After hearing ridicule, scorn of Elk Grove's 'District56' name city council drops idea of renaming Civic Center Drive

An Elk Grove resident ridicules the city's recent named District56 civic center during public comment. | 

At last night's meeting of the Elk Grove City Council, the idea to change the name of Civic Center Drive was dismissed after hearing critical public comments. The discussion was on the agenda following city council instructions to city staff to explore renaming the street so that is would be more be reflective of the city's recently rebranded District56 civic center complex. 

During a presentation by public works director Bob Murdoch, the city council was advised, based on their input, that there could be only four possible names that would be acceptable according to guidelines from other governmental agencies, including the U.S Postal Service and the Cosumnes Fire Department. Those names were District 56 Drive, District 56 Avenue, District Drive, and District Avenue.

Murdoch told the city council they received many comments from residents at the Ridge Apartment complex on Civic Center Drive about the effects the new street address would have on them. Based on those comments, another option was to renamed Civic Center Drive east of the apartment complex so as not to affect apartment residents. 

During public comment, the city council heard from two speakers who condemned the names. The first speaker was a Civic Center Drive resident Donna Rowe who said the street name change would be costly to her and other residents.

"I do oppose changing any of the street names," Rowe said. "Why not put a monument up that says District56 or Area 51, it sounds just as stupid."

Rowe noted residences would have to change addresses on things like Social Security and drivers license's, which would be costly. Additionally, it could hurt credit ratings for residents as it would appear as if they have moved, which negatively affects scores. 

"I would say go with a monument at the corner that says District56 because no one knows what it means anyway," she added.  

Also speaking was Mayra Sewell, the property manager of The Ridge. Sewell, who was speaking on behalf of residents, noted if the change occurred to the 204-unit affordable housing complex, it would affect 436 residents.

These residents would be compelled to visit the California Department of Motor Vehicle to change addresses and a myriad of other agencies Sewell told the city council.

"This task will take hours, if not days to process," she said. "These are already stressed households, and this will have an undue financial impact."

Sewell further criticized the city's administration of the proposed change by saying they failed to notify residents. She said the city's lack of communication about the changes left many residents with the felling of "confusion, upset and marginalized."

After hearing public testimony, during their deliberations, the city council agreed the name should not be changed. Councilmember Steve Detrick also noted Rowe's comments about the name District56 and tacitly agreed with her assessment. 

"I think it would be silly to do it [change the street name]," he said. "I know there was a comment on the name District56, I didn't support District56 when it was brought forward, but that's a whole separate issue."

During his comments, Councilmember Darren Suen tried to explain why the change was suggested. He also acknowledged the council did not appreciate the ramification of the changing a street name. 

"We soon find out the impact it causes, the complexities of multiple different streets," Suen said. 


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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

I'm glad the City Council decided to keep the street name unchanged because the latest issue of Frommer's Travel Guide has already gone to print!

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