City of Elk Grove and the County of Sacramento Begin “Sphere of Influence Listening Sessions”

By Constance Conley The city of Elk Grove, in collaboration with the county of Sacramento, held its first of four “Sphere of Influenc...

By Constance Conley


The city of Elk Grove, in collaboration with the county of Sacramento, held its first of four “Sphere of Influence Listening Sessions” tonight at Edna Batey Elementary School.

Patrick Blacklock, Assistant Elk Grove City Manager, facilitated the meeting which included opening remarks and an informative PowerPoint presentation on the current Sphere of Influence (SOI) application the city of Elk Grove has before the Local Area Formation Commission, generally referred to as LAFCo. (An SOI is a plan for the probable physical boundaries and service area of a local government – Government Code Section 56076).

The purpose of the meetings is to ascertain Joint City/County Outreach in the SOI area to receive public input on:

· Conservation of habitat and open space

· Floodplain Protection

· Protection of farmland and agriculture

· Public access/passive recreation opportunities

· Urban/rural interface

· Other

After opening comments, the meeting got down to the business at hand: Several questions by attendees which included the Wilton Action Group, landowners who requested and were granted by the Elk Grove City Council to be included in the SOI application, environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, Elk Grove residents who mainly reside the rural area and a few developers.

The goal of these meetings according to Blacklock is to, “Review public input, identify commons interests in collaboration with the county of Sacramento .”

One theme during the question and answer was "who can do to it better” (meaning the city of Elk Grove or the county of Sacramento). “This is not a contest between the county of Sacramento and the city of Elk Grove. We are having this discussion in the attempt to do something different,” said Sacramento Planning Director Rob Sherry

And with that Mr. Sherry is right, something is very different. It is the mere fact we are having these discussions. In the past with the majority of original city council, no discussion or outreach would occur at all. It would be a done deal whether we liked it or not.

In closing the meeting, Elk Grove City Council member Steve Detrick thanked everyone for attending this outreach meeting. Detrick said that he knows his job, and that of the other two council members elected who aren’t a part of the original council, is that of rebuilding trust (in local government) stating, “I was one of you. That is why I ran for city council."

Detrick is right. In the past, the three city council members who have been replaced would have gone forward no matter what any of us thought. And if you didn’t like their decision their answer was, “Well, you can always move.”

I like this “move” better; we now have an Elk Grove City Council that “listens.”

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2 comments

Doug Williams said...

Thank you for including County Planning Director Rob Sherry's somewhat peculiar comment. Although it may not be a contest, a comparison is certainly relevant. Establishing who can best provide services such as fire, police, etc., along with who has adequate resources for managing this area, are clearly very important components of the discussion on the limits of the SOI.

Jack and Judy Foster said...

A question or two;
Is there any area in the SOI that could be used for a subdivision or other commercial development?
Would it be easier (cheaper) for a delveloper to get approval for this (these) developments from the city or the county? Is there any advantage to the City in having this land added to the city? Such as credits for water usage, land tax, offset restrictions (credits) in other areas? Any advantage toward makin Grantline a major traffic artery to bring customers to the "Shopping Mall" at Hwy 99 (AKA the Tin Jungle)?

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