Environmental groups comments raise concerns on Elk Grove's, California Northstate University's controversial hospital project

As part of an environmental review process, three Sacramento-area groups have submitted comments to the City of Elk Grove on a controversial project proposed in a flood area and adjacent to the Stonelake National Wildlife Refuge.

The project is the 400-bed hospital being pushed by California Northstate University (CNU) in Elk Grove's Stonelake neighborhood. During the December 2018 announcement, the cost was pegged at $750 million but expanded from 250 to 400 beds.

CNU, which is headed by its president and chief executive officer Alvin Cheung has enlisted support from Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly and Councilmember Darren Suen. Ly is reportedly planning another trip to China in the near future, although it cannot be verified if it is to secure financing for the project.

Along with the full-throated support of Ly and Suen, powerful building trade unions and business advocacy groups have lined-up in advocacy efforts on behalf of Cheung. Many of these building trade unions have made regular campaign contributions to Ly, Suen and other Elk Grove city councilmembers.

While heavyweights are lining up at the prospect of participating in the project, it has generated substantial community grass root opposition. Although CNU's public relations and community outreach czar former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis has attempted to dismiss opponents calling them immature and so-called NIMBYs, the project has attracted resistance from a geographically diverse group of Elk Grove residents.

Also raising concerns about the project are three Sacramento area environmental group - The Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Environmental Council of Sacramento and Habitat 2020. Yesterday, the three groups released a copy of their comments submitted on June 27.

On the website for ECOS, they stated "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."

According to information at a scoping meeting held last week, the environmental review process is expected to take about one year. The letter from the three environmental groups is posted below.

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2019. All right reserved.

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