Case Against Elk Grove’s Proposed Expansion to be Made Wednesday Night

UPDATED 10/1/2013 | September 30, 2013 | At Wednesday’s meeting of the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), oppone...

UPDATED 10/1/2013 |

September 30, 2013 |

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), opponents of the City of Elk Grove’s proposed expansion will be given the opportunity to voice their opposition to the scheme.

As part of their sphere of influence (SOI) application, the Elk Grove City Council is seeking to expand the city by up to 8,000-acres. The acreage is on the city’s southern border extending south toward the Cosumnes River.

The Sacramento LAFCo is the governing body that will decide if the 8,000-acres will fall in the city’s influence. The approval of the SOI application is the first step the city must take to ultimately annex the area.

While city council members have long stated the SOI is needed for long-term planning and to correct the city's jobs to housing imbalance, the proposal has met resistance from a variety of environmental and smart-growth advocates who believe the expansion will only encourage more sprawl and encroach on the environmentally sensitive Cosumnes River floodplain.

Among the groups to speak against the expansion Wednesday night will be members of Elk Grove GRASP. Formed last year, the group’s members have long cast suspicion on the need for the additional land.

One of the group members, former Elk Grove mayoral candidate Lynn Wheat, has been a regular attendee of city council meetings and criticized not only the project, but the process.

Wheat has noted that the subcommittee formed in September 2012 consisting of the Mayor Gary Davis and Council Member Jim Cooper was not subject to the Brown Act (which governs how California public meeting are conducted), and have not communicated details of their meetings with the Sacramento LAFCo.

“Now I read in the Sacramento Bee that a consideration for reducing the  acreage is being discussed.  As a resident of Elk Grove and a regular attendee of council meetings I cannot consider our city leaders transparent when I read about this in the Sacramento Bee,” Wheat said. “The most important stakeholders, homeowners and residents are being left out of the process. This is not transparency. What is happening to the house of the people?”

At last Wednesday’s city council meeting Cooper said giving an opponent of the SOI a chance to speak was unprecedented and that Elk Grove was being singled out.

"The meeting next week is highly unusual, LAFCo has never done this before," Cooper said at that meeting. "Why is Elk Grove being treated differently."

All five members of the city council were Emailed offering them an opportunity to comment on the appropriateness of opponents of the SOI being given the opportunity to argue their case. Only Vice Mayor Steve Detrick responded by noting his comments at last weeks meeting.

According to Wheat, at the March 2012 LAFCo meeting two presentations were heard regarding the SOI from the South County Environmental Setting and Overview (ECOS/Stones Lake NWR) and the  South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan.

“I did note that Susan Peters, [former member] Jay Schenirer and Jimmie Yee left the meeting before the environmental groups spoke,” Wheat added. “So it will be interesting if commissioners leave before we present.”

Wednesday night's LAFCo meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at Sacramento City Hall,
915 “I” Street, Council Chambers, First Floor.
  County Administration Building, 700 H St., Sacramento,  Sacramento County Board of Supervisor Chambers. 

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Back Door is Wide Open said...

Back Door Deal Davis!

Davis is proving to be a mayor who has his own agenda. Did anyone catch Saturday's Real Estate Section of the Sacramento Bee?

Davis told Elk Grove citizens what we need!!

And we are getting that soccer team! They are just waiting to announce! Really?? Who is paying for the soccer stadium?? I wonder if the rest of the council knows that Davis is out there making deals before public outreach and council votes!!

Willie Dixon said...

"Vote for me, I wanna be your Back Door man. Im'a Back Door man, Brown Act ain't got nuthin' on me. Im'a Back Door man, sayin' compromise is my game, but don't be lockin' that back door now. Well, the little people don't know, but the home builders understand, that Im'a Back Door man"

Anonymous said...

If GRASP has any chance for success, they'll need to present logical arguments backed by documented facts. They've only got 10 minutes. But, if they only present broad assumptions and emotional appeals then their time will be wasted.
If you want to stop the SOI, you're going to have to do more than an impassioned plea.
Yes, yes, I know... The following posters are going to say how that has been done before but honestly, if the best you've got is what has been presented at council, do yourself a favor and stay home.
Just the facts, Ma'am. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

To above poster, for once it would be nice if people put away their keyboards for the night, turned off Dancing with the Stars, and participated in local government. But apathy seems to be contagious around here. Instead, a few people have to carry the weight for everyone else.

Anonymous said...

And apathy is what enables these "leaders" to stay in office.

Anonymous said...

Apathy is a politicians best friend.

Anonymous said...

How true and until it hits their wallets a little harder people are happy letting the few do their hard work.

Kinda like the advertisement our Mayor paid a media person to do on Elk Grove Saturday in the SacBee. Is she going to be out there speaking for you, are we to be silenced, brushed off, ignored, and treated like second class citizens? We are property owners, we are taxpayers, and above all, we are VOTERS. Mr. Mayor and council, this is not Chicago you're dealing with. We brought you into this political arena and we can take you out! Instead of placing an advertisement in the newspaper I would suggest you take it personally to the people...remember....transparency?

How embarrassing this advertisement was to many in the community, some who were just hearing it for the first time due to our Mayor and council keeping it under wraps. Shame on you Mr. Mayor, someone I voted and has now become someone I no longer know to be the person I thought he was.

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