Support for SACOG’s “Green Means Go” budget request

May 3, 2021

The Honorable Nancy Skinner, Chair, Senate Budget Committee

The Honorable Phil Ting, Chair, Assembly Budget Committee

RE: Support for SACOG’s Green Means Go state budget allocation

Dear Chairs Skinner and Ting,

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) supports Senator Pan’s request for the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) state budget allocation of $100 million dollars to implement the first year of its Green Means Go pilot program.

By accelerating infill development through infrastructure investments in centers, transit nodes, and commercial corridors in established communities, Green Means Go will help SACOG implement its Sustainable Communities Strategy and achieve the GHG emission reduction target of 19 percent per capita, set in 2018 by the California Air Resources Board pursuant to SB375.

SACOG has identified infill areas or “Green Zones” in 23 of the 28 jurisdictions in its six-county region. The local jurisdictions are ready to partner with the State to invest in infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines, to facilitate infill development. This kind of development can revitalize existing urban areas, and with transit service nearby and a mix of residential and commercial uses, can reduce driving, and therefore, vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions. Green Means Go can increase housing availability and affordability without loss of habitat or agricultural land.

SACOG estimates the capacity of the identified infill areas or Green Zones at 84,000 dwelling units. To meet the challenge of climate change, it is critical to begin infrastructure work in the Green Zones, so that infill development can be the land use pattern of choice during this decade. Referring to the Regional Housing Need Allocation for 2021-2029 (RHNA, Sacramento County’s 21,722 dwelling unit RHNA could became mainly infill, and Sacramento City’s 45,000 dwelling unit RHNA similarly. This would shift the region’s development trajectory and put us on a more sustainable path. The state budget allocation of $100 million dollars to implement the first year of Green Means Go would give infill a chance.

Infill development is costly, and our region is behind coastal and other metropolitan areas in creating it. Local jurisdictions must provide the infrastructure upgrades to set the stage for infill development, and they need additional funding to do it. State funding is vital for this purpose, and we ask you to include the allocation of $100 million dollars in this year’s budget for the first year of the Green Means Go pilot program.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Propper

ECOS President

cc: The Honorable Richard Pan, California State Senate

The Honorable Kevin McCarty, California State Assembly

Keely Bosler, Director, California Department of Finance

James Corless, SACOG Executive Director

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Unmet Transit Needs – Upcoming Meetings

Posted October 15, 2019

Whether you ride daily, occasionally or haven’t tried transit yet, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments is looking for feedback on our area’s bus, dial-a-ride, paratransit and light rail transit services. SACOG accepts transit needs related comments from any area in the counties of Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba.

What are your thoughts on local transit service? Would you like to use it for more trips, but don’t because of issues like where it goes, the schedule or cost? Are there places you really need to go but cannot currently? Please give SACOG your thoughts by attending an Unmet Transit Needs meeting or by relaying your comments to SACOG.

The California State Transportation Development Act (TDA) requires the Unmet Transit Needs Process be conducted annually by Regional Transportation Planning Agencies. SACOG is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for the counties of Sacramento, Yuba, Sutter and Yolo. SACOG staff conducts the Unmet Transit Needs process annually for these four counties. The TDA requires that SACOG make a determination whether there are “unmet transit needs that are reasonable to meet” in the jurisdictions throughout the four counties.

There are also a number of ways to comment beyond the hearings, so please feel free to also call, text, email, fax or mail your unmet transit needs comments to SACOG!

Upcoming Meetings

OCT 28 2019, MON
2 – 3pm
Sacramento Regional Transit Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Sacramento RT Auditorium, 1400 29th Street, Sacramento, CA

OCT 30 2019, WED
2 – 3pm
City of Galt Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Galt Council Chambers, 380 Civic Drive, Galt, CA

NOV 4 2019, MON
2 – 3pm
City of Davis Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Davis Council Chambers, 23 Russell Blvd., Davis, CA

NOV 5 2019, TUE
2 – 3pm
Sutter and Yuba Counties Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Yuba County Government Center, 915 8th Street, Marysville, CA

NOV 6 2019, WED
6 – 7pm
City of Elk Grove Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
Elk Grove Council Chambers, 8400 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA

JAN 16 2020, THU
9:30 – 10:30am
Sacramento Regional Transit Unmet Transit Needs Hearing
SACOG – Board Room, 1415 L Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA

Click here for more details on the SACOG website.

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New Hospital Proposed for Elk Grove

May 30, 2019

In case you haven’t heard, there is a giant hospital planned for right next to the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Elk Grove. The City of Elk Grove has released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the California Northstate University Medical Center Campus Project. The City is encouraging public input during the NOP’s 30-day review period ending on 6/27. See the Notice of Preparation at https://bit.ly/2JLqKDW.

Community’s Concerns

The greatest concerns expressed by the community so far include:

  • Lack of transparency on behalf of CNU and city officials/unwillingness to correct false data and “misquotes” via the media
  • A facility even more expansive than originally disclosed elevates residents’ concerns
  • Financial failure, similar to the Elk Grove “Ghost Mall”, would leave behind an eyesore/empty shell of a hospital that would ultimately need to be demolished
  • Displacement and/or destruction of local small-businesses
  • Unreliable jobs projections, based on the original 24,000 being revised to only 1,400 over the next 10 years
  • A hospital more than 6x higher than the tallest homes in the West Elk Grove/destruction of the aesthetics of the surrounding area
  • Unsustainable traffic increases along Elk Grove Blvd., at the on-ramp and off-ramp of I-5 and on one of three main arteries into the Stonelake residential community
  • Parking overflowing onto community streets
  • Major safety concerns for nearby schools
  • Negative impacts on the natural environment
  • Lack of security available to accommodate the heightened safety risks
  • Impacts to local wildlife, such as the many birds who depend on the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge to survive
  • Growth Inducement

“Neighbors Ensuring Stonelake Transparency” (NEST)

Information about NEST and their concerns can be found at https://egnest.com/ and/or https://stonelakeneighbors.com.

[You may know of the]…recent demolition of what became known as “The Ghost Mall” within the City of Elk Grove It was a failed project of former Mayor Gary Davis. Davis is now a paid consultant to California Northstate University. Coincidentally, Davis had moved into the Stonelake neighborhood just a few months prior to the CNU hospital announcement.

https://egnest.com/

Habitat 2020/ECOS’ Concerns

The ECOS Habitat committee is also tracking the hospital proposal.

The Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a member of Habitat 2020 and submitted a letter outlining their concerns on May 13, 2019, prior to the release of the Notice of Preparation. You can read that letter by clicking here.

ECOS and Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge expect to send a joint letter on the NOP soon.

Environmental Documents

The Notice of Preparation and more documents on the hospital can be viewed at egnest.com/documents.

The Scoping Meeting is set for June 24, 2019 5:30 pm at elk Grove City Council Chambers.

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