Environmental Groups Claims LAFCO Executive Director Misled, Gave False Information in Elk Grove Expansion Approval

April 1, 2018

Elk Grove News.Net

In a rebuke of the February 7, 2018 decision to initiate a developer-driven expansion of Elk Grove, a rehearing of those plans will be held at the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) will be held on Wednesday, April 7. That hearing will be held at the requests from environmentalist groups who claim that among numerous other infractions, Sacramento LAFCO executive director Donald J. Lockhart misled and withheld information from the body’s commissioners.

In a 10-page letter (posted below) dated March 9, 2018 from the petitioner attorney Donald Mooney, the eight areas are cited where the decision by the seven-person commission was made without a complete presentation of facts. The petitioners seeking the new hearing include the Sierra Club, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020, and Friends of Swainson’s Hawk.

In that February meeting, the Sacramento LAFCO commissioners voted 4-3 in favor of an application by home builders who were seeking to place about 1,200-acres in the city of Elk Grove’s sphere of influence. Putting the land into Elk Grove’s sphere of influence paves the way for the city to annex the property into city limits, thereby allowing the developers a quicker path to new housing developments.

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Expanding Elk Grove…

Expanding Elk Grove: Narrow vote allows city to start considering southern development of farmland, wildlife habitat

Environmentalists and farmers say commission vote opens door to sprawl

By Michael Mott

February 15, 2018

Sacramento News and Review

A regional body of elected officials and residents narrowly approved opening the door to development that farmers and environmentalists say could threaten wildlife habitats and conservation efforts south of Elk Grove.

On February 7, the Sacramento Local Area Formation Commission, or LAFCO, approved landowners’ bid to expand Elk Grove’s “sphere of influence” by 1,156 acres, which could lead to a formal annexation and development process. The commissioners’ 4-3 approval came with an environmental impact report that warned development could cause “significant and unavoidable impacts” to wildlife, habitats and groundwater.

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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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