Who's Zoomin' Who? 'Bait and Switch' Rezones and Hypocrisy on the Elk Grove City Council

June 3, 2015 | Almost by design, at Monday night's joint meeting of the Elk Grove City Council and Planning Commission there were m...

June 3, 2015 |

Almost by design, at Monday night's joint meeting of the Elk Grove City Council and Planning Commission there were many words spoken, but little was said that Elk Grove residents who pay attention to such matters haven't already heard. There were discussions about making Elk Grove a sports center, Sacramento Regional Transit's Light Rail, the sphere of influence application as a planning tool and the now almost fetish obsession with Kammerer Road.

In between, there were a few noteworthy thoughts voiced, but not for the reasons you would have expected. One of the thoughts was voiced by Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick.

During a discussion of low-income housing, Detrick said he objected to rezoning parcels to accommodate such units if it negatively affected nearby homeowners. Specifically, Detrick said it was unfair to homeowners who may have bought their house in a particular neighborhood based on certain zoning, only to have them rezoned to other uses, such as low-income housing.

Detrick characterized such practice by the city as bait and switch.

"You buy into a neighborhood, you know what the zoning is, and the city is looking for high density rezones. And I'm highly opposed to that because unless you have the buy-in from the community where you doing it, then I can support it," Detrick said. "But to just, for us to force that decision on somebody when they have done their duty to find out what the zoning is in their particular neighborhood and vacant property next to them is, and turn around and flip them on it, kind of basically cram it down their throat, I can't support that concept." (See video below to hear Detrick's comments).

Unless of course it is for Detrick's self-proclaimed friend Gil Moore requesting a rezone from high-density transit-oriented-housing to commercial, for a "one of its kind in California" gas station and McDonald's. Let's not forget Detrick's campaign fund was lavished with tens-of-thousands-of dollars from Moore. 

This is the hypocrisy of Detrick's Monday night statement. If you have any doubt, just ask Mr. Joey Guevara. (See video posted below).

A resident of Koto Drive since 2005, Guevara's family home sits directly next to the site that will have Moore's gas station, beer cave and McDonald's. Guevara pointed out this is the only place in all of Elk Grove (at least in the last 20 or so years) where existing houses have a gas station built directly adjacent to them.

Detrick will argue that he wasn't the only council member who took campaign donations from Moore and he is correct. Nonetheless, Detrick is the only council member who advocated for his ski partner Moore's rezone, and to the best of our memory, he is the only one of those who took Moore's cash for rezone (and the onslaught of gaudy billboards that came along with it) then turned around to decry rezones that adversely affect existing families.

If Detrick's paid-advocacy on behalf of Moore's malt-liquor-selling beer cave, gas station and McDonald's were not detrimental to that neighborhood, what is? If that is not hypocrisy, we don't know what it is. 

Moreover, Detrick will undoubtedly say the hypocrisy label doesn't apply in this case because he was talking about rezones to accommodate more low-income housing. The principle of hypocrisy still applies - just ask those families on Koto Drive who, using Detrick's words, were "flipped."  

So we ask, who's zoomin' who?        


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Thomas A. Anderson said...

Hypocrites get offended by the truth.

Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is becoming a dump full of mediocre quality construction, low income housing projects, strip malls, fast food joints.

Anonymous said...

Another thing Detrick said is that he would “never support light rail coming to Elk Grove” until it changes. Now Detrick is an authority on mass transit. Maybe Hume should give up his seat on RT for the much more astute Detrick.

Former Supporter said...

There is an irony to Mr. Detrick's political career that we should not forget.

How was it that Detrick's political career launched? Anyone want to guess? He was opposed to the Super Walmart that was proposed across the street from his gated community house. So Detrick went from being one of those people that opposed things being rammed down the throats of residents, to the one ramming things down the throat of innocent bystanders. I guess all that money from Gil Moore sufficiently lubricated the throats of his constituents.

What a sad excuse of a council member he has turned out to be. Would it not be poetic justice if the owner of that parcel across the street from him sought to rezone it to low income housing?

Anonymous said...

To Anon above at 15:42:

With house prices today, "workforce" housing is needed for our young people and others professionals just getting started and cannot afford to buy a home in Elk Grove.

And the biggest irony here, Detrick could not vote on a rezone because it is within 500 feet of his, as you stated, and I will add, elitist "gated community."

Steve L said...

Ok, Detrick has made some mistakes, they are all well documented adnauseum. It's true he has been hypocritical on several occasions, especially when it come to Gil Moore.

What maybe most of us are missing is the message that Detrick stated; that he won't (in the future) vote for a rezone of high density housing where the citizens quality of life and expectations when they purchased their property is adverse to such a rezone.

The elephant in the house was the silence on this issue from the remainder of the council. Not a single councilman nor the mayor offered any support for the concept of protecting EG homeowners when these issues come before the council in the future. What does that tell you about who the council is listening to and where their allegiances lie?

Time to make some changes and get some candidates that will respond to citizen's needs.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break Steve L. If our city doesn’t put in federally mandated maximum of workforce or affordable housing, and it is not called low income housing any longer, then the Feds either step in and tell us where to put the housing or Elk Grove loses federal funding and that includes grants, HUD and CDBG funds, along with the city losing tax credits and more.

Taken directly from the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, and it speaks directly to comments made at the special meeting regarding the mentality of some. “It repudiates the use of stereotypes and ignorance. . .”

So would you rather have a say so as where the workforce housing is built or would you rather the Feds tells us or lose grant monies that are given to charities such as the Elk Grove Food Bank and Senior Center of Elk Grove.

And this is where the city council failed as well. The land set aside for workforce housing is being allocated after the fact, meaning they did not earmark the land while all the housing developments were in the planning stages. Therefore, the city council is to blame for not doing their due diligence from the onset; hence, they will be forced to rezone.

Anonymous said...

Finally had 2 1/2 hours to listen. Half the time they didn't use mics so was unable to hear comments even with volume on high.

As to Community hearings...good luck with that. We're all burned out with wasting our time and never being heard, not to mention feeling unwelcome at the People's House. Was also one who attended all the SEPA meetings and the end result was nothing we had ever seen...wasted our time obviously, the plan was already in.

Anonymous said...

What concerns me more is the city thinking it's their job "to be in business."

All our city thinks about is a Sports Facility, Bling or whatever it's called. I think you would find it hard to find one that isn't running an operating deficit. We don't need a Stadium...give our kids some sports fields. In my years following their games I don't believe I have ever attended one that had a Stadium included. As to spending...most haul their canopies, blankets, picnic baskets, etc., might make a run to the Mall if close by and have the time between games. No major shopping, we do that at home. Overnight stay....a swim & pizza party at the Motel. We're all tired and in case you have forgotten, kids sports are expensive!

Anonymous said...

This meeting had to have been weeks in the planning stages and yet didn't feel the need to give residents ample notice of the meeting. Plus, our Destination Mayor wasn't even in attendance. Most wouldn't have even known that if you didn't listen to roll call.

Nothing new here...just a rehash of stuff we've heard for months.

As for the communities involvement in future hearings...think I heard the words "We're Screwed".... pretty much says it all!

Anonymous said...

I heard talk during this meeting about a Rec. Center in Clovis. Been there & never heard of this. Where is it located and what is it called?

Anonymous said...

Ethically, our city hall smells like public bathroom. Non of our city leaders looked after our interests or served our needs. What is consistent about these hypocrites is that they are always ambitiously serving themselves at the expenses of our future. That explained why, when THE WORLD POPULAR EVIL COACHING RIVER arrived in town, our city leaders welcomed her with open arms.

Anonymous said...

Fast food and gas station development?

We are screwed.

Da Grove is nothing more than a hick city with hick city aspirations.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:37 LMAO..a good one! "THE WORLD POPULAR EVIL COACHING RIVER." Did you notice she didn't even use a mic & all you could hear was her ripping pages while others were talking? What is her name...anyone? She also coached the retreat I believe. That being said...our city does need a lot of coaching, but thinkin' taxpayers would be a better choice.

Anonymous said...

They sure didn't want to touch Road Maintenance did they???

Connie said...

This is my take on this and if I am little snarky it is because Joey Guevara’s public comment hit a nerve with me as did this article.
We could hear the facilitator say her favorite part of the special meeting was community participation and how important it is. Then we are reminded of Joey Guevara’s heartfelt testimony regarding a rezone. He was pleading with the Council to preserve his quality of life. And the sad part is that I am sure Mr. Guevara thought the Council would listen to his pleas for not only himself, but his family.

Those of us who participate on a regular basis knew no matter who spoke up against that rezone, it was a done deal. We knew it the moment Gil Moore spoke at public comment to change the sign ordinance. We knew it the second a 460 showed a $10,000 contribution from Moore to a Council member the month before he came forward. Before then, none of us had ever seen Moore at a council meeting.

However, this is not an isolated incident. Those of us who pay attention know which projects are going to be approved even before the first sign of public outreach. The 460s unfortunately pave the way. The best we can hope for is that the developer seeks input from the public to ensure the project is something we can live with, and thankfully, some really do care about community input. The Council can pontificate all they want that large contributions don't sway their votes, but we all know they do – some more than others -- and they are not fooling anyone any longer, if they ever did.

And more importantly, reminders like this cannot deter us from being involved in our local government and speaking up for the Joeys of Elk Grove. It our right and our duty!

The best we can hope for is that AB 278 passes. The Council is supposed to address the issue of putting a “by district” vote on the ballot for the 2016 primary, but now I am sure they will say, “We need to save money, so we will wait to see the outcome of the bill.” And we all know this Council is about saving the taxpayers’ money.

Maybe the Council can put term limits on the ballot instead!

Anonymous said...

Joey Guevara’s public comment hit a nerve for a lot of us, but the city didn't budge. Commercial permits were issued for the
Moore-Sheldon Commercial property on 4/2/2015...wonder how those were doctored from what we originally saw.

Yes, we can hope that AB 278 passes or we can at least put term limits on the ballot along with a ruling that if you move out of the District you must step down. Costs for elections are no longer a concern for many of us...fair & honest representation by our electeds is far more important, whatever the cost.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:11

Amen. Claiming cost as being prohibitive is clearly bogus.
We must not let this happen again!

You know the council will fight this tooth and nail. And, you are correct that the members must be from the district they represent, and if they move, that means resignation.

Anonymous said...

I am keeping a close eye on new Assemblyman Cooper, formerly an EG council member, on his vote on this crucial bill.

Will he sell out to his former buddies on the council?

Cooper certainly would have been among those on the council who would have opposed the passage. He would not have benefited from the new law had he stayed a council member.

Now Suen, is the appointee who has taken Cooper's place on the council.

Where will Cooper's allegiance lie now - with the citizens of the entire state or his former EG council buddies?

Keep an eye on his vote.

Anonymous said...

William Shakespear, "First, kill all the lawyers" then politicians.

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