Back for reconsideration - Elk Grove to conduct another hearing on controversial Oak Rose supportive housing project


UPDATED 1:45 p.m.


In a public notice issued today, Elk Grove has scheduled another hearing on the controversial Oak Rose supportive housing project.


The notice issued by the Elk Grove City Clerk's office says a hearing will be held during the Elk Grove City Council's first meeting of 2024 on January 10. The notice states:


A RECONSIDERATION OF THE DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR THE SENATE BILL 35 MINISTERIAL REVIEW PROCESS, DENSITY BONUS, PROJECT APPROVAL, AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING REGULATORY AGREEMENT


First denied by Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and the city council in July 2022, the Oak Rose supportive housing project proposed by Long Beach, Calif.-based Excelerate Housing has generated unwanted attention to Elk Grove. Not only is the city defending a lawsuit from Oak Rose, but their denial of the project has brought scrutiny on the city by California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Gov. Gavin Newsom.


Last year, the city was sued by the state for violation of the fair housing laws. Even though during a city council meeting last September, city attorney Jonathan Hobbs recommended the city council reverse its decision and approve the project, Singh-Allen and her city council refused.


Since last summer, the city council has held several specially scheduled closed-session meetings to deliberate on the matter but took no action. In public, Singh-Allen claimed the city was acting in good faith and trying to persuade the Oak Rose project proponents to relocate to another site outside of its proposed Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove location.


Recent legal filings revealed the city offered to locate the supportive housing project on a parcel located in a flood zone. The Oak Rose proponents declined the offer, saying they feared the city would deny their relocated project because it was in a flood zone.  


Last week, Attorney General Rob Bonta released a year-end video that graphically highlighted the lawsuit against Elk Grove as one of the California Department of Justice's accomplishments in 2023. The state is aggressively pursuing lawsuits against Elk Grove and other cities that they say are standing in the way of affordable housing as the state faces unprecedented homelessness and housing challenges.


Today's notice will be on the January 10 meeting agenda released this Friday. The hearing notice says the city staff will recommend approval. 


Updated: We first reported there was no recommendation attached to the hearing. The hearing notice noted the staff will recommend approval. The story has been updated to reflect that. 


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1 comment

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we can hear it now from the dais. The indignation, the protest, and then the all-too famous out, right before the vote, "I am going to hold my nose because I have to vote yes."

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