With only minor changes, Elk Grove City Council adopts recommended housing need plan

By a unanimous vote at their regular meeting last night, the Elk Grove City Council adopted the housing plan recommended by city staff. The ...

By a unanimous vote at their regular meeting last night, the Elk Grove City Council adopted the housing plan recommended by city staff. The housing plan is a state-mandated procedure to ensure municipalities and counties statewide provide adequate housing for all income levels.

The adopted plan remained essentially unchanged except for removing one parcel on Calvine and Jordan Ranch roads.  

During the city's housing manager Sarah Bontrager and innovations czar Christopher Jordan's presentation, they said goals for moderate and high-income housing needs had been easily fulfilled. Conversely, they admitted over the last several years, the city had neglected its obligation for low and very low-income housing and that the focus of their presentation and plan was to fulfill that deficiency.

As part of the process, several vacant parcels throughout the city were identified as sites for affordable housing, primarily for future apartment complexes, to satisfy the deficiency. Over the last year, feedback has been gathered from the property owners, developers, and residents to develop the plan.

During the meeting, there were over two dozen speakers during public comments who spoke on the plan. Most of the speakers were from the Jordan Ranch subdivision in far northern Elk Grove who objected to a parcel near their neighborhood identified as a potential affordable apartment site.

Many of the speakers noted their location near Sheldon High School, which is across Calvine Road in unincorporated Sacramento County, already experiences heavy traffic. A 43-unit apartment complex would exasperate the situation they claimed.

Additionally, some of the speakers expressed trepidation of having a nearby low-income apartment development. They implied the complex would result in lower property values and higher crime in their community.

Another person speaking during public comment was Ejiro Okoro of the Sacramento Housing Alliance. Okoro said they were pleased the city was trying to fulfill their Regional Housing Needs Allocation but was concerned that some of the parcels were still occupied and might not be utilized for low-income housing.

"Several of the programs included do not clearly state that action will be taken, and appear to be aspirational rather than designated to create a beneficial impact within the planning period," she said.

When asked by Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen about Okoro's comments, Bontrager said the owners of those parcels were in support of rezoning them for high-density housing.

"We feel that is a viable reason to move forward with those sites," Bontrager said.  

During city council deliberations, there was consensus to remove the lot on the corner of Jordan Ranch and Calvine roads from the plan based on the public comments. City council members stressed the parcel could reappear as high-density housing in future housing plans.

With its adoption, the city plans to eventually add 4,265 very-low and low-income high-density apartment housing units. The city must submit its plans by Friday, May 15.    

Vice Mayor Stephanie Nguyen also took the opportunity to address some of the implications from Jordan Ranch residents that apartment complexes attract unsavory occupants, as well as several emails she received expressing similar concerns. Nguyen noted these are state mandates and added growing up, her family resided in subsidized housing.  

"I came from an affordable housing complex, so we are not all that bad," she said. "We are just looking some assistance, some temporary assistance, so I hope you all don't think that people that live in those areas that they bring crime or that they are bad people because they are not."  

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

The action plan to evaluate the housing impact fee to developers and to study other "innovative" alternatives to providing affordable housing will gather dust like a dust bunny tornado!

Granite Bay broke out the Dom Perignon last night and has the green light to keep building their huge 'profit boxes' with no fee increases.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

It is clear to this reader that the Republicans on the Elk Grove City Council look down their elitist noses on the people who desperately need affordable housing the most; not wanting any of it, or "those kind of people" living in Elk Grove.

But hey, they most likely rationalize their inner beliefs, which they try to hide with their phony public altruistic personas, by writing a check out of their campaign accounts (meaning someone else's money); or handing out a turkey or two. All the while, front and center at charity photo ops with the caption that should read, "Look at what good guys we are!"

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