Elk Grove's SOI - Is It About Need or Greed?

October 28, 2013 | As Elk Grove stands poised to annex 4,000-plus-acres, there are two sides to the controversial sphere of influence...

October 28, 2013 |

As Elk Grove stands poised to annex 4,000-plus-acres, there are two sides to the controversial sphere of influence (SOI) application that will be heard next week by the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission.

On one side of the SOI battle is the city of Elk Grove and its city council members. Their arguments throughout the entire process have been that the SOI is nothing but a long-term planning tool and the additional land is needed to attract businesses that will smooth out the city's worst-in-the-region jobs to houses ratio.

On the other side is a collection of environmental groups, community associations and concerned citizens. These loosely aligned groups have  expressed concern about the effects the SOI will have on the environmentally sensitive Cosumnes River flood plain and numerous quality of life issues for today's Elk Grove.  

The fight has been dominated by the city. Armed with a $1 million-plus budget to ramrod the SOI and well-placed donations from a host of real estate developers and private contractors to city council members, the opposition on just about every front has been financially overwhelmed.

Perhaps the biggest irony of the SOI is that according to one survey while most residents of Elk Grove are unaware of the city's annexation goals, once they learn more details, a majority oppose it. Not surprisingly, the city has spend little of the $1 million on SOI public outreach and the one meeting held last spring by the Sacramento LAFCo in Elk Grove was conducted only after Elk Grove GRASP requested it

Regardless of your position on the matter, during last week's council meeting, a voice opposing the SOI opined the application is not about need, it is about greed.

So what is your position. Is the SOI about need or greed?

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Anonymous said...

8,000 acres of 4,000 acres...

“Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”
― Jerry Garcia

Anonymous said...

Another project, if approved, that will live on the Dreams page of our city leaders as all the others that came before this. We're a city that never finishes anything..all on the taxpayers back. Hopefully, some time, before it's too late the taxpayers will open their eyes and hold our leaders feet to the fire.

It seems many are either reallllly pessimistic or really apathetic. Or maybe people are just too busy, or too distracted to see what's happening in our city. I read every day about some new project going in near us and always wonder...were we on top of that too or "out to lunch?" But then again...we can always fall back on that big monthly Food Truck event or a "little" free food in the park yearly.

J. Brachweter said...

Greed or need, I don't know. What I do know is that it is all about money and the power money conveys.

Hume is on the council because of developer money. His agenda, or standing orders is you will, is to get the SOI pushed through; all 8000 acres. He letdown his developer constituents when the flood plain was removed. He doesn't dare allow the SOI to be reduced even further to 4000 acres or he will be considered a failure by those constituents.

Hume must also insure that the connector go through;and go through the town of Sheldon. Do not think that the two (SOI and connector) are not connected politically and financially. The connector opens the door to development of the SOI "planning" area. It also opens the door to the property owned or optioned by the Gutteridge/Hume/Harry family; lots of housing in the future there.

And that is just one councilmember's agenda. What about Detrick, Davis and Cooper? Forget Trigg he's there to fill the seat and be Hume's Yes man.

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

Brachweter makes very good points regarding Council Member Hume.

The fly in the ointment, if you well, for Hume is the connector funding. The JPA may develop a plan, get it approved, but will it get funding? Without Federal Funding of some magnitude, that road is going nowhere fast.

It is ironic, Hume the Republican and his family, will probably benefit from retaining Dr. Bera the Democrat in Congress and getting a Democratic majority. Without both Bera and a Democratic majority, it is unlikely the road funding will come anytime soon given the Tea Party's stance on earmarks and pork barrel spending, and make no mistake, funding this would be both.

Funny how these things can sneak up on you and bite you when and where you least expect it.

Anonymous said...

At the last Council meeting, the Public Works director announced that the city has no money for roads and will join the region's effort to place a tax measure on the ballot to raise money for roads in the Sac region. Hmmm, connector road paid for by us?

Proof is in the pudding said...

Bigger is not necessarily better:

Davis population: 65,622 (2010)
Elk Grove pop: 155,937 (2010)

Davis sq. mi.: 9.92
Elk Grove sq.mi: 42.24

Single Fam. Res value:$515,300

Elk Grove
Single Fam. Res value:$303,800

(source: zillow.com)

Isn't our home our largest purchase and nest egg for retirement savings?

How will a 4,000 or 8,000 sq. acre expansion of new homes increase your home value?

How will a waterpark or pro soccer stadium increase your home value? Maybe we should ask the City of Davis?

Anonymous said...

The question posed: Need or Greed??? No doubt in my mind it is GREED. No other reason to explain the “need” to swallow up this land. Sacto County does not want this land as they have no infrastructure, no services, etc in this part of the county. The county would have to hop scotch over EG to do so...Sacto County has indicated by their plaid approval of the SOI, that they don't want the land....If Sacto county wanted that land, this SOI process would have been very, very messy. So, if there is no competition for the land by other entities, why the push to get it under "our control??" To what end? So, we can develop it! More rooftops; more developers making money off our sad situation. GREED...all about GREED and don't let those crazy councilman try to tell you any differently. They have all become proficient at lying. Is this land grab necessary? NO? Did ANY of you move to Elk Grove so you could experience more traffic; more congressed streets; more taxes; fewer services; lower property values? Per the EIA draft, these are just a few of the things you will experience if this SOI is approved. This is not just me saying these things….EXPERTS have said so. Read the EIR on LaFCO’s site. Our council members have sold their souls….it’s about GREED!

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