As LAFCO Reconsiders Expansion of Elk Grove, Public Comments, Including Planning Commissioner, Condemn Annexation

May 1, 2018 |   At their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 2, the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) w...

May 1, 2018 |  

At their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 2, the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will hold a second hearing reconsidering their February 7 decision opening the doors for an expansion of Elk Grove city limits. 

That decision which approved the environmental impact statement for a so-called sphere of influence (SOI) application is a significant step to annex the nearly two square miles into Elk Grove. Unlike an unsuccessful effort led by the city in 2013 to annex 12-square miles, this smaller annexation is being pursued by private real estate developers Reynolds & Brown, Kamilos Development, and Feletto Development who want to build thousands of residential dwellings.  

The second hearing, which was initially scheduled for April but rescheduled to tomorrow, was granted after requests from several environmental groups and individuals. Collectively they claimed the 4-3 commission decision was flawed and did not fully consider issues such as how will water be supplied conveyed for the development. 

Along with the comments from environmental groups and Elk Grove area residents, public comments also came from residents outside the area. Typical of this was a comment from Carmichael, California resident Peggy Berry who framed the issue as anti-citizen and pro-developer.

In her comments dated April 4 Berry wrote; "When will sound planning stand a chance against monied interests? It's discouraging and makes citizens who care about the broader picture of preserving open spaces and their dwindling habitats feel their caring means little to nothing when looking at Sacramento's future desirability."

East Sacramento resident Alison Rood urged the LAFCO commission to reign in urban sprawl saying "As a 60 year resident of Sacramento who has seen so many wild places turned to suburban sprawl, I beseech you to reconsider the February decision to convert 1,156 acres of farmland in the Elk Grove area. We share our lives with animals and habitats that are vital to the health of our planet. We have surely paved over enough of our natural world."

Also weighing in on the decision was Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Mackenzie Wieser who urged reconsideration and reversal of their decision. Wieser,, who was appointed to the commission by Mayor Steve Ly wrote "I realize that although your vote doesn't bring bulldozers to the property right away...we really need to think about the future of our State."

Referencing the long-established urban service boundary, Wieser added "When we draw a line or decide on a boundary we should stick to that." The area approved by LAFCO for annexation into Elk Grove is outside that boundary. 

Elk Grove residents commenting included Suzanne Pecci and Lynn Wheat who submitted lengthy criticisms of the decisions. Both Pecci and Wheat have been actively involved in water and land uses issues respectively in Elk Grove.

In her three page letter, Wheat comments on several aspects of the expansion including economic conditions the preclude the need for an expansion at this time. Wheat noted the unfinished Outlet Collect at Elk Grove which sits unfinished. Construction stopped on the shopping center 10 years ago this July and its future remains murky.

Wheat noted  "The city has vacancies within every existing retail, commercial, and office complex in the current city limits. Some completed complexes have been vacant for years, and our economic development department and commercial owners have been unable to fill the vacant sites."

Additionally Wheat noted "LAFCo did not examine vacancy rates in commercial properties in Elk Grove, or the available market studies on demand for this zoning in Elk Grove" and that "the role of LAFCO commissioners is to protect our region from urban blight and preservation of farmland."

Pecci noted concerns "about the long-term impact your failure to reconsider the approval of this SOIA may have on the approximate 1,500-2,000 long-time ag res residents in Elk Grove whose sole source of water is their domestic well. The rural community of Elk Grove occupies about 25-percent of the land area within the city limits of Elk Grove."

In an often technical and legal discussion of regional groundwater, Pecci says LAFCO failed to consider these in the approval and in environmental documents that preceded that decision. Specially Pecci noted "that it is important this commission take into account the current ongoing complex negotiations that are being conducted regarding water planning and management and governance, the unresolved basin boundary issues in the south American [river]sub basin and Cosumnes [river] subbasin and the settlement of a lawsuit for which information was not provided in the RDE,IR as factors in reconsidering your approval of this SOIA."

Tomorrow's meeting will be held at the Sacramento County Administration Building at 700 H Street, Sacramento and starts at 5:30 p.m.

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Eye on Elk Grove said...

Bravo Mackenize Wieser! Finally, an Elk Grove appointed official who is not fearful of the big money special interests, stands up and speaks truth to power!

And now the water issue. What is this SOI going to do if thousands of houses go in, drain all of the wells in the rural area, and in Wilton, because that is exactly what will happen.

Lynn Wheat and Suzanne Pecci have proven time and time again, they are fearless, no matter what. And that most assuredly includes standing up to the gaslighting from LAFCo including LAFCo Chair, Elk Grove City Council member Pat Hume. Both Lynn and Suzanne will go the distance.

And why hasn’t Pat Hume recused himself from the Elk Grove SOI LAFCo vote? Talk about a conflict of interest considering Hume’s own comments from the dais regarding the transition zone.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

..."Referencing the long-established urban service boundary, [Planning Commissioner] Wieser added "When we draw a line or decide on a boundary we should stick to that." The area approved by LAFCO for annexation into Elk Grove is outside that boundary"...


City Council Developer Hotline, may I help you?

Yeah, put Hume or Suen on!

Hume here, how can I help you?

Hey Pat, we got a problem. You got one of your Planning Commissioners mouthing off to the press, well if you want to call EGN the press, but Wieser's gone rogue on you guys. She said Elk Grove doesn't need to grow beyond the Urban Service Boundary! Why in the he** did we push for incorporation in the first place! Is Suen there?

Yes Sir, let me put you on speakerphone. Hey -redacted- how ya doin', Darren here.

Don't hey me, you got a major league problem over there and we want if fixed. Now! I want Wieser dumped and Ly too. You got one pushing for district elections, and one pushing to stop our growth. Next thing ya know, the EGN crazies are gonna be stacking the Commission with their tree huggers.

Sorry sir, we will get things back in order. Can we make it up to you by lowering some more fees, perhaps some free sewer pipes or Swenson Hawk credits?

Don't brownose me! get rid of them and get back to work.

Hey Darren here...are we still good? I mean, can I count on your financial support to get me elected?

Stop groveling and get to work!

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