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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2007, 4:39 PM
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It's such a joke. These suburban Anywhere USA's thinking that incorporation will turn them into 'cities'. I know people who live in the Arden Arcade area and they do not have a strong sense of belonging to a distinctive community. This is all about the suburbs gaining political clout- as the article pointed out. But in the end I'd rather have more incorporated townships than a bunch of diaphanous entities. Also I believe the people in the Arden-Arcade district have every right to determine what kind of community they wish to live in even if I think it would be better if they were consolidated into Sacramento.

While I support annexation if, and only ,the city is restructured into a borough system, the City of Sacramento needs to be careful about annexation of certian districts so as not to inherit the host of problems that exist in those districts.
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2007, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ozone View Post
...I know people who live in the Arden Arcade area and they do not have a strong sense of belonging to a distinctive community...
Generally- I think for those who have not lived or spent a lot of time in this area, things probably *look* to the casual eye the same as they have for the last several decades. No identity, never had it, never will, blah blah blah (the "blah blah blah" isn't addressed to anyone in this thread- it's just something I've heard a lot)...

But- I wonder what the response to sense of identity would have been say, 10 or 15 years ago. Before the Rite Aid was in the space Las Brasas was, or Tiny's and the Vagabond was torn down to expand the Filco parking lot, the funky bit neat looking Orbit gas station became another Quik Stop, when my friend had to replace his fun handmade storefront sign he'd been using for years with a generic slip-in backlit model to match the surrounding area by the landowner for uniformity, etc... When your "neighborhood grocer" or restaurant owner or employees actually knew *you*, what you liked and not just reading your name of the receipt or credit card.

At the end of the day a Latino culture _inspired_ building facade with spray on stucco at the chain owned store doesn't *really* replace the locally owned and designed Latino-American business that came before it.

(edit/add) ***

As far as community goes, besides being absorbed into the super-landscape, many of the things that could (and would) bring people together have been pretty much disallowed. Want to have a night-time picnic at one of the many parks in the area? Expect a low flying helicopter with the spotlight on you to see what you're up to. Holiday decorations on the street lamps? They will be removed and you'll probably get a ticket (if caught). Pretty much the only time you'll see a gathering of my neighbors anymore are on voting days (or on really hot days, the public pool).

***

(edit2) My husband did bring up some "community building" events that were not mentioned here, but I'll probably include that in another (later) post.

Last edited by deeann; Sep 4, 2007 at 3:10 AM.
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2007, 2:39 AM
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All very good points. Maybe if that district did become an independent city then it would build a sense of community over time, maybe mom and pop stores could flourish again if a 'center' could be found.

Most of the people I know in that district have only been there say less than 10 years. When I asked a couple of them where they live they said rather resentfully that they lived in Sac County..and in the same sentence almost longingly said they didn't live in Sac City which led me to believe that (maybe incorrectly since it's just two people) that people in the Arcade-Arden area would like to be incorporated into the City of Sacramento and this is just a scheme of a few power-trip'n folks.
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2007, 5:54 AM
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I'm of "three" minds over the issue, which I'll go into further (just finished up work for today/tonight).
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2007, 2:34 PM
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New fees are unfair

New fee for city studies assailed
LAFCO orders exploration of benefits, liabilities of capital annexation for Arden Arcade.
By Ramon Coronado - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, September 13, 2007
Story appeared in CITY section, Page G3

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Advocates who want Arden Arcade turned into a city are crying foul over a recent requirement that they pay an extra $40,000 for an additional study.

"We don't believe in it. We don't accept it, but we have to pay for it," said Joel Archer, leader of the incorporation effort.

The additional fees are to pay for a study of the benefits and drawbacks of annexing Arden Arcade into the city of Sacramento.

The Arden Arcade committee is already struggling to make monthly payments on consultant studies of the environmental and fiscal impacts of incorporating the 13-square-mile area that is now being serviced by the county.

As Archer sees it, the Arden Arcade committee is being impeded by unfairly having the rules changed.

The Local Agency Formation Commission, which governs the incorporation process, has changed the payment rules since other cities formed, forcing the Arden Arcade committee to come up with money faster than other cityhood efforts.

LAFCO has threatened to shut down the studies, which began last month, if the Arden Arcade committee fails to keep the money flowing.

LAFCO officials have said they can't guarantee that the studies will be completed in time for the November 2008 election.

That posture is a departure from LAFCO's handling of the cityhood efforts of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova, which were allowed to pay when the studies were done.

"It's not fair. We made our application. We were in the middle of a process, and to have your expectations change is tough to swallow," Archer said.

Peter Brundage, executive director of LAFCO, said the latest rule change last month was made after commission members recognized that annexation into the city of Sacramento was an option that had been overlooked.

"The commission can't approve annexation, but it can deny incorporation, making annexation an alternative," Brundage said.

"It is an option you have to consider in evaluating any given proposal. It is part of doing a thorough analysis," he said.

Archer claims that Sacramento annexation of Elk Grove could have been raised during that city's incorporation efforts, but it wasn't.

Brundage said the commission's makeup has changed since the Elk Grove cityhood effort.

"It wasn't an issue before because no one raised it in previous incorporations," Brundage said.

Raising the annexation issue were commissioners Rob Fong and Steve Cohn, who are also Sacramento City Council members, Brundage said.

The Sacramento City Council is considering annexation of Arden Arcade as part of its new general plan. It is also considering annexation of the Fruitridge area, Rosemont and the town of Freeport.

The decision to require regular payments to keep the incorporation studies going is a policy decision also made by members who were not on the commission during previous incorporations, Brundage said.

"It's a different commission," he said.

Although a monthly payment schedule has been set, the first deadline of July 1 and the second, Sept. 1, were not met.

The first payment of $33,000 eventually was paid, and most of the second payment was expected to be paid Tuesday, Archer said.

The Arden Arcade committee's total share is expected to be about $200,000.

"The weight is on our shoulders to raise the money and keep it coming," Archer said.

The next payment of $26,000 is due Oct.1.

About the writer:
The Bee's Ramon Coronado can be reached at (916) 321-1013 or rcoronado@sacbee.com. Bee staff writer Ed Fletcher contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Sacramento Bee
2100 Q St. P.O. Box 15779 Sacramento, CA 95816 (916) 321-1000
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2007, 6:17 PM
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City set to take lead on Greenbriar project
Developing Greenbriar is seen alternately as wise or overreaching.

By Mary Lynne Vellinga of The Sacramento Bee

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Despite an outpouring of angst from North Natomas residents, who complained that their community already is starved for public services, the city of Sacramento on Wednesday extended its reach over another big chunk of Natomas land.



Members of the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission voted 4-3 Wednesday evening to allow the city to extend its sphere of influence over Greenbriar, a 577- acre square of land northwest of the existing city limits. Members representing special districts and the public voted no, while those representing the county and its cities voted yes.

Expanding the sphere of influence sets the stage for the City Council to annex and allow development on the land, owned by a partnership of developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos and Woodside Homes.

City staff members say an annexation vote could come before the end of the year, but that would need another nod of approval from LAFCO.

The Tsakopoulos partnership proposes about 3,000 housing units and about 40 acres of commercial development.

Tucked into the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 99, Greenbriar is bounded on three sides by existing or planned development -- a circumstance that city officials say makes it a logical choice for development.

"It really does make sense if we're talking about a logical, orderly path of development," said LAFCO member and City Councilman Rob Fong. "The future growth of this region is inevitable. We have to plan for it."

Supporters offered a variety of reasons for developing the property, much of which is now classified as prime farmland.

A planned light-rail line to Sacramento International Airport would traverse the property, and Regional Transit officials support development there because it would help provide riders.

"I think Greenbriar is a perfect example of what we call smart growth," said LAFCO commissioner and Sacramento County Supervisor Jimmie Yee, who offered a lengthy speech backing the project. Yee is a former mayor of Sacramento.

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments, meanwhile, applauded Greenbriar -- where the houses and apartments would be packed together at an average of about 11 per acre -- as a good example of development that complies with the Blueprint, the growth plan adopted by SACOG members in 2004.

"We think they've done a really excellent job," said SACOG Executive Director Mike McKeever.

Yet critics countered Wednesday with reasons they think Greenbriar epitomizes an ill-thought-out choice for growth.

Like the rest of North Natomas, it sits in a floodplain. The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency has revealed that levees protecting the area are weaker than previously thought. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is preparing to reclassify the area as a flood-risk zone.

City officials have applied for a special A99 flood designation that would allow development to continue while the levees were strengthened -- first to withstand a 100-year flood and then a 200-year flood. A 100-year flood has a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year.

Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, president of her family's firm, AKT Development, has submitted a letter pledging that no houses will be built until the Greenbriar property is certified as having 100-year flood protection, a threshold expected to be met by 2010.

That pledge did not silence those who raised flooding as an issue, however.

"The plan tonight, and the analysis put forward to support it, is one that doesn't deal with the uncertainties created by climate change, and its impact on flooding," said LAFCO Commissioner Chris Tooker.

"I don't know what's so magical about 100-year flood protection," Tooker added. "I don't have the confidence that it is going to provide me with adequate protection in the future."

Environmentalists also raised concerns that federal and state wildlife agencies haven't signed off on the amount of habitat Greenbriar will be required to set aside for endangered and threatened species such as the giant garter snake and Swainson's hawk.

LAFCO Commissioner Charles Rose wondered why a residential community should be built under the flight path of Sacramento International Airport, even if the planes overhead don't violate commonly accepted noise limits.

"For the life of me, I can't understand why we're building in the flight path," Rose said.

Much of the concern expressed Wednesday night came from residents of North Natomas, who said the city should improve their police, fire and other services before taking on more land.

"Every day people are just shaking their heads and saying, 'What are we going to do? Even the barest minimum of services we've been promised have not been delivered,' " said resident Holly Brickner.

City staff members maintained that Greenbriar would produce excess money that could be used to help fill what they described as a $70 million gap in funding for services promised to North Natomas, including a library, roads, police and fire.


Last edited by innov8; Sep 20, 2007 at 8:14 PM.
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2007, 2:50 PM
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Sacramento looks south, with ambivalence, for expansion

Annexing Fruitridge-Florin area would actually be financial loss

Sacramento Business Journal - September 21, 2007 by Michael ShawStaff writer

As the general manager of the Southgate Recreation and Park District during the mid-1970s, Robert Overstreet successfully fought the city of Sacramento's attempts to annex portions of the Fruitridge-Florin neighborhoods in south Sacramento.

Three decades later, Overstreet is on the other side of the fence. He's now the architect of the city's general plan update, and one of his tasks is contemplating future expansion. That includes the possibility of adding thousands of acres in Fruitridge-Florin and another neighborhood to the east, Rosemont.


Overstreet and others, despite the city's past failures, think a southward push might still be a good idea, even though it would unquestionably be a financial loss for Sacramento and residents are likely to resist absorption as they have repeatedly over the years.

So why does the idea keep hanging around? It goes beyond an aesthetic desire to square off the city limits.

"There's a benefit to having local land use under your control," said Scot Mende, Sacramento's new-growth manager. "To create a coordinated neighborhood, you have to have a consistent land use."

The unincorporated portion of Fruitridge-Florin reaches like a twisting finger of county property up into Sacramento's southern city limits, surrounded on three sides by city boundaries. Mende and others note awkward lines cause overlapping and overextended services. In Fruitridge, jurisdictional divisions leap across some streets; a sheriff's deputy might be dispatched to one side of Stockton Boulevard while a Sacramento city police officer is patrolling the other. Or both could arrive at a crime scene because of the mutual aid agreements, a needless duplication of services, some say. Garbage pickup, likewise, requires both governments to provide services in an area where one collection service would be more efficient.

"If you have a more unified effort in providing services to the area, it helps others around it as well," Mende said.

Signs of economic life
Sacramento County is willing to entertain annexation discussions as long as any agreement ultimately compensates the county for loss of tax revenue, said Paul Hahn, administrator of Sacramento County's Municipal Services Agency. Officials say both Fruitridge-Florin and Rosemont are considered financial losers -- they will cost the city more in services and tax-sharing agreements with Sacramento County than they'll return in tax revenue.

"Cities don't make money off of residential land," Hahn said. "They make it off commercial property."

As commercial uses have dwindled in south Sacramento areas, roads and other infrastructure are aging.

"Florin Road has taken a beating," Mende said, noting auto dealerships that once dotted the landscape have moved elsewhere. The city and county are working together on a plan to restore the Florin Road commercial corridor perhaps a precursor to working together on an annexation agreement.

There is still economic life in the region, however. A new $67 million Florin Towne Center is planned to replace the demolished Florin Mall.

The 2,500-acre Rosemont area looks attractive because it acts as a bridge to an additional 3,500 acres to the east coveted by the city and the county. The property, owned primarily by Granite Construction Co. and Teichert Inc., has been mined for years, but operations are slowing with the anticipation that the property will become suitable for development.

Meanwhile, undeveloped portions of North Natomas hang like a peach ripe for annexation to the north because new residential construction provides a one-time spark of tax revenue that older neighborhoods do not. So, the city's active efforts are focused there, meaning it might be years before there's political will to seriously consider pushing south, other than a small, 140-acre strip near Freeport that includes the city's Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course.

Hahn noted there are significant challenges once the effort starts in earnest.

The city's utility tax is 7.5 percent, 5 percentage points higher than the county's tax. That means residents in annexation areas will have to agree to pay more in taxes, a roadblock that has halted previous annexation attempts. County residents have grown accustomed to their services, including Overstreet's former employer, the Southgate Recreation and Park District, which oversees the parks for 110,000 residents between Sacramento and Elk Grove.

"Our board hasn't had a chance to discuss this," said district spokeswoman Veronica Carloni, noting that board members had only recently viewed a map that shows Fruitridge-Florin as possible future expansion. "We don't have an official opinion on it -- it's too early on in the process."

The district's residents won't easily embrace changes, she said.

But Overstreet said any new effort to annex Fruitridge-Florin will be viewed more favorably than previous attempts. His objection 30 years ago stemmed from the city's effort to enfold shopping centers within city limits while leaving residential neighborhoods within the county. Regulations now prohibit such maneuvers, he said.

He suggested annexation agreements might allow the park district to remain in place, at least for a period of time. That could ease a transition into the city.

"It's a new day, regardless of what has happened before," Overstreet said.
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2007, 5:28 PM
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Arden Arcade given $15,000 by Elk Grove
Council OKs gift to help cityhood bid after protests staged.
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, September 28, 2007


Advocates of Arden Arcade cityhood got a boost Wednesday night from the Elk Grove City Council with its 4-1 approval of a $15,000 gift to the effort.

The action, with Councilwoman Sophia Scherman opposed, followed protests from the Stay Sacramento! Stop Arden Arcade Cityhood committee.

The committee, whose chairman resides in Arden Arcade, met with reporters outside Elk Grove City Hall and later urged the council not to fund the effort, a video of the meeting shows.

"We do not see how the city ... can justifiably take taxpayer dollars from your city's general fund and make a gift" to a committee hoping to establish another city, Mike Duveneck, chairman of the anti-cityhood committee, told the council.

State law prohibits government entities from making gifts of public funds without some benefit to the contributing entity.

But some suburban city leaders have said that there is a benefit, noting that new cities strengthen the clout of existing municipalities.

Cityhood advocates had sought $30,000 from Elk Grove.

While all council members were willing to help, they proposed varying amounts.

Scherman was willing to give $5,000 to supplement the $5,000 the city gave to the Arden Arcade cityhood effort in 2004.

Councilman Michael Leary suggested giving another $20,000 or $25,000.

But Councilman Gary Davis' $15,000 "middle ground" proposal won council votes.

"Every community deserves their day at the ballot," Davis said. "They want what we've got.

"We stood on the backs of others. They need to stand on our backs. It's no different than (donating to) the League of California Cities every year."

This wasn't the first time Elk Grove supported a city's incorporation.

The council gave $35,000 in January 2002 to successful efforts to turn Rancho Cordova into a city.

Arden Arcade cityhood advocates also have found support from other cities. Rancho Cordova has given $35,000 to the cityhood committee, according to a report by Kara Myers, assistant to the Elk Grove city manager.

Citrus Heights and Folsom each gave $15,000 to the effort, according to the report.
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  #69  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2007, 5:48 PM
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But some suburban city leaders have said that there is a benefit, noting that new cities strengthen the clout of existing municipalities.
Can anyone explain how incorporating Arden-Arcade would benefit Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, and Citrus Heights?
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  #70  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2007, 6:25 PM
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It gives them an ally in big core city vs. small slurb city battles, for starters.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2008, 11:11 PM
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Foreclosure lawsuit throws new twist into Panhandle saga
Sacramento Business Journal

Friday, January 11, 2008

As if annexation of undeveloped Natomas land known as "The Panhandle" hasn't been contentious enough, now one of the applicants is being sued by a bank that loaned money to buy part of the land.

Comerica Bank wants to foreclose on part of The Panhandle belonging to Dunmore Land Co., alleging in a lawsuit filed late last month that the developer has missed payments on a $4.7 million loan.

The company is owned by former Dunmore Homes president Sidney B. Dunmore. He kept it when he sold Dunmore Homes last year for $500 to an investor, who put the new firm into bankruptcy to reorganize.

Dunmore Land is one of the applicants seeking annexation of The Panhandle into Sacramento; the other is Vaquero Land Holdings LLC, which is not involved in the Comerica lawsuit. The owners want to build more than 3,000 homes on 595 undeveloped acres there.

A decision on the possible annexation has been delayed several times by the Sacramento City Council, but the lawsuit isn't the reason, said the city's new-growth manager, Scot Mende. The city is more concerned with getting the correct land uses than with who ultimately owns it. If the bank forecloses, any subsequent user would likely stick to what's approved under development agreements.

So what's been holding it up? The city and Sacramento County are still working out the complicated tax-sharing agreement that's part of any annexation.

There also was a change late last year to the area in question. The city won't annex the southern portion closest to the "pan" -- a developed industrial area with a lower utility tax rate. If the northern "handle" is annexed, it would leave an 840-acre island of county land surrounded by the city. The city is expected to take up the issue again Jan. 29.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2008, 5:26 AM
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Council OKs Greenbriar annexation
by Michael Shaw Staff writer Sacramento Business Journal -
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 12:04 PM PST


The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday night gave conditional approval to annexing Natomas land despite a recent designation by the federal government that the area is a flood zone. The land is the site for Greenbriar, a 577-acre proposal by Angelo K. Tsakopoulos' AKT Development Corp. and Woodside Homes for a transit-oriented development to the northern city limits. The developers don't plan to build there until the flood issues are addressed.

The council voted unanimously to approve the annexation, though Mayor Heather Fargo was absent. The council is expected to formally approve the annexation in a week after two issues are resolved. The city and county still need to formalize their tax exchange agreement, which will determine how tax revenue will be divided in order to provide services for the new development. Environmental groups and Natomas residents had objected to the annexation.

The city must also override land use that would preclude a light rail station within Sacramento Airport's overflight zone.
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Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 4:14 AM
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Council OK's Greenbriar development in Natomas
By Mary Lynne Vellinga - mlvellinga@sacbee.com
Published 6:57 pm PST Tuesday, January 29, 2008



The Sacramento City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to annex and rezone 577 acres of North Natomas farmland just outside the city limits and allow construction of 3,500 houses and apartments.

Council members took an initial "intent" vote in favor of the Greenbriar development last week, but Tuesday's vote was the final action. Mayor Heather Fargo, absent last week, joined her colleagues in supporting the plan.

Building is unlikely to begin before 2010, however, because the federal government has announced it intends to designate North Natomas a flood hazard zone, essentially halting construction.

The Sacramento Area Flood Protection Agency expects to complete sufficient levee improvements by 2010 to ensure the minimum level of 100-year flood protection required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which would allow growth in the Natomas basin to resume.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 9:27 AM
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what about all the other annexing? Lets beat freaking Fresno already....jeeze.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 10:02 AM
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what about all the other annexing? Lets beat freaking Fresno already....jeeze.
Fresno? If we were to annex the majority of sac county not already incorporated we could easily hit #3 (after LA and SD).
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  #76  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 2:20 PM
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Fresno? If we were to annex the majority of sac county not already incorporated we could easily hit #3 (after LA and SD).

The council generally avoids annexing older parts of the unincorporated county, because it costs more to provide services than they contribute in property taxes.

It's unilkely that we'll see any more annexation for awhile unless Arden Arcade cityhood efforts fail. But Aden Arcade is an older part of town, so who knows if the city would really be interested..

If they were going to annex anywhere, Arden Arcade, South Sacramento/Fruitridge and Florin would be the best places to start.
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Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 5:06 PM
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Urban Encounter raises a good point...annexation of outer areas is generally done because it's an economic benefit (or perceived future economic benefit) to do so, not as a statewide sausage-measuring contest. Annexation along the holes in the "K" (like the Panhandle, Arden/Arcade and south Sacramento) make sense in terms of efficiently consolidating city services in a logical geographic area, but that's not a justification for an effort to consolidate the city/county area--such a measure would help bankrupt the city even faster than we are now.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 7:42 PM
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It is a statewide sausage measure contest, and we need to win it.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 4:46 AM
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It is a statewide sausage measure contest, and we need to win it.



Well I have to agree with wburg.

If annexation makes sense to square off the city limits, then we should do it. But if it's bad economics for the city then we shouldn't do it, just so that we can say that we're bigger. That would be silly.


Minneapolis, Atlanta, Oakland St. Loius are all techincially smaller or of equal size (when measured municipality against munisicpality)... Yet they all sit at the center of very large vibrant urban centers, like Sacramento.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2008, 12:34 AM
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Arden-Arcade cityhood drive faltering?

November ballot unlikely for Arden Arcade cityhood question
LAFCO to make call tonight
By Ed Fletcher - efletcher@sacbee.com
Last Updated 4:11 pm PST Wednesday, March 5, 2008




Arden Arcade incorporation proponents' dream of a 2008 cityhood vote appears to be dead.

Cityhood backers are pushing to create a city out of 13-square-miles of unincorporated Sacramento County. They hoped the issue would be on the November ballot.

The executive in charge of the government body that oversees political boundary changes said there just isn't time to finish the studies and sufficiently examine the viability of the city before a decision is needed on whether allow voters to weigh in.

"Based on current progress, it is not possible to complete either the (environmental or fiscal studies) in time for the November 2008 election," reports Pete Brundage, executive director of the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission.

The commission, comprised primarily of local elected officials, meets at 5:30 p.m. today at Sacramento County Supervisors Board Chambers at 700 H St.

Brundage, in an interview Wednesday, said he was responsible for the studies being behind schedule.

"I have to take responsibility for not managing the contracts. We didn't get the work done," Brundage said.

The plan was to have the studies done by June so the commission could decide whether it makes fiscal sense.

Joel Archer, chairman of the incorporation committee, acknowledged that the 2008 ballot no longer looks feasible. He said the commission should fix the problem by funding a special election.

"At this point we lost the opportunity for November," Archer said. "LAFCO should make right what is wrong."
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