Sacramento City General Plan Update and Climate Action

Be a part of history and join the kick-off of the General Plan Update! Sacramento 2040 is the City of Sacramento’s blueprint for how and where Sacramento will grow over the next 20 years. At these family-friendly events, light food will be provided. A brief presentation will begin at 5:45 p.m. Hosted by the City of Sacramento.

The workshop dates, times and RSVP links are below. RSVP’s are requested, but not required.

April 22 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Hagginwood Community Center, Auditorium
3271 Marysville Boulevard, Sacramento 95815

April 25 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The Sam & Bonnie Pannell Community Center, Conference Room
2450 Meadowview Road, Sacramento 95832

April 29 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Oak Park Community Center, Room A/B
3425 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Sacramento 95817

Click here to read ECOS member Sacramento 350’s “Action Alert” for the workshops.

Residential downsizing

Some residents say the property near planned Aggie Square is suited for infill development

By Dylan Svoboda
March 21, 2019
Sacramento News and Review

Amid a worsening housing shortage, a Manhattan Beach-based property management company is seeking to sharply reduce the number of homes it would need to build on a key property in an up-and-coming neighborhood.
Located on the former State Fair site near Tahoe Park, the undeveloped 8.68-acre lot at 325 Fairgrounds Drive would be down-zoned from multi-unit zoning—requiring at least 18 units per acre, or nearly 160 units—to single-unit zoning for future construction of 68 single-family homes.
The property is blocks from economic hubs in the UC Davis Medical Center and planned Aggie Square, the highly-anticipated technology and innovation campus. The move toward less future residential development has some nearby residents concerned.
“This is a prime infill opportunity,” said Tahoe Park resident Zach Miller. “If we want to avoid gentrification effects from Aggie Square, we should be looking at building more homes, not less.”
Nestled between newly-built single-family homes to the north and townhouses to the south, a multi-family development on the property would make for an awkward fit, says City Councilman Eric Guerra.
“There’s no question we need more housing,” Guerra said. “But I would like to look at places like Stockton Boulevard—higher transit frequency spots—for multi-family construction. Trying to squeeze a couple hundred units [at 325 Fairgrounds] wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it just doesn’t fit.”
Alex Kelter of the Environmental Council of Sacramento took the opposite view, noting the lot’s central location, along with its proximity to two light-rail stations and multiple bus lines running up and down Broadway and Stockton Boulevard.
“This not Roseville or Rancho Cordova,” Kelter said. “It’s the middle of our metropolitan area. If we don’t put density here, where are we going to put it? It just doesn’t make sense for this property, especially with the current housing market.”
Jim Perley of Western American Properties, the listed applicant, didn’t respond to written and phone inquiries from SN&R.

Svoboda, Dylan. “Residential Downsizing – Beats – Local Stories – March 21, 2019.” Sacramento News & Review, Sacramento News & Review, 21 Mar. 2019, www.newsreview.com/sacramento/residential-downsizing/content?oid=27883568.

Click here to view this article online.

Click here to view the letter about this property, co-signed by ECOS.

10,000 homes – and lots of shopping – planned for new neighborhood near Sacramento airport

By Tony Bizjak

March 01, 2019 02:40 AM, Updated March 01, 2019 07:41 AM

The Sacramento Bee

The project…would be built in an environmentally sensitive and floodable area of Natomas, and already is the subject of numerous concerns.

…environmentalists argue that such a large development means paving prime wildlife habitat and farmland. The project, they say, could undermine existing habitat conservation agreements that limit the amount of acreage to be developed in the Natomas basin.

The site also is outside of the county’s existing urban development boundary. In order to allow development, county officials would have to amend the county’s growth plan and extend the boundary west toward the river.

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to read the Environmental Council of Sacramento’s formal comments on this proposal.

Upper Westside of North Natomas


Area of “The Boot,” aka the Upper Westside Specific Plan site

February 24, 2019 [UPDATE]

On Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 2:15 pm, the County of Sacramento Board of Supervisors will consider starting a master plan process to urbanize 2,000 acres of prime agricultural land in Natomas (covering most of the existing farmland between the City limit and Sacramento River, south of Fisherman’s Lake). If possible, please attend the hearing. Please send a note to the Board (emails below) opposing this expansion on Farmland. Suggested language follows.

Click here to view the letter from ECOS, Habitat 2020, Sierra Club and Friends of Swainson’s Hawk, delivered February 22, 2019.

Email string for Supervisors (copy and paste)
SupervisorSerna[at]saccounty[dot]net, nottolid[at]saccounty[dot]net, susanpeters[at]saccounty[dot]net, kennedyp[at]saccounty[dot]net, supervisorfrost[at]saccounty[dot]net, BoardClerk[at]saccounty[dot]net, LundgrenJ[at]saccounty[dot]net.

Suggested text:

I oppose development of farmland in Sacramento County and ask you to deny the request to create an Upper Westside Master Plan for 2000 acres in the Natomas “Boot.” My reasons are:

  1. This proposal violates County General Plan policies, including the Urban Services Boundary and agricultural preservation policies, to preserve agricultural and open space lands in the County.
  2. There are thousands of acres of vacant land inside the Urban Services Boundary in the County where future urban development is already authorized. There is no economic need to provide for more zoning for urban uses.
  3. There are thousands of vacant acres approved for development in the City and Sutter County portions of the Natomas Basin and these projects have a Habitat Conservation Plan in place to mitigate for their impacts on wildlife and are included in regional air quality and transportation plans. There is no economic rationale for advancing development in the portion of the basin that lacks infrastructure and mitigation programs.
  4. I support the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan. Urbanization of the Boot area would undermine the effectiveness of the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan and directly conflict with the preserves located in and adjacent to the plan area.

Ask the Supervisors to endorse the Natomas Habitat Conservation Plan as the best plan for the Boot.

Thank you,

Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk
swainsonshawk[at]sbcglobal[dot]net
Judith Lamare
James Pachl
916 769 2857 c


February 11, 2019

Please read the latest call to action below, from Habitat 2020 Member Organization, Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk:

Landowners in the Boot area of North Natomas have asked the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to start the legal process needed for approval of a development plan for 2000 acres of urban development in the County covering most of the existing farmland between the City limit and Sacramento River, south of Fisherman’s Lake.

The proposal directly contradicts and would undermine the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (NBHCP) which covers the entire Natomas Basin. This plan — a binding contract between the city of Sacramento and County of Sutter and the state and federal wildlife agencies — relies in part on the Boot continuing to remain in agriculture and open space. It protects the Swainson’s Hawk population which nests along the Sacramento River and forages for rodents in the Basin, including the Boot area. The 2001 Natomas Basin Habitat Plan designates the mile-wide strip of land, in County jurisdiction, next to the Sacramento River levee as the Swainson’s Hawk Zone, which must remain free of urban development for the HCP to succeed.

Most of the proposed Boot development would be within the Swainson’s Hawk Zone. The City’s Incidental Take Permit (issued by USFWS and CDFW) for new development in North Natomas depends on the continued integrity of the NBHCP, including continuation of agriculture and open space in the Swainson’s Hawk Zone, and would be jeopardized by new development in the Boot.

Bob Thomas, who is the project representative, was formerly the City Manager who signed the NBHCP Incidental Take Permit as City Manager, and is very aware of the importance of the Swainson’s Hawk Zone, including the Boot area, to conservation of threatened species and the City’s buildout of North Natomas.

Please help us convince the County Board of Supervisors to deny this request. Letters to the Board members can include these important points:

  1. Urbanization planning in the Natomas Basin is contrary to important County General Plan policies, including the Urban Services Boundary, and policies to preserve agricultural and open space lands in the County.
  2. The Urban Services Boundary (which excludes urbanization in this area) is the basis for our regional air quality and transportation plans which protect our health and prevent the congestion that urban sprawl engenders. This is our region’s core strategy for Climate Action and mitigation for Climate Change.
  3. There are thousands of acres of vacant land inside the Urban Services Boundary in the County where future urban development is already authorized, and thousands of acres of vacant land already zoned for development. There is no economic need to provide for more zoning for urban uses.
  4. There are thousands of vacant acres approved for development in the City and Sutter County portions of the Natomas Basin. These projects have planned infrastructure and mitigation programs. There is no economic rationale for considering development in the portion of the basin that lacks infrastructure and mitigation programs.
  5. Express your support for the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan. Urbanization of the Boot area would undermine the effectiveness of the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan. Ask the Supervisors to endorse the Natomas Habitat Conservation Plan as the best plan for the Boot.
  6. For residents of Natomas, public safety, emergency evaluation, freeway and airport access and other issues may come to mind in contemplating urbanization west of El Centro and North of I-80.

The hearing is set for 9:30 am, Tuesday, Feb 26, 2019.

The emails for the Board are: SupervisorSerna[at]saccounty[dot]net, nottolid[at]saccounty[dot]net, susanpeters[at]saccounty[dot]net, kennedyp[at]saccounty[dot]net, supervisorfrost[at]saccounty[dot]net, BoardClerk[at]saccounty[dot]net, LundgrenJ[at]saccounty[dot]net.

Please also cc or forward what you send to swainsonshawk[at]sbcglobal[dot]net.

Send an email to the Board Clerk requesting hearing notice and notice of availability of documents: BoardClerk[at]saccounty[dot]net.

For more information on the proposal, check the County website at https://planningdocuments.saccounty.net/. Search for “Upper Westside Specific Plan” Control #: PLNP2018-00284


Swainson’s Hawk in flight

Please share this call to action with friends and family who can help.

Thank you.

Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk
swainsonshawk[at]sbcglobal[dot]net
Judith Lamare
James Pachl

Here come the tenants

By Scott Thomas Anderson
February 21, 2019
Sacramento News and Review

“Tenants living in fear of the next rent hike. People choosing between paying rent and eating. Families having to move out as wealthier renters from the Bay Area displace them. There was no shortage of stories at a recent town hall that kicked off the battle to bring rent control and just-cause eviction regulations to Sacramento in 2020.”

“…local rent control supporters are readying for a political street fight.”

325 Fairgrounds Drive

February 15, 2019

Tahoe Park residents are asking why housing density has been greatly reduced in the plans for a development to be built near Broadway and Fairgrounds Drive in Sacramento. Why reduce housing density in the midst of a housing shortage, especially in a prime infill location?

Click here to read the letter written in opposition to amending the General Plan to lower the density requirements at 325 Fairgrounds Drive. Signatories include Alex Kelter, MD and Robert Meagher, MD, Co-Chairs of Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) Land Use Committee.