can demonstrate organized Grassroots POWER NOW that can oppose a ballot measure, we will empower STA Board member allies to accomplish an expenditure plan that is consistent with our vision for a healthy future for our region with an innovative transportation system that serves all Sacramento County residents.
Please come and help us call our members to take action: We need everyone to Call, Email, Attend the next Special meeting. We need to demand a better cut for Public Transit and Complete streets. Safe routes everywhere for everyone!
This Special Meeting will take place to discuss the Measure! We need you to show-up, call, email and let your representatives know that funding Public Transit, Complete Streets reduce congestion and will improve the air and health of our Sacramento County.
In order to protect our health and climate, it’s critical we reduce congestion and improve air quality by investing first in fixing our existing roads and expanding mass transit. This measure gives us an opportunity to promote high-quality and stable jobs while keeping more money in our local neighborhoods for fixing our roads and making them safer for bicycles and pedestrians. Sacramento is growing and this is our opportunity to do so with innovative solutions.
We will be phone-banking our members and coalition members to submit comments and attend the The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) Board Special Meeting 2/26/20 at 1:30pm – STA considering a ballot measure for November 2020 asking voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to fund countywide transportation projects and programs. Sierra Club and our coalition of public stakeholders presented guiding principles to STA that will improve rail and transit, make existing neighborhoods safer and connected for bicycles and pedestrians. This will relieve congestion while addressing our air quality, traffic congestion, and creating economic opportunity that will guarantee Accountability, Transparency and Public Participation.