Audio - Opponents of Old Town Elk Grove's Oak Rose project brainstorm to block supportive housing

On January 10, 2024, the Elk Grove City Council will once again consider approving the controversial Oak Rose project. The supportive housing project has generated considerable controversy, including a fair housing lawsuit against Elk Grove by California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

As part of their efforts, about two dozen Elk Grove residents have vocally opposed the project, which is meant to help people into permanent housing. The opponents held a brainstorming session on January 3, 2024, on how to prevent the project from commencing in Elk Grove's Old Town district.

This recording of most of the session was provided to Elk Grove News by meeting participants who asked not to be identified. Of note, there was no agenda or formal moderator for the session. 

Below are the time marks for highlighted comments. The audio can be heard in the video below.

To best scroll the video using the time markers for ease of use, view it directly here on YouTube.

00:00 Opening remarks
2:15  Speaker claims prowler in Old Town from winter sanctuary
3:30  AG Rob Bonta intimidating the city council
4:10 If the city council approves the project, 'we have to take them out'
5:00 Planning Commissioner Juan Fernandez comments on the project
6:00 Randy Bekker remarks on the effects of the project on Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove
9:30 Mr. Bekker recites a letter sent to the mayor, city council expressing disappointment 
15:15 Staff report issued on Friday on the agenda will provide more details of project recommendation
17:00 What are we going to do now?   
21:55 Discussion of the staff recommendation to approve the Oak Rose project
23:15 Shouldn't the five city council members be hounded? You need three council members to say no
25:09 Rod [Brewer] is worthless
28:30 We don't know if the city has made an offer to the Oak Rose developer
31:15 Does anyone know the background of the city attorney? [Jonathan Hobbs]
33:00 Discussion of a recent court hearing where the judge approved an amendment to the lawsuit
34:15 Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Juan Fernandez leaves the meeting
35:30 Suggestion to make placards saying Oak Rose will house schizophrenic and substance abusers
37:10 If the city council approves this, we're going to vote them out of office
41:50 Write the mayor and city council on your thoughts
42:24 We'll hire an attorney to sue the city council for what they are doing against us
43:10 Who is social media savvy here?
44:00 Why haven't we been informed about the ongoing negotiations?
49:25 What do you want to do to stop the project?
51:15 Suggestion of four actions - write letters, make posters, protest, and influence the city council
54:20 Question for Randy Bekker - what happens next?

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Juan Trippe said...

Don't ask why, but I listened to most of the audio. The meeting reminded me of the "Seinfeld" series.

First, the meeting, like the series, was about nothing. There were trivial matters discussed with no resolution. For people who watched the TV series will recall it began and ended with a discussion of buttons.

These people began and ended their meeting talking about fliers and posters. They made no growth or progress. Good luck next week!

D.J. Blutarsky said...

These people are just another 'flash in the pan' like the Stonelakes HOA when the CNU hospital was being proposed in their neighborhood; GRESHA when the rural area was under threat of urbanization, but is now happening anyway, one lot split at a time; Camden when low income housing was being proposed near their development but was a false alarm; and the Hmongs when their culture was insulted by the Mayor. 

These groups are here today, gone tomorrow and there will be no political consequences. Just sayin'

Steve L said...

Hey DJ- it’s called democracy, where the people have the right to address their government and be heard on projects they may find objectionable or perhaps support. Yes, these examples you noted are somewhat regional as they may affect those closer to the project than others and as such those most affected are more vocal. Would you prefer no one had the right to protest or debate their concerns with their elected officials? I’d prefer to be able to voice my opinion and perhaps propose a solution that would be a win/win for all parties. I’m a fan of democracy. I’m sorry that you aren’t.

Randy Bekker said...

Stay tune as we pull a rabbit out of the hat!

Juan Trippe said...

Randy, given your close relationship with the mayor and city council, I guess there is no reason not to believe you when you say, "Stay tuned [sic] as we pull a rabbit out of the hat!"

What is the end game if you and others can convince the city council to ignore staff recommendations again? Does the city council have a sweeter land swap with a cash incentive?

If there is no sweetened deal, the Oak Rose people and the Attorney General seem unlikely to walk away. Randy, you do have the inside track, so as Trump would say, "We'll see what happens."

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