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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ECOS Board Meeting Nov. 20th

*NOTE* Location Change for this month: 
This month (November) the ECOS board meeting will be held in the Sierra Club California Conference Room at 909 12th Street (2nd Floor), Sacramento, CA 95814

Join the Environmental Council of Sacramento – ECOS for our November ECOS Board Meeting! Everyone who is interested is welcome. Bring a friend!

Monday, November 20, 2017

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
Paula Lomazzi, Executive Director of the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee (SHOC) will speak to us about the Homelessness Crisis in the Sacramento region. Did you know there was at least a 30% increase in the homeless population between 2015 and 2017? After we hear from Ms. Lomazzi, we will have a discussion/question and answer session.

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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Environmentalists’ Holiday Party Dec. 2nd

Join the Sierra Club Sacramento Group, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and the Green Democrats of Sacramento for the Environmentalists’ Holiday Party, a long-standing annual holiday tradition.
 
This is a great chance to catch up with friends and meet new people interested in protecting and celebrating our natural world. There will be a silent auction with art, wine and other items available. Please RSVP on our facebook page, here.
 
WHEN/WHERE
Saturday, December 2 from 6 – 8:30 pm at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd (entrance & parking on Park Way, between 33rd and 35th Streets).
 
FOOD
We will be providing a couple of pasta dishes along with green salad and garlic bread.
Please bring one of the following, based on your last name:
A-L Please bring your favorite side or main dish.
M-Z please bring your favorite hors d’ouvre or dessert.
Vegan dishes welcome!! Beverages will be provided, though if you have a favorite you’d like to share please bring it too! We will be having a silent auction – be prepared to pick up some great art work, Sierra Club logowear and other items for holiday gifts!
 
COST
A suggested minimum donation of $10 to help us cover facility costs and entertainment is much appreciated.
 
PRESENTATIONS
 
Protect Bears Ears – Sarah Friedman with the Sierra Club will present on the current threats to the Bears Ears National Monument. Bears Ears is the most recently-protected National Monument in the United States, and a beautiful and culturally significant place. To learn more about Bears Ears and the urgent need to protect it, please visit www.bearsearscoalition.org.
 
Pass a clean DREAM Act – Julio Molina is a Spoken Word Poet and a DREAMer – a young migrant who has never lived outside of the U.S. as an adult. Molina is advocating for a clean Dream Act. The “clean DREAM Act” is the name coined for legislation providing a pathway to U.S. citizenship for DREAMers like Molina. Read more about the clean Dream Act here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/saving-america-starts-with-daca-pass-a-clean-dream_us_5a161973e4b068a3ca6df636.
 
ENTERTAINMENT
We will enjoy live music by Jenn Rogar, a local favorite and returning artist to our event!
 
See you all on Saturday, Dec. 2nd!
 
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