City of Elk Grove's response to CNU Expedited CEQA review

The following unedited statement was issued by Elk Grove City Manager Jason Behrmann. First, I want to respond to comments made last ni...

The following unedited statement was issued by Elk Grove City Manager Jason Behrmann.

First, I want to respond to comments made last night about AB 900 by some residents in case there is any confusion about what it does. The fact that the CNU hospital project has been declared a leadership project does not expedite the CEQA review process by the City and makes no change to the amount of time the City will take processing the CNU application or in drafting or reviewing the environmental impact report (EIR).  Essentially it would be the same as any other project.  However, if and when the EIR is certified by the City Council, anyone who chooses to file a court action to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification of the EIR, will receive an expedited review process from the court.  The court will make its best effort to resolve the case within 270 of the filing of the certified record with the court.
More directly to your question, the AB 900 process is entirely a State process, with no approval authority by the City. The City has been aware that CNU was considering submitting an application to the Governor’s Office and the State Air Board for certification of the hospital project under AB 900 since about June of 2019 and was requested to provide some information relevant to the project as part of the application. As part of the AB 900 process, the State requires that the project receive confirmation from SACOG that the project is consistent with the 2036 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy adopted by SACOG in 2016. The City received the certification from SACOG in July (attached). In September the City was asked by CNU to counter sign a letter (attached) that the project had not received any entitlements from the City and was undergoing project review for compliance with Elk Grove Municipal Code requirements and preparing an EIR pursuant to CEQA. Development Services Director Darren Wilson signed the letter acknowledging and agreeing to its contents. The City did not receive any notification from the State that the application had been filed. We first learned of the approval on December 30, 2019 when we received  a forwarding email from the environmental consultant working on the project.
AB 900 requires the lead agency issue a public notice within 10 days of the Governor’s Office approval. As we have done consistently with this project, the City exceeded its legal public noticing requirement. Under AB 900, within 10 days of the Governor certifying the Project as an environmental leadership development project  the City was required to notify  all organizations and individuals who have previously requested notice and either; a)  post the notice in a newspaper of general circulation of the area affected; b) post the notice on- and  off-site; or c) by direct mailing to the owners and occupants of contiguous property. The City provided notice to all organizations and individuals who have previously requested notice, posted the notice in the Elk Grove Citizen, posted the notices on the site and at City Hall, posted the notice on the City’s website for the Project, and provided mail notices to all property owners and occupants within a 2000-foot radius of the Project site (over 1,100 unique recipients).  The notice the City sent on January 7, 2020 is attached. (notice was sent via mail on 1/7 and in the Citizen on 1/8)
The AB 900 process is a State process with notice on various state websites including the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. We do not monitor other processes outside of our jurisdiction and it would be difficult to send notices regarding every application or process that the CNU engages in outside of the City. We are committed to keeping the public informed about the entitlement process through the City but recognize that it will not be possible to provide updates on every application or process that CNU chooses to undertake outside of the City’s jurisdiction. We will continue to do our best to provide timely project updates on the City’s website and comply with all public noticing requirements. In the future, we will also try to include website updates  and email notifications when we become aware of other hospital related applications that may be outside the City’s jurisdiction such as OSHPD, County submittals, etc.


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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Wow! CNU is a Governor's Leadership project now! That's another feather in the cap when the CNU team hits the road in search of investors.

CNU is a non-profit organization, plus has access to tax exempt State-issued bonds. That could make for some nice tax deductions for investors. Maybe the workers at the much ballyhooed Mi Rancho tortilla factory can save up a few bucks and and get in on some of that action! Or better yet, maybe the employees at the eagerly anticipated Olive Garden will have health insurance and get to visit CNU someday!

As a non-profit organization, CNU won't be paying property taxes, but their employees will need to buy houses, cars, food, drink, and clothes. Elk Grove is in the money now....

Ly Lie CNU said...

I cannot wait for the “rest of the story”.

Very unscrupulous and unsavory method and protocol by both the city leaders and the CNU team.

Feel sorry for those who feel like the city council represents their citizens best interest.

They only represent their enteral self interest

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