ECOS comments on Elk Grove Hospital NOP

On June 27, 2019, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020 and the Friends of Stones Lakes National Wildlife Refuge submitted a letter in response to the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for Northstate University Medical Center, planned for the outer edges of the City of Elk Grove, south of Sacramento.

Our concerns include: an increase in bird collisions, helicopter flight impacts on migratory birds in surrounding roosting and foraging habitat, lighting impacts, building a hospital in a floodplain, surface water runoff, cumulative impacts, compliance with our region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, growth inducement and more.

Click here to read the letter in full.

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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Development controversy to Sunset

What does smart growth even mean in a rapidly developing county like Placer?

By Graham Womack
May 9, 2019
Sacramento News and Review

…controversy is brewing over one of the last stretches of undeveloped land between the three cities, known as the Sunset Area—and what the term smart growth means in Placer County.

The plan would go about 40% above the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s recommended average vehicle miles traveled for residents and employees. In addition, plans call for housing within 1,000 feet of an existing landfill. The project would also result in the removal of roughly 5,000 acres of vernal pools.

Click here to read full article.

10,000 homes – and lots of shopping – planned for new neighborhood near Sacramento airport, by Tony Bizjak, Mar 1, 2019, 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.

Judge rejects San Diego County’s climate action plan

By Richard Allyn, Reporter

Posted: Dec 28, 2018 9:40 PM PST
Updated: Dec 28, 2018 10:53 PM PST

CBS 8 San Diego

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Environmental activists are calling on San Diego County leaders to adopt a new climate action plan.

For the third time, a judge Friday rejected San Diego County’s plan, saying it doesn’t comply with goals for reduced emissions. It was a ruling that environmental leaders praised and they used the moment to urge the County Board of Supervisors to create a comprehensive climate action plan.

The new court ruling found that San Diego County’s climate action plan fails to comply with its own and the state’s goals of cutting back on carbon emissions. The judge rejected the county’s proposal to use carbon credits from out of the county or out of the country, saying that offsetting greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world does nothing to help us here at home.

Click here for the full story.

Elk Grove General Plan

On September 26, 2018, the Environmental Council of Sacramento submitted a comment letter on the Elk Grove General Plan.

Summary

Following ECOS and Habitat 2020s’ opposition to the recently adopted Kamerrer-99 Sphere of Influence Expansion, ECOS and Habitat 2020 are primarily concerned with the “study areas” for further expansion proposed in this General Plan Update. Elk Grove’s anticipated growth can be accommodated within the existing City limits, and we find no justification for expansion beyond the Sacramento County Urban Services Boundary (USB) established in 1993 to be the ultimate growth boundary within the County. The proposal is inconsistent with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ (SACOG) Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for meeting State mandated greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, Federal mandates for Air Quality Attainment under the State Improvement Plan (SIP), as well as myriad regional goals for social equity, public health and natural resource conservation. There is an extreme lack of certainty that municipal water can be provided to this area without severe regional impacts, and the impacts to invaluable agricultural and biological resources by the proposal are potentially impossible to mitigate.

The justification given for study of further expansion is the need for Elk Grove to correct its job’s housing balance. This is a goal that ECOS agrees with, but, again, the housing and employment that Elk Grove anticipates to achieve from existing planning areas within the current City boundaries already far exceed that of SACOG’S projections for Elk Grove by 2040. If Elk Grove were to achieve these housing and employment projections in the SOIA as well, it would certainly have impacts on housing and employment in neighboring jurisdictions in the region.

While these proposed expansion areas are only “study areas,” it is irresponsible of the City to signal intent for growth that is so divergent from the regional plan, and where the cumulative impacts to the region would be so great.

Click here to read the full letter in PDF.