BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
DATE: April 24, 2018
PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE: BRECA General Meeting
STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT
STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT: NONE
NUMBER OF GUESTS/MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: 91
- Welcome from Chair Lynda Hammitt
- Introduction from the Chair
Lynda Hammitt introduced the members of the panel and described the format of the meeting. Panelists will give short introductory statements, and then respond to questions, first to written questions, and then to questions from the floor.
The members of the panel were:
Ken Cooley, California State Assemblyman,
Patrick Larkin, District Administrator, Cordova Recreation and Park District (CRPD),
Barry Chamberlin, Chief, Sacramento County Code Enforcement,
Mike Matranga, Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy, and Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officer,
Don Nottoli, Sacramento County Supervisor,
Tommy Riggin, California Highway Patrol (CHP),
AJ Bennett, Sacramento County Parks Ranger, and
Shauna Franklin, Sacramento County District Attorney’s (DA’s) office.
- Introductory Statements from the Panel
Ken Cooley, California State Assemblyman, stated that he had lived in Rancho Cordova for 41 years, was on the Rancho Cordova City Council, and was one of the people who founded Rancho Cordova. He believes in public service.
Patrick Larkin, District Administrator for the CRPD, stated that this year is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the CRPD. They are going to have a celebration at the Lincoln Park and pool in July. The CRPD is entering into water conservation efforts due to water bills going up. They want the public to notify the district if they see irrigation or sprinkler issues. Concerning the local park, Riviera East, the pathways are to be replaced in the coming Fiscal Year, and should be complete June 30, 2019. They are also looking at the inventory and usage of tennis courts. If they are well used, they can be kept, but if not, they can be changed to some other use.
Barry Chamberlain, Sacramento County Chief Code Enforcement Officer, stated that they are reinventing the illegal dumping team; if people see illegal dumping, call 311. They are also looking at overgrown vegetation; if people see overgrown vegetation, call 311. This is also growing season for marijuana; if people suspect illegal growing, call 311. He further stated that Code Enforcement now has 43 officers, which is about twice as many as five years ago. He has been Chief Code Enforcement Officer for three years, and wants our feedback.
Mike Matranga, Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officer with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office, stated that he is not the typical patrol officer that responds to 911 calls. They focus on specific problems, and put together short and long term goals for those problems. He also had officers with the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) at the meeting.
Don Nottoli, Sacramento County Supervisor, stated that he has been a Supervisor for 24 years. The district goes from the American River to the Antioch Bridge. He stated that the County works for the community. As they have come out of the recession, they have been emphasizing quality of life issues. Last year the Board of Supervisors added $11 million to homelessness and Parkway issues. The County as a whole has about 1.5 million people, of which about 600 thousand are in the unincorporated area. He stated that he wished to thank BRECA for representing the area.
Tommy Riggin, with the CHP, stated that they do traffic enforcement. Their area includes from Watt Ave. to the County line. They don’t see much activity in the BRECA area. There have been about 4 crashes in the neighborhood.
AJ Bennett, with the Sacramento County Park Rangers, stated that he is the steward for the American River Parkway in this area. If people have concerns, they can call 311, or go to Sacramento County Parks on the web. He stated that the BRECA area is pretty quiet, and does not have too many issues.
Shauna Franklin, with the Sacramento County DA’s office, stated that she has been a deputy District Attorney for 20 years. She has been a community prosecutor for two years. During the recession, community prosecution was eliminated, but it was recently restarted by District Attorney Schubert.
- Responses to Questions
The first written question posed to the panel was: How do State, County, and local government and agencies collaborate to resolve problems related to homelessness and crime? For example how do the handoffs of responsibilities occur, what kind of success have you seen, and how can the community help?
POP Officer Matranga stated homelessness used to be treated as an enforcement issue, focusing on crimes committed in a certain area. That model didn’t really work. Now there is a HOT team that takes a different approach.
Two Sheriff’s deputies with the HOT team elaborated on those comments. It was stated that they work with community organizations including Goodwill, Deseret Industries, and code enforcement. The goal is to get one person into a stable living environment. This is hard. Most homeless people have mental health and/or substance abuse issues. With more funding from the County, they were able to hold an event in Fair Oaks that was a one-stop shop for helping homeless people get connected with services.
Supervisor Nottoli stated that the County is trying to use a more comprehensive approach. Not everybody is ready. They are pushing hard on the lower American River Parkway area, where 25 tons of trash was removed in one day. They are trying various approaches to find out what works.
Patrick Larkin, CRPD Administrator, stated that they work with the HOT team in Rancho Cordova. Parks staff do initial contact, and the HOT team follows up.
Ken Cooley, State Assemblyman, stated that at the state level they really don’t understand the explosion of homelessness. The State generally works on separate areas, e.g. veterans, children. Rancho Cordova has about 30% of the emergency housing (in the County), but have services, so that is not a problem for the community.
A member of the audience stated that there are homeless people with severe medical issues, such as an amputee, and wondered how we can help?
A member of the HOT team stated that they could contact the HOT team, and the HOT team could connect with the individual and get help for them. The best thing is not to provide services to people on street corners. There is a County ordinance against panhandling.
The second written question posed to the panel was what are best practices for homeless, drugs, and trespass on commercial properties?
A member of the HOT team responded that the team works with businesses. The businesses contact the team, and the team contacts the homeless person. The HOT team can tell the homeless person to leave or use power of trespass. If the homeless person has taken up residence, the team must give them 48 hours to vacate the area. The team cannot simply take the homeless person’s property. If the homeless person will not vacate, they can be charged with a crime.
An audience member stated that he works for Regional Transit and rides the light rail trains frequently. Homelessness along the tracks is out of control. They just keep coming back. This new “theory” is not working. He also stated that Vince’s Motel and Casa Linda motel are magnets for homeless and prostitution.
A member of the HOT team responded that they have only been into the new approach for a few months, and it will take time to see if it works. POP Officer Matranga stated that Vince’s has cleaned up a bit. The people who run Casa Linda are not good at what they are doing. Homelessness is a national issue: we as a society have created this problem. There is an officer assigned to Regional Transit: if you bring specific issues to them, they can deploy resources. They need to know where homeless people are camping.
Shauna Franklin, with the DA’s office, stated that it is imperative for the community members to call them: use the 311 number. Resources are directed largely by calls from the community.
Supervisor Nottoli stated that they are putting more resources into the problems. They are not putting the homeless in jails or mental institutions anymore.
Barry Chamberlain, with County Code Enforcement, stated that the Casa Linda issue has gone from Code Enforcement to the community prosecutor, and that Shauna Franklin has met with the owners of Casa Linda.
Shauna Franklin, with the DA’s office, continued that there is a code called “criminal nuisance” that can be used. However, it is a tough standard to meet. They have looked as Casa Linda. There have been 50 calls for service from people staying at Casa Linda, but none from the community. They do not want to put businesses out of business. If people have an issue with Casa Linda, they need to contact the County at 311.
A member of the audience asked if it is true that Vince’s is a dumping ground for criminals when they are released?
POP Officer Matranga stated NO, that is not the case. They do not give rides to Vince’s.
A member of the audience stated that they had purchased the Church property next door to Casa Linda, and have picked up needles and crack pipes. When they called the Sheriff, they Sheriff’s officers responded.
POP Officer Matranga stated that that if somebody cleans up a property, it helps adjacent areas.
A third written question was whether there is any chance of getting speed bumps in front of the Park on Mira Del Rio (Riviera East Park)?
Supervisor Nottoli stated that there is a process for doing that, and the person should contact him.
A fourth written question concerned a stop sign at Allegheny and Elmira that people regularly “blow through.”
CHP Officer Riggin stated that people should contact the CHP, there are things they can do. People complain but don’t contact the CHP.
Supervisor Nottoli commented that there are also physical measures that can be put in place.
A fifth written question was for Code Enforcement. The question was what can be done about people who do not maintain their house, and the same for businesses.
Barry Chamberlain, with County Code Enforcement, stated that people should call Code Enforcement, and that they have lots of ability to clean up businesses. Residential is another matter. If there are lots of vehicles, they can check out the situation. Regarding front yards, if a house is vacant, they can cut the lawn and bill the owner. If the house is not vacant, there is less that can be done. They don’t enforce on ugly. Call Barry Chamberlain and he can tell you what they can do.
An audience member asked what the County is doing to attract quality businesses to Folsom Blvd, and what happened to plans for development of the Drive-In theaters?
Supervisor Nottoli stated that The Landing (the Drive-In theaters site) still has an approved redevelopment plan. But, the economy has changed, and big retailers are going down. They are still intent on doing something. There was recently a workshop at the Board of Supervisors about revitalizing aging corridors. It is a challenge for the entire County, and he is not sure what they will come up with.
Ken Cooley, State Assemblyman, stated that they had lined up funds to do improvements to Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova. Also, they have knocked down problem properties like the Stagger Inn. However, there are hundreds of small properties on Folsom Blvd., and that makes it a challenge to prime the pump.
A member of the audience asked whether anything is happening on the property next to the Folsom Community College.
Assemblyman Cooley responded that the property owner is in the bay area, and is just sitting on it. There is a problem with contamination from a cleaners on the site.
A member of the audience asked what is happening on the big lot opposite the Light Rail Station.
Supervisor Nottoli stated that the map has expired. There is a new owner, who will probably want to do something different. The emphasis now is on higher density, which State laws are pushing. The State is taking away local control.
A member of the audience stated that there is a shipping container behind their house, in back of a business.
POP Officer Matranga state that their goal is to have it moved into a locked and fenced area. Pita Q owns it, and it will cost some money to move. It will get moved eventually. He also noted that the gate has been fixed.
A sixth written question was whether there is a defined law on electric bicycles on the Parkway?
Park Ranger AJ Bennett stated that there have been recent changes, and smaller ones are now allowed on the bike trail. There is a 15 mph speed limit.
A seventh written question was how long can a 5th wheeler or RV be parked in a neighborhood?
Barry Chamberlain, with County Code Enforcement, stated that a trailer has to be attached to a truck.
An eighth written question concerned a place next to Appalachian Dr. at Riviera East Park where crimes, including weed, sex, and heroin occur.
POP Officer Matranga stated that this is a lower priority situation. If it is something that happens regularly, he can follow up. Every park at night has similar problems. He needs a description of the car, especially the license plate.
A ninth written question was whether the County cares if people go through our mixed recycling at night?
Barry Chamberlain, with County Code Enforcement, advised to call 311.
A tenth written question concerned the pool at Hagan Park.
Patrick Larkin, CRPD Administrator, stated that they expect to have it open by summer 2020. They are trying to find out what the community wants from the pool, and not just repeat what was done a long time ago.
A question from the audience concerned landscaping on Folsom Blvd.
Supervisor Nottoli stated that the County is working on getting grant funding for a project.
A question from the audience concerned the area of Folsom Blvd. from Rod Beaudry to Bradshaw.
Supervisor Nottoli stated that Rancho Cordova is doing that part.
An eleventh written question concerned a proposal to build an ARCO gas station at Folsom Blvd. and Bradshaw Road.
Supervisor Nottoli stated that a development proposal has been submitted to County Planning. However, the proposal is incomplete. Service stations have to come before the Board of Supervisors. Evidently there is an easement issue. He stated that he has a copy of the proposed site plan, but that it is not ready to go before the Cordova Community Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC).
An audience member asked whether, hypothetically, if the community didn’t want it there, would an alternative location be considered?
Supervisor Nottoli stated that if there is interest, the developer could be contacted.
- Meeting adjourned.
The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 22, 2018, at the Rancho Cordova Library