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  #41  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2007, 4:17 AM
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Updated population would be approximately.............650,000!!!! We would be the 19th largest city in the country!!!!!!!!
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  #42  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2007, 9:26 PM
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after reading that, it seems as though the planning commission will wait to see if the incorporation effort fails before they consider incorporating the arden arcade area...

regardless of the outcome, there should be a vote to incorporate every piece of unincorporated county land into the city of sacramento...
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  #43  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2007, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by neuhickman79 View Post
Updated population would be approximately.............650,000!!!! We would be the 19th largest city in the country!!!!!!!!
I hope it happens.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2007, 3:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ltsmotorsport View Post
It was always strange to me that Fruitridge and Floring were never part of the city proper.
I grew up right off Florin (when I wasn't in living another state) and that confused me also.

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It's still hilarious to me that Arden-Arcade thinks they should be their own city, when all they have is residents (hardly any job base) and would be surrounded by Sacramento on three sides.
I see what you mean by the surround, but not sure what you mean by the job base. I've lived in the Arden-Arcade area for 20+ years now and never had a problem with getting a job out here. There are many jobs available in retail/service oriented and clerical/office. I've turned down several offers in this area.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2007, 9:47 AM
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I know there used to be a large retail base there, but I thought a lot of the businesses "escaped" to the exurbs. As for office, now that I think about it, I have seen quite a few off Arden and Fulton.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2007, 6:32 PM
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The Arden-Arcade city map would include the auto dealerships along Fulton and Auburn, the Watt Avenue retail corridor and at least three shopping mall/shopping center districts. Not much open space in any of it, although I can see how one could easily take a spot formerly occupied by strip malls and build mid-rise or even high-rise structures. The problem would be, how would they draw the kind of businesses that would require such buildings? (Answer: Tax breaks and sweetening incentives, which an independent Arden/Arcade probably couldn't afford anyhow.)

Transportation would be a real problem: the only highway access is via BR-80, already impacted, and the other corridors are already busy surface avenues. I'd wager that at least some of the cityhood drive is people who don't want increased public transit in the neighborhood, like the planned BRT corridor along Watt Avenue, because of the old "Increased Public Transit = More Minorities" stereotype. I'm sure that some of the folks supporting this are the people with half-acre or larger lots in the area who want to oppose placement of denser development (like quarter-acre single family homes) adjacent to their own lots.

Of course, if the cityhood campaign does succeed, fiscal realities will catch up with them, and they'll follow up with whatever brings them the most sales tax/land use tax revenue in order to pay for city operations. The only "win" for the new city will be the ability to claim empty pockets for things they don't want and afraid they might have to deal with if they were annexed.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2007, 8:17 PM
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Originally Posted by urban_encounter View Post

Map of current city limits.


Map of possible annexation (city study area). Arden-Arcade, N. Natomas and South Sacramento (shaded in black) btw this was my handy work so the city could explore additional unicorproated portions of these areas or less. But at least it will give everyone idea where exactly the city is looking at.

The City is in the process on annexing the panhandle as we speak so N. Sac is mostly a done deal. Delta Shores is next and possibly the town of Freeport, but that's always a sticky situation.

I totally support the annexation of AA from a geographical standpoint. It borders the City on 3 sides. Additionally, if they incorporated where would the town center be?
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  #48  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2007, 3:23 AM
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The City is in the process on annexing the panhandle as we speak so N. Sac is mostly a done deal. Delta Shores is next and possibly the town of Freeport, but that's always a sticky situation.

I totally support the annexation of AA from a geographical standpoint. It borders the City on 3 sides. Additionally, if they incorporated where would the town center be?
Town and Country Village, maybe?
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  #49  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2007, 4:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Cynikal View Post
Additionally, if they incorporated where would the town center be?
They'll have to tear down the Wienerschnitzel at Arden and Fulton and put it there.

Rancho Cordova's new town center is on a former Wienerschnitzel site.

Old Wienerschnitzels are where ALL the new town centers are going!
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  #50  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 9:24 PM
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Donation lifts Arden Arcade cityhood bid
By Stan Oklobdzija - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, July 27, 2007
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B2


A last-minute donation from Citrus Heights has given the Arden Arcade incorporation drive a push, but whether cityhood backers can keep the effort in motion remains to be seen.

Today, proponents of Arden Arcade cityhood are scheduled to meet with Sacramento's Local Agency Formation Commission -- the local body charged with drawing political boundaries and handling the incorporation of new cities -- to hash out a critical contract that may make or break the chances of a cityhood vote making the November 2008 ballot.

On July 19, the Citrus Heights City Council directed staff to donate $10,000 to the group's incorporation effort. The money came after the group missed a key July 1 deadline to come up with a deposit of about $28,000 to fund fiscal and environmental studies needed before the cityhood issue could be put to a vote.

But the studies can't start until a funding agreement is signed that spells out how the costly Environmental Impact Review and Comprehensive Financial Analysis will be paid for, said Peter Brundage, LAFCO executive director.

"Time is critical," Brundage said. "It's important to get the studies under way, we're already two months behind." The studies are expected to take six to eight months. "We'll make our best efforts, but that's provided they can continue making the payments as expected," he said.

Joel Archer, chairman of the incorporation effort, was more upbeat. "We're excited to continue on with the process," Archer said. "It's a long road, and it'll continue to be a long road, but we're excited that people and other cities want to help us succeed."

On Wednesday, Brundage confirmed that cityhood backers provided a check for $11,889, the balance of the deposit. But backers didn't bring the signed funding agreement, instead setting up today's meeting so their attorneys could review it. Archer said he expected the meeting to be routine. "We plan to have it final on Friday," he said.

Brundage said he wasn't sure. "(Archer) said he had some questions (about the agreement), but he didn't tell me what they were," Brundage said. "So we'll see." In order to keep the studies going, the consultants will need an average of $25,000 per month, Brundage said. The total cost could be about $300,000, with the incorporation backers' share expected to be about $200,000 and the LAFCO share about $100,000.

The terms of the funding agreement say LAFCO will be paid on the first day of each month, according to the document. If cityhood backers fail to pay within five days after that, the agreement says, LAFCO can cease work on the project, terminating it completely if the payment is not made in 30 days. Archer said he's confident his group can raise the money.

"There's enough of a pipeline," he said. "It's never a certainty, but it's enough to believe that we can keep going." Archer refused to say how much money the incorporation effort has on hand, only that he "believes it's sufficient," to carry the committee to a November 2008 cityhood vote.

Citrus Heights, which became a city in 1997, was the first of three cities in Sacramento County to incorporate over the last decade. It donated money to the incorporation efforts of Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova, which became cities in 2000 and 2003, respectively. Rancho Cordova has donated $25,000 to the Arden Arcade incorporation effort, said city spokeswoman Alexandra Miller. Elk Grove has not donated any money, a city spokeswoman there said.

Arden Arcade cityhood petitioners first went before the Citrus Heights City Council in March, when they asked for $35,000. The council unanimously denied that request. Mayor Jeff Slowey said his change of heart was due to a better developed presentation by the group and a clearer idea of their financial picture. Cityhood, he said, is "worth a vote of the people." Councilman Steve Miller agreed.

Though disappointed by the group's so-far bleak financial situation, he said he saw many similarities between Citrus Heights and the potential city-to-be. "With Citrus Heights, the deck was stacked against us, and it took a long time to get to the vote," he said. "But I truly believe we're a success story.
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  #51  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2007, 3:00 PM
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City told North Natomas annexation would lose money
By Terri Hardy - Bee Staff Writer
Last Updated 6:30 am PDT Thursday, August 2, 2007
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B4


One of the largest annexation proposals in Sacramento's history is in jeopardy because a city analysis has concluded the plan is a money-losing venture.

Should the city absorb the 1,430-acre "panhandle" near North Natomas, it would be saddled with road repairs and other needed improvements estimated at $7.4 million -- and wouldn't recoup enough in additional tax revenue to make it worthwhile, said Russ Fehr, city finance director.

"The result is very little gain for the city," Fehr told the Sacramento City Council this week. "I'd be hard pressed to say why we would go forward under these terms."

The panhandle is a vertical swath of Sacramento County land bordered on the north by Elkhorn Boulevard and on the south by Interstate 80. It is bisected by Del Paso Road.

The financial report raised doubts about the annexation plan that has been slowing moving through the city bureaucracy for seven years.

One possible but far-from-certain alternative exists, Fehr said. If the city were allowed to annex only the northern portion of the panhandle above Del Paso, it would have fewer expenses and the deal could pencil out.

Mayor Heather Fargo said the next logical step is to determine whether the annexation of just the northern portion is a viable option.

"The key to all this is reaching an agreement with the county or we can't go forward," Fargo said. "We need to figure out what we want to do."

Paul Hahn, the county's head of municipal services, said that the city's truncated panhandle plan is "problematic" but he'll continue to work with the city on a solution.

"We're not trying to be troublesome," Hahn said. "We thought we had an agreement already arranged."

Fehr warned City Council members that under state law the county has all the power in negotiations, with an ability to veto the project and a requirement that it must approve any financing plan.

"It's like we're playing poker and they're allowed to pick cards out of the deck," Fehr said.

If a deal can be worked out, the proposal must then be approved by the Local Agency Formation Commission -- the agency in charge of political boundaries.

North of Del Paso Road is mostly raw agricultural land, and developers are seeking to construct 3,000 new homes there. The Grant Joint Union High School District also wants to build a $152 million education complex with both a high school and a junior high school.

The land south of Del Paso contains commercial buildings and industrial businesses. The older area needs $5.2 million in road improvements, $660,000 in storm drainage work and nearly $1.5 million to connect to the city's water system.

Attorneys representing the major landowner in the south as well as the home developers in the north said their clients supported the idea of lopping off the area below Del Paso. But LAFCO frowns on creating an island of unincorporated area surrounded by the city, said executive director Peter Brundage.

"It creates service problems," Brundage said. "The law discourages it."

Fehr said the question would go to county supervisors, as part of a final tax sharing agreement. So far, no firm arrangement has been inked.

Under the deal points as they are now, property taxes would be split evenly between the city and county. For sales taxes, the county would continue to get its current "base" level, and anything over that from the southern portion would be divided between the city and county. In the north, 100 percent of sales tax revenues would go to the city.

Residents and businesses would see their utility users tax go to 7.5 percent from the county's 2.5 percent. The county would keep the 2.5 percent and the city would get the rest.

Also under the plan, the city would get $12.6 million over time from developer fees for building needs in North Natomas, an area that currently is looking for $74 million for promised roads, parks and other improvements. The fees would help fund a library, community center, fire and police facilities, a regional park and traffic signals.

This arrangement would allow the county to continue receiving the revenue it currently collects. The city would become responsible for providing services.

Fargo wondered if the county seemed willing to look at other funding sources to pay for the area's current infrastructure needs. Fehr said they had other priorities.

"They had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude," Fehr said.

Even if financial details could be worked out, other obstacles remain.

Some Natomas residents voiced opposition to the plan Tuesday. They said before the city takes on another area to develop, it should first provide promised police and fire protection, as well as amenities such as parks, to the North Natomas community.

And, they said the city should not allow development in the area until they achieve 100-year flood protection.

"We'd like to see building cease until these issues are taken care of," said Tristan Godt, a North Natomas resident.

Scot Mende, the city's new growth manager, remained optimistic. "The area north of Del Paso has been planned for development for a very long time, and we'll find a way to get that annexed."
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  #52  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2007, 5:13 PM
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Story appeared in ARDEN CARMICHAEL section, Page G1

The on-again, off-again drive to turn Arden Arcade into a city is inching its way toward next year's ballot.

After missing a July 1 deadline and a nine-day extension to come up with $33,000, cityhood proponents have paid their first bill and are working on their second payment.

The payments go toward funding their share of fiscal and environmental studies before the issue can be put before voters. The incorporation backers' total share is expected to be about $200,000.

"The consultants can start work," said Peter Brundage, executive director of the Local Agency Formation Commission.

But because of the missed deadline, LAFCO, the body in charge of political boundaries, cannot guarantee that the studies will be done in time for the November 2008 election.

Brundage also said though he has signed a contract with Joel Archer, chairman of the cityhood effort, the contract is binding only as long as there is money to cover the cost of the studies.

"We will make our best efforts, but if the money is spent before more money comes in, the work will stop," Brundage said.

Archer, who is not required to disclose how much he has raised until the election campaign begins, is confident he will be able to make the payments.

"We have it promised. I believe the money will be there," Archer said last week.

The next deadline, or "target date," as Archer likes to describe it, is Sept. 1 for $28,000 in cash.

"At this point, we don't see any reason we can't make it," Archer said.

Early on, Rancho Cordova donated $25,000, and the cities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, Galt and Elk Grove each gave $5,000. On July 19, Citrus Heights gave another $10,000.

Tonight, the nine-member board of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District is expected to lend its support to the incorporation effort.

"We are going to pass a resolution of support for the voters to decide if they want to be a city or not," board member Greg Granados said. "We have a general consensus that we support cityhood."

If the cityhood effort fails and Sacramento annexes the Arden Arcade area, the district could lose $20 million to $27 million, six fire stations, 90 employees and two board members, Granados said.

The district now provides fire protection services to Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova and serving a third city "wouldn't make much difference," Granados said.

Although the board can not legally donate money to political causes, the firefighters union, Local 522, can and has, said Pat Monahan, vice president of the union.

"We are absolutely in favor of the citizens going through the process and voting on it," Monahan said of the union that has donated $3,000 to the cityhood cause.

The union is considering giving more, Monahan said.

Mike Duveneck, committee chairman of Stay Sacramento, a group opposing cityhood, is critical of Archer's financial supporters, describing them as "special interests."

"The cities are spending taxpayer money to get involved in this, and they shouldn't," Duveneck said.

"This is not a fire board or firefighter union question. Their business is fire protection, not political issues," Duveneck said.
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  #53  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2007, 7:37 PM
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Down with Arden-Arcade. All power to SACRAMENTO!!!!!!
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  #54  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2007, 9:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ltsmotorsport View Post
Down with Arden-Arcade. All power to SACRAMENTO!!!!!!
im in support of eithera new city or sac annexing the arden arcade area....doesnt matter as long as it is taken away from sac county...

a new city wouldnt be so bad , but the name is a lil bit hard to like...

id rather see it named:
arden point
fulton park
american river

but i suppose arden arcade can work
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  #55  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2007, 2:02 AM
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It'd be better as it's own city. But, either way is fine with me. But, kryptos is right! The name MUST be different...what city is hyphenated like that? Wilkes-Barre, PA!?
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  #56  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2007, 8:31 AM
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Originally Posted by neuhickman79 View Post
It'd be better as it's own city. But, either way is fine with me. But, kryptos is right! The name MUST be different...what city is hyphenated like that? Wilkes-Barre, PA!?

theres not too many...winston-salem, NC comes to mind....

i think they should pick arden or arcade, not both

if A-A does incorporate, wouldnt a nice chunk of carmichael be part of its sphere of influence?
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  #57  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2007, 2:30 PM
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Urban plan, but city keeps options open
By Mary Lynne Vellinga - Bee Staff Writer
Last Updated 12:17 am PDT Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A1

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The new general plan in the works for the city of Sacramento marks a big departure from growth as usual.

Rather than embracing a future of strip malls and single-family homes, a draft map endorsed by the Sacramento City Council in June envisions a far more urban Sacramento than exists today.

Twenty-four-story buildings would punctuate the landscape in satellite downtowns near Arden Fair mall and Arco Arena. A university town would bustle at 65th Street.

Tired-looking arteries now devoted mostly to shopping would be transformed with thousands of housing units.

"We're looking at a different way to accommodate growth; it's not just going to be out, it's going to be in," said City Councilman Rob Fong.

Mayor Heather Fargo said the idea is to "correct some of the suburban, less functional parts of our previous communities and add enough density that there are things to walk to, and they're safer."

Yet even as the city plans a facelift of its older neighborhoods, Fargo and other City Council members have directed their staff to study the pros and cons of annexing thousands more acres of farmland -- the key ingredient for suburban subdivisions.

The city also is considering whether to pursue annexation of large swaths of unincorporated urbanized territory, such as the Fruitridge area, Arden Arcade, Rosemont and the town of Freeport.

That would give the city responsibility for additional aging neighborhoods that need redevelopment.

If Sacramento annexed all the areas it is studying, the amount of land within city limits would increase 75 percent.

City staff members working on the 2030 growth plan say all this land won't be needed for growth in the next quarter-century -- if the city sticks to the ambitious density goals under discussion. Those goals call for a 50-percent increase in population with just a 4 percent increase in land.

"Do we need the acreage? No," said Tom Pace, director of the city's long-range planning effort. "But it's a question of what kinds of homes people want to live in."

Bob Overstreet, strategic projects executive with the city, said Sacramento needs to offer large-lot housing for executives who might otherwise choose new homes in Placer County or elsewhere. "If we want new companies here, that's going to be really important," he said.

Sacramento's environmental community -- which has advocated more focus on existing neighborhoods -- is gearing up to oppose this expansionist vision, saying it undercuts the supposed thrust of the new general plan.

"The city's got God knows how many acres of land that it's ignoring or only giving lip service to in terms of revitalization," said Graham Brownstein, executive director of the Environmental Council of Sacramento.

If the city continues to focus on growing outward rather than on improving its existing neighborhoods, he said, "I see a potential future 50 years down the road where other than midtown and the central business district you just have this endless sea of Central Valley suburban mess."

Councilman Fong, however, said he thinks the city can have it both ways: rebuilding urban neighborhoods while continuing to build new ones on open ground.

Fong said the city should stake out its future borders, particularly because cities such as Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove continue to jockey for position. New suburban growth, he said, can produce fees to offset the costs of redeveloping inner-city neighborhoods.

Critics don't buy this argument. Jim Pachl, a lawyer for Friends of the Swainson's Hawk, noted that Bay Area cities with little or no room left for growth have focused on redeveloping existing communities with notable success.

"Local governments there still seem to be in business," he said.

The genesis for Sacramento's new urban focus lies in the Blueprint, a regional growth plan adopted in 2004 by Sacramento and other members of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. This plan aims to improve walkability of communities and slow the region's suburban spread.

The Blueprint is not binding on individual governments. Nonetheless, Sacramento is trying to stick to it, officials said.

The city is working on the environmental review and written policies for the general plan, and plans to have it ready for adoption in fall 2008.

Other jurisdictions, such as Placer and Yuba counties, already have deviated from the Blueprint. City staff members says this puts pressure on them to provide more suburban housing options with larger lots.

"Even if Sacramento stuck to our guns, it wouldn't matter because nobody else is," Overstreet said.

All of the areas being studied by the city are included in the Blueprint for eventual growth, he pointed out. It's a question of when, not if, they will develop.

Even without the new areas added for study, the general plan anticipates building on several large chunks of open land, including the 577-acre Greenbriar property just outside the northwest edge of the city, the 1,430-acre panhandle in North Natomas and the nearly 1,000-acre Delta Shores property, which lies between Sacramento and Elk Grove along Interstate 5.

Combined, these properties account for a 4 percent increase in the city's footprint.

In addition, the Sacramento City Council has designated as "special study areas" all of unincorporated North Natomas to the Sutter County line, a portion of the east county stretching to Excelsior Road, and land on its southeastern flank out to Elk Grove-Florin Road on the east and Calvine Road on the south.

Some of these same areas are also being studied by Sacramento County and Rancho Cordova for potential growth.

"They've got great interest in our interest," Overstreet said.

About the writer:
The Bee's Mary Lynne Vellinga can be reached at (916) 321-1094 or mlvellinga@sacbee.com.

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2100 Q St. P.O. Box 15779 Sacramento, CA 95816 (916) 321-1000
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  #58  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2007, 3:19 PM
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Here is the picture that went along with the article! It excites me to no end!
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  #59  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2007, 9:39 PM
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Cityhood aid questioned

Are cities' contributions to Arden Arcade's bid legal?
By Ed Fletcher - Bee Staff Writer

Suburban Sacramento cities have given at least $50,000 to the committee working to turn 13 square miles of unincorporated Sacramento County into the city of Arden Arcade.

Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and Folsom all have chipped in.

Beyond contributing out of good will, some suburban city leaders say adding new cities within the county strengthens all of their hands when skirmishes arise with the region's dominant players.

"Sacramento city and Sacramento County do dominate the local politics. I have friends down there -- they are good people -- but the decisions they make are not always the best decisions for Citrus Heights," said Citrus Heights Mayor Jeff Slowey.

But some have questioned whether the cities' contributions are legal.

State law prohibits government entities from making gifts of public funds. Contributions must have some benefit to the government entity.

Rancho Cordova ($25,000) and Citrus Heights ($15,000) have given them most to date. Folsom and Elk Grove each gave $5,000.

Citrus Heights Councilwoman Jayna Karpinski-Costa said she doesn't see the benefit.

"I can't find anything good for the city of Citrus Heights when these cities incorporate," Karpinski-Costa said. "We need streets paved. We need street lights. We should not be giving money away. I do believe it's a gift of public funds."

Karpinski-Costa's fellow council member James Shelby said, "The more cities we have in the region, the more we benefit from a political perspective. (The contribution) will come back to us in changing the balance of power."

Regional boards dealing with air, water, waste, flood control, libraries, and transit issues are composed of elected leaders from throughout the region. The power once held by Sacramento city and county leaders has been watered down as new cities have been formed and the boards expanded.

With key local businesses slow to jump on the incorporation effort and new rules requiring the committee to pay more money upfront, contributions from local governments has become a key funding source for cityhood backers.

Karpinski-Costa, who was the lone voice against a July 19 vote to give $10,000 to the Arden Arcade committee, said the political benefit argument did not apply to the city's $25,000 contribution in 2001 to a failed effort to create the El Dorado County city of El Dorado Hills, since it involved a cityhood bid in a different county that wouldn't affect the balance of power among Sacramento governments.

Peter Detwiler, who teaches a graduate course on land-use policies at California State University, Sacramento, concedes he's not a lawyer, but said he has questions about the practice.

"Why isn't that a gift of public funds?" Detwiler asked. "It strikes me as a very curious way to spend local taxpayers dollars."

Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and the failed El Dorado Hills effort all benefited from the generosity of nearby cities.

But state officials said they don't think the practice is common statewide.

"I find that kind of unusual. Most of them typically raise funds from the local community," said Bill Chiat, who heads the state association of Local Agency Formation Commissions -- the local bodies in charge of creating or changing political boundaries.

Since the incorporation committee won't release donor lists, it's impossible to say how the cities' contributions compare with checks written by Arden Arcade residents and business owners.

The committee's chairman, Joel Archer, has spoken in general terms about fundraising, but has declined to provide detailed records on committee income and expenditures.

There is disagreement over whether existing law requires or allows the the Local Agency Formation Commission, which controls the incorporation process, to collect information on incorporation committees' finances.

In February, the Arden Arcade group said it had collected $84,000 toward incorporation. But that money was spent on preliminary studies, paying professional signature gatherers, validating petition drive signatures and other expenses.

The group has since been struggling to keep up with payments needed to study the financial viability and the environmental impacts of the proposed city just east of Arden Fair mall.

One hundred Arden Arcade residents and business owners have helped fuel the effort, Archer said.

He added that some business owners are reluctant to donate and damage their relationship with Sacramento County.

The area's biggest business -- car dealers along Fulton Avenue -- have been slow to get onboard.

LAFCO has changed the rules since other cities formed -- forcing the Arden Arcade committee to raise more money and at a faster pace than earlier efforts.

LAFCO is requiring that the Arden Arcade committee make monthly payments in order to keep the fiscal and environmental studies going. Earlier efforts were allowed to pay up when the studies were done.

Archer and other committee members are continuing to make the rounds.

On Sept. 11, the Folsom City Council is scheduled to consider contributing another $10,000 to the effort.

Archer said outside cities may be aiding the effort, but Arden Arcade voters will ultimately decide on cityhood.

"People inside and outside believe that Arden Arcade should have that opportunity to choose its own destiny," said Archer.

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Old Posted Sep 3, 2007, 2:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ltsmotorsport View Post
Cityhood aid questioned

Are cities' contributions to Arden Arcade's bid legal?
By Ed Fletcher - Bee Staff Writer

Suburban Sacramento cities have given at least $50,000 to the committee working to turn 13 square miles of unincorporated Sacramento County into the city of Arden Arcade.

Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and Folsom all have chipped in.

Beyond contributing out of good will, some suburban city leaders say adding new cities within the county strengthens all of their hands when skirmishes arise with the region's dominant players.

"Sacramento city and Sacramento County do dominate the local politics. I have friends down there -- they are good people -- but the decisions they make are not always the best decisions for Citrus Heights," said Citrus Heights Mayor Jeff Slowey.

But some have questioned whether the cities' contributions are legal.

State law prohibits government entities from making gifts of public funds. Contributions must have some benefit to the government entity.

Rancho Cordova ($25,000) and Citrus Heights ($15,000) have given them most to date. Folsom and Elk Grove each gave $5,000.

Citrus Heights Councilwoman Jayna Karpinski-Costa said she doesn't see the benefit.

"I can't find anything good for the city of Citrus Heights when these cities incorporate," Karpinski-Costa said. "We need streets paved. We need street lights. We should not be giving money away. I do believe it's a gift of public funds."

Karpinski-Costa's fellow council member James Shelby said, "The more cities we have in the region, the more we benefit from a political perspective. (The contribution) will come back to us in changing the balance of power."

Regional boards dealing with air, water, waste, flood control, libraries, and transit issues are composed of elected leaders from throughout the region. The power once held by Sacramento city and county leaders has been watered down as new cities have been formed and the boards expanded.

With key local businesses slow to jump on the incorporation effort and new rules requiring the committee to pay more money upfront, contributions from local governments has become a key funding source for cityhood backers.

Karpinski-Costa, who was the lone voice against a July 19 vote to give $10,000 to the Arden Arcade committee, said the political benefit argument did not apply to the city's $25,000 contribution in 2001 to a failed effort to create the El Dorado County city of El Dorado Hills, since it involved a cityhood bid in a different county that wouldn't affect the balance of power among Sacramento governments.

Peter Detwiler, who teaches a graduate course on land-use policies at California State University, Sacramento, concedes he's not a lawyer, but said he has questions about the practice.

"Why isn't that a gift of public funds?" Detwiler asked. "It strikes me as a very curious way to spend local taxpayers dollars."

Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and the failed El Dorado Hills effort all benefited from the generosity of nearby cities.

But state officials said they don't think the practice is common statewide.

"I find that kind of unusual. Most of them typically raise funds from the local community," said Bill Chiat, who heads the state association of Local Agency Formation Commissions -- the local bodies in charge of creating or changing political boundaries.

Since the incorporation committee won't release donor lists, it's impossible to say how the cities' contributions compare with checks written by Arden Arcade residents and business owners.

The committee's chairman, Joel Archer, has spoken in general terms about fundraising, but has declined to provide detailed records on committee income and expenditures.

There is disagreement over whether existing law requires or allows the the Local Agency Formation Commission, which controls the incorporation process, to collect information on incorporation committees' finances.

In February, the Arden Arcade group said it had collected $84,000 toward incorporation. But that money was spent on preliminary studies, paying professional signature gatherers, validating petition drive signatures and other expenses.

The group has since been struggling to keep up with payments needed to study the financial viability and the environmental impacts of the proposed city just east of Arden Fair mall.

One hundred Arden Arcade residents and business owners have helped fuel the effort, Archer said.

He added that some business owners are reluctant to donate and damage their relationship with Sacramento County.

The area's biggest business -- car dealers along Fulton Avenue -- have been slow to get onboard.

LAFCO has changed the rules since other cities formed -- forcing the Arden Arcade committee to raise more money and at a faster pace than earlier efforts.

LAFCO is requiring that the Arden Arcade committee make monthly payments in order to keep the fiscal and environmental studies going. Earlier efforts were allowed to pay up when the studies were done.

Archer and other committee members are continuing to make the rounds.

On Sept. 11, the Folsom City Council is scheduled to consider contributing another $10,000 to the effort.

Archer said outside cities may be aiding the effort, but Arden Arcade voters will ultimately decide on cityhood.

"People inside and outside believe that Arden Arcade should have that opportunity to choose its own destiny," said Archer.

if arden arcade goes to a vote, sacramento area will have a new city...
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