Are the growth numbers behind
Elk Grove's market study accurate?

During the Wednesday, January 26 meeting of the Elk Grove City Council a report, the so-called Market Study was presented. The study is mean...

During the Wednesday, January 26 meeting of the Elk Grove City Council a report, the so-called Market Study was presented. The study is meant to provide a guide to the city for long-term planning.

During the public comment portion of the item, Elk Grove resident Lynn Wheat questioned the accuracy and assumptions of the numbers which the study used.  as Wheat points out, the numbers are "outdated" and seriously "flawed."

Here are Wheat's comments:

In March 2010, SACOG issued Draft Revised Regional Growth Projections based on analysis of the deep recession in the area and statewide employment trends. So significant are the findings that the County of Sacramento CAO recently directed that no further work be done on its General Plan update until these new projections are factored into the analysis. The City of Elk Grove Market Study projections are based largely on the outdated 2035 MTP projections and lead to seriously flawed conclusions as noted below. The City should revise its Market Study to conform to the more recent regional data being presented by SACOG, of which the City is a paying member.

The Market Study projects a 1.6% population increase each year from 2009-2029, for a total increase of 52,353 new residents. However, the SACOG Revised Draft of Regional Growth Projections only projects a population increase of roughly .75 % per year for the region, or half the rate being projected by the Market Study. Therefore, based on the Market Study assumption that Elk Grove will capture 6% of the population growth of the region, the Market Study should revise its population projection for 2029 to approximately 26,177 new residents instead of 52,353.

Depending  upon the growth scenario used, the Market Study projects that the number of new jobs created in Elk Grove will be  between 13,607 and 20,915. This works out to between 680 and 1,045 new jobs each year for the next 20 years.   SACOG is now only projecting about 12,548-12,796 new jobs will be created for the region each year.  Therefore, based on the Market Study assumption that Elk Grove will receive 3.1% of all new jobs created in the region, this really only equates to about 389-397 new jobs for Elk Grove each year instead of the 680-1,045 of the Market Study,  or a total of 7,780-7,940 new jobs by 2029, not the 13,600-21,000 being suggested.
The Market Study projects that there will be a need for 19,057 new housing units in the City by 2029 averaging about 952 units per year. However, SACOG is only projecting about 1,240 units being built in the entire region each year. If the SACOG projection is correct, the Market Study as currently written would indicate that Elk Grove would capture almost 75% of all new units being built in the region for the next 20 years.  However, using the SACOG rate and the Market Study assumption that Elk Grove would  capture 5% of all new homes in the region, the number of total new housing units in Elk Grove needed by 2029 should be reduced to 1,240 total new housing units or an average of 62 each year for the next 20 years. Even assuming the SACOG population projection is correct and factoring 3.5 persons per household, that would amount to  7,500 new units, instead of the 19,000 being projected in the Market Study.

So, it appears to me that the Market Study has roughly doubled the projected population, doubled or almost tripled the number of jobs we can expect, and has at least tripled the number of new housing units that will be needed for the next 20 years.


The Market Study should be revised and redistributed for public comment and be based on the revised projections adopted by SACOG and the other regional governments. It serves no useful purpose for the City to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to proper land-use planning and developing economic goals. Based on preliminary comments, it is obvious that the proposed Sphere of Influence application overestimates the City's land- use needs for the next 20 years; the City's share of new jobs and housing needs are not regionally realistic; and that the lack of light rail, transit-oriented development, and higher learning educational facilities make the SACOG projections appear pretty realistic for the next 20 years in Elk Grove.

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