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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Airport is no place for hawk preserve

 

This is where Sacramento plans to put nearly 3,000 new homes

Advocates for the Swainson’s hawk, listed as threatened by the state, are unhappy with the habitat mitigation land chosen for the hawks, which is an orchard west of the airport, adjacent to the Teal Bend golf course. Advocate Jude Lamare said the site is too close the airport, where 11 Swainson’s hawks have been counted as hit and killed by jets in the last four years.

The hawks forage in various places around the Natomas basin, but, as development continues, nesting areas will be reduced, forcing more birds into limited sites, including the one next to the airport. “If you are picking a ‘forever’ home for threatened avian species, it would not be next to a runway,” Lamare said. “You are squeezing the species down.”

(Bizjak, Tony, This is where Sacramento plans to put nearly 3,000 new homes)

Read more here.


A Message from Judith Lamare, President of the Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk, a member organization of Habitat 2020/ECOS. May 29, 2017

Here is a text you can copy and email to urge the City to reject the Moody Preserve as part of the Greenbriar project. Use this in the Subject line of your email: Item 19 May 30, 2017: No Hawk Preserve Next to Airport

Dear City Leaders:

  • Please reject the proposed Moody Preserve as part of the Greenbriar Project at your meeting on Tuesday May 30. (Agenda Item 19)
  • The property is about 600 feet from the Airport’s west runway.
    Eleven Swainson’s Hawks have been listed as fatalities in the FAA bird strike data base for SMF between 2013 and 2016.
  • Airport operations are expected to grow by 30 percent over the next twenty years.
  • This is the wrong location to preserve in perpetuity for conservation of a threatened bird species.
  • Please require the Greenbriar developer to provide another mitigation site that offers more protection to the Swainson’s Hawk, listed as threatened under state law.

The email string to use is:
MayorSteinberg [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org, Angelique Ashby <aashby [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Allen Warren <awarren [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Jeff S. Harris <JSHarris [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Steve Hansen <SHansen [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Jay Schenirer
<jschenirer [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Eguerra [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org,”Lawrence R. Carr” <Lcarr [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, Rick Jennings <rjennings [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org>, clerk [at] cityofsacramento [dot] org,swainsonshawk [at] sbcglobal [dot] net

Thank you for your help in averting a bad decision on conservation for our threatened wildlife.

Judith Lamare, President
Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk
www.swainsonshawk.org
swainsonshawk [at] sbcglobal [dot] net


Read the letter from the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020 and Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk here.

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Greenbriar: where Sacramento plans to put nearly 3,000 new homes

By Tony Bizjak

May 29th, 2017

The Sacramento Bee

Advocates for the Swainson’s hawk, listed as threatened by the state, are unhappy with the habitat mitigation land chosen for the hawks, which is an orchard west of the airport, adjacent to the Teal Bend golf course. Advocate Jude Lamare said the site is too close the airport, where 11 Swainson’s hawks have been counted as hit and killed by jets in the last four years.

The hawks forage in various places around the Natomas basin, but, as development continues, nesting areas will be reduced, forcing more birds into limited sites, including the one next to the airport. “If you are picking a ‘forever’ home for threatened avian species, it would not be next to a runway,” Lamare said. “You are squeezing the species down.”

Read more here.

 

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