Action Alert: Help hold the line on urban sprawl

Once again, the Sacramento LAFCo (the Local Area Formation Commission) is considering adding 1,158 acres of farmland to Elk Grove’s potential urbanization south of the present Elk Grove city limit and beyond the County’s Urban Services Boundary (USB). A public hearing will be held before voting on whether to allow the City of Elk Grove to grow onto farmland south of Sacramento County’s Urban Services Boundary. A vote of approval will contradict regional water, transportation, wildlife conservation and climate action strategies. Help hold the line on urban sprawl.

Step 1: Send an email

Please send your thoughts by February 7, 2018 to the LAFCo Commissioners that an expanded Sphere of Influence (SOI) for Elk Grove is wrong. You can do this by simply emailing commissionclerk [at] saclafco [dot] org. Be sure to include your name and address. Key issues to write about are below. (please copy swainsonshawk [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Step 2: Attend the Hearing

Come to the hearing in Sacramento on February 7th, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors building at 700 H Street, Sacramento, 95814. Speak, or simply attend, to show your concern about Elk Grove’s latest attempts to sprawl.

Background

In 1993, the Sacramento County adopted an Urban Services Boundary (USB) to protect farmland against sprawl development and to ensure orderly growth. The developer of Kammerer/Highway 99 SOIA wants LAFCo to authorize 1158 acres beyond the USB, despite thousands of undeveloped acres of vacant land inside the USB and City of Elk Grove. Orderly development requires developing available land inside the USB before paving over more farmland.

What is Your Hot Button?

Protection of Farmland?

The Sacramento County Farm Bureau has opposed approval of this project because of the loss of farmland and other impacts on agriculture that would result. The EIR finds the approval of Kammerer/99 SOIA would have significant and unavoidable (can’t mitigate for) impacts on farmland. See http://www.swainsonshawk.org/Images/Significantunavoidable.pdf for a list of the 14 different significant impacts that can’t be mitigated.

Endangered Wildlife?

The EIR for this proposal finds significant, unavoidable and unmitigatable impacts on wildlife if this project is approved. An approval will signal that decision-makers will sacrifice the success of the South Sacramento County Habitat Conservation Plan, intended to mitigate for the loss of wildlife habitat inside the USB.

Water Supply for the Future?

The Sacramento County Water Agency has stated that all available water has been allocated for existing and future development within the USB. The Sacramento County General Plan states that more development is presently planned in the County than can be served by water supply. Yet this proposal will either further drain the groundwater supply already depleted in the South area, or take water intended for other projects, long ago entitled. The EIR states that depletion of groundwater supplies is a significant and unavoidable impact of an approval of this proposal.

Climate Change?

Our Climate Action Plan depends on sticking with the adopted Metropolitan Transportation Plan (SACOG’s MTP) and its strategy for curbing vehicle trips. The MTP assumes Elk Grove stays within its current boundaries until at least 2036. SACOG has told LAFCo that the Kammerer/99 proposal is outside the MTP footprint.

Urban Sprawl?

The proposal is the very definition of urban sprawl –approving farmland for urban use while adequate land supply already exists within the urban area for expected growth. LAFCos are mandated to curb urban sprawl and protect farmland by saying no to premature expansion of cities. Tell LAFCo to do its job and say NO to the Kammerer Road/Highway 99 Sphere of Infuence.

Smart Transportation?

The proposed east-west Southeast Connector is planned to allow east-west traffic (particularly trucks) to bypass the Sacramento urban area by linking highways I-5, 99, and 50 south of the urban area. Allowing Elk Grove to strip-develop along this roadway will take away the intended transportation efficiency.

Thank you to the Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk for putting together this summary. 

More Information

Facebook Event Page for Feb 7 Hearing

Final Environmental Impact Report, November 2017

ECOS Comments to LAFCo, September 11, 2017

LAFCo Report, February 7, 2018

Disparate Interests Pan Elk Grove’s Expansion Plans at Sacramento LAFCo Meeting, December 18, 2017 – Elk Grove News.net

 

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Don’t miss Sacramento’s Environmentalist of the Year Awards!

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
Reception 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Awards ceremony 6:30 – 8:30pm

Sierra 2 Center for the Arts and Community, Curtis Hall, 2791 24th St, Sacramento, CA 95818 

ECOS first started hosting the Environmentalist of the Year Awards in 1973. The awards ceremony is a time to celebrate and recognize the past year’s regional champions and community sustainability successes. It is also a time to reflect on the work we still have in front of us in the year ahead.

The 2017 award categories and honorees include…

Environmentalist of the Year

Jennifer Wood of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Sacramento

Jennifer Wood is the energetic leader of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Sacramento Chapter and a soil scientist. The Citizens Climate Lobby is a non-partisan, non-profit, grassroots movement creating political will for a national climate change solution. Jennifer recruits community members to push elected officials to prepare for and slow the effects of climate change, recruits people to join the movement to find climate solutions, visits legislators to lobby their participation in the movement, and more. She’s a whirlwind of activity and finds ways to build alliances with groups large and small. Jennifer’s energy and commitment to environmental causes has earned her the recognition of Environmentalist of the Year 2017. 

Environmentalist of the Year – Habitat

Lower American River Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Projects

Since 2008, the Water Forum has collaborated with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Sacramento County Parks, and other stakeholders and scientists to design and build over 30 acres of salmonid habitat along the lower American River. This unique program is sustaining wild fish in America’s only urban nationally-designated Wild and Scenic river, driving new science, and supporting balanced water use among river communities. These projects are based in a strong collaborative partnership between resource agencies, scientists, and public interests all along the river.

Environmentalist of the Year – Innovation

March for Science Sacramento

On Earth Day 2017, marches were planned across the world in solidarity with the national March for Science in Washington, D.C. The organizers of March for Science Sacramento decided that the City of Sacramento would not be absent in this important action. The March for Science Sacramento organizing team was made up of more than 50 community volunteers from throughout Sacramento who were united by their love of science. Within just a couple of months, the organizing team developed a vision for the local march, planned logistics, promoted the event and raised funds. The march brought together more than 15,000 people who collectively advocated for open, inclusive, and accessible science, and the importance of conducting and applying scientific research as an essential part of a working democracy. 

Environmentalist of the Year – Volunteer of the Year

Robert Meagher

Robert Meagher has tirelessly kept up the project list for ECOS, which includes all new relevant proposed developments in the region. He has also managed to consolidate and organize the countless PDF documents that often make up long CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) documents, and their corresponding attachments, into a single database categorized by region, priority and timing. Making these documents easier to use and refer to cuts down on the time it takes ECOS committees to digest and comment on environmental documents, effectively making it simpler for us to engage in the CEQA process.

Click here for more information about the awards ceremony.

 
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