Confidante of Elk Grove mayor, city council declares city is negotiating 'land swap settlement' for Oak Rose project

Days before another hearing on the controversial Oak Rose project will be held by the Elk Grove City Council, an Elk Grove citizen who is a confidante to the Elk Grove mayor and city council has made a declarative statement that the city is involved in another land swap negotiation. 

The comments by Randy Bekker were made on Next Door. In a conversation about the proposed Oak Rose supportive housing project, Mr Bekker declared, "Currently, the city and the applicant is [sic] negotiating a land swap settlement."

According to recent legal filings, the city had offered Long-Beach, Calif.-based Excelerate Housing, the developer Of Oak Rose, a parcel near Big Horn Boulevard and Bruceville Road. That parcel is reportedly in a flood zone.

Excelerate, who, along with the state of California, is suing the city, rejected the offer. They cited the concern if they accepted the parcel, the city could reject it because it was in a flood zone.

Two vacant parcels south of Calvine Road on southbound Elk Grove-Florin Road fit Bekker's description. Aside from the plaintiff's claims in a recent legal filing, Elk Grove has not formally posted information stating what parcels have been discussed in a land swap, but last year, Singh-Allen mentioned those parcels in a city council meeting.

Mr. Bekker, who speaks often at Elk Grove City Council, has close ties with Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and the city council. When speaking during public comments, the city council has frequently referred to Mr. Bekker's advice and queried him on policy matters during meetings.  

In an indication of his closeness to the city council, District 2 City Councilmember Rod Brewer had Mr. Bekker appear in one of his mailers during his 222 campaign. 

Elk Grove District 1 City Councilmember Darren Suen and City Manager Jason Behrmann received voicemail messages from Elk Grove News early this evening seeking comment. Suen responded and verified that the city had offered the two parcels he said the city "controls" in a land swap for their Old Town parcel.

While the offer was made, Suen said negotiations did not progress to the city's liking. Suen said Excelerate's counter offers were unacceptable and "not just based on dollars, it's the conditions."

"They have conditions that are a deal killer," he added. Those conditions were unspecified. 

The parcels Bekker referred to are 8480, 8484, and 8900 Elk Grove-Florin Road. 8840 is 2.2 acres and was sold on February 1, 2023, and the other parcels at 8484 and 8490 Elk Grove-Florin Road, which is 2.17 acres, were sold on February 2, 2023.

Separately, Suen said in recent days, Mayor Singh-Allen and Vice Mayor Rod Brewer met with representatives of Attorney General Rob Bonta to discuss the state's fair housing lawsuit against the city. The city is under scrutiny for violating state fair housing laws with its original denial of the Oak Rose project in July 2022.

Bekker did not respond to an email seeking comment. However, he recently posted a comment on an Elk Grove News story on the Oak Rose project and the negotiations. 

Regarding the Wednesday, January 10 meeting and the possibility the city council will reject a recommendation to approve the Oak Rose supportive housing project, Bekker wrote "Stay tune[ed] as we pull a rabbit out of the hat!  

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Government & Politics 5701206211829380959

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Randy Bekker said...

Hi Dan, 
           Hope all is well with you as I am doing fine trying to have a little fun in life. 
            Sure didn’t appreciate the secret recording to be honest. I never have anything to hide but thought that was really shitty. Not that anyone was stating anything other than concerned residents wanting to do something and then to find out we end up on you tube. Certainly not your finest moment or the resident that decided this could be their way of revealing top secret information. 
             Negotiations between EHG and the city as far as I know it has been public notice since EHG made it public they were interested and talking to the city about a land swap. The land on EG Florin rd as far as I know has always been on the table as I believe it was a comment made by an elected city official from the Dias the last meeting that EHG didn’t show up. 
               The property in the flood zone as you have stated a number of times I never knew it was being considered but then again I think I had heard all the properties on the city lists was a consideration if the applicant was interested. 
               Negotiating committee I personally scratch my head because I am not sure. I and a number of community members are very curious and interested in the process as it seems it’s top secret or something. I sure would volunteer as we could have negotiations done in one or 2 days at the most.
               I made the comment based on what I think is the best location between the 2 properties. Now I have not taken the time to look at the cities list to evaluate any of the other properties. But I do think the Elk Grove Florin rd. property is a better property to put Oak Rose for many reasons especially for the residents that will live there.

                Have a great evening Dan see you Wednesday night!


D.J. Blutarsky said...

When the phones at the Watergate hotel were bugged, comedian Mark Russell said "McGovern knew something suspicious was going on when he picked up a grapefruit and got a dial tone".

In the case of Elk Grovegate, Mr. Bekker knew something was suspicious when he picked up a slice of pizza and saw a microphone on a piece of pepperoni!

Juan Trippe said...

Sky River taking bets on what the city council will do? Give me some odds, and I'd bet they'll reject it again, or push it off again. Like bratty kids, they just can't take their castor oil!

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