BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
download the original minutes in doc format: BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes 8-23
DATE: August 22, 2023
PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library
9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, CA
MEETING TYPE: BRECA Steering Committee Meeting
STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT
STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT
NUMBER OF GUESTS/MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: 17
- Call to Order by Chair Gay Jones
- Welcome and Introductions
- Guest Speakers: Sacramento County Planning
Gay Jones stated that we want to understand the process of proposed project approval, and noted that there is a Pre-Application meeting Thursday for the proposed Butterfield Station Apartments.
Jessica Brandt, Principal Planner for Sacramento County, stated that the process she will describe is for unincorporated Sacramento County. Planning staff encourages applicants to talk to them in a Pre-Application meeting to get initial feed back from several County departments and special agencies. These include the Department of Transportation, Environmental Review, and Water Resources. If the project proponents want to go forward, they will submit a full application. The County has several levels of review: Planning Director, Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors. Which of these levels of review makes the final decision depends on the size and significance of the project. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is part of the review. A step up from the Planning Director will have the proposed project heard by the Community Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC). That is a time the community gets to provide feedback on the proposed project. If the proposed project goes to a CPAC, neighbors within 500 feet of the proposed project will be notified.
There were questions and further discussion. Paul Bowers asked whether Cordova Parks was invited to the Pre-Application meeting? Ms. Brandt stated no, but Cordova Parks have been notified and the applicant may talk to them. Rebecca Sloan, with Supervisor Hume’s office, noted that the Pre-Application meeting is informational and that a complete application can come months or years later. They can invite the developer to talk with the community. Jim Morgan asked what level of review would the Butterfield Station Apartments proposal go to? Ms. Brandt stated that she could not tell, as not enough information was submitted. Ms. Sloan pointed out that there are different authorities for projects in the unincorporated County as opposed to Rancho Cordova. The County makes a commitment to hear from the community.
Jofil Borja, the Sacramento County Planning Commissioner for this area, commented that he personally got involved in the process due to a park project near his home. It is important for the community to be involved. The park near his home took six years to build. Ms. Sloan noted that any development like the proposed Butterfield Station Apartments would require an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) due to traffic issues.
James Adams asked whether access to the project from Butterfield Way and Linda Rio was a question at the Pre-Application meeting? Ms. Brandt pointed out that there would be only emergency access from Butterfield Way. Lori Christensen stated that some of us were around for the previous Riverstone Square proposal: There were many meetings with the developer and then Supervisor Nottoli. Now there is a lot more push for development, such as SB 330. She asked how SB 330 fits in? Ms. Brandt stated that there has been a lot of movement on the State end to pre-empt local control. SB 330 does not pre-empt the process. It does lock in fees and regulations at the time that the application is submitted. It also streamlines the process, and only five public meetings are allowed. That would include the CPAC meeting and the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Jim Morgan pointed out that the crunch point for traffic for the proposed Butterfield Station Apartments could be the single regular entrance on Folsom Blvd. One could imagine at 5:30 pm some 400 cars trying to get into the one entrance as the gates open and close for each car.
A member of the audience stated that for the Trumark/Kassis proposed project in Rancho Cordova that they do not know where to turn. Mr. Borja commented that Sacramento County traffic department could have some input on traffic impacts in the unincorporated County. Another member of the audience commented that their main concern is impact on Bradshaw Road. When a developer comes in with a project, planners only look at one project, not cumulative impacts. So what is saturation on Bradshaw Road?
Gay Jones commented that there is a 500 feet minimum requirement for notification but the County could send out farther. Ms. Brandt stated that the County has a project notification email that people can sign up for. Ms. Sloan pointed out that Rancho Cordova should have the same. One could find this through one’s City Council member.
Paul Bowers stated that he had previously been on the Cordova Community Planning and Advisory Council, and that he did not see the needed effects. For example, the large developments around Jackson Road will not have improved roadway until after the developments are built. Mr. Borja stated that they are making sure that the transportation impact fees are being collected. Cal Trans does an analysis every 12 yeas, but they have to look only at existing and permitted projects. If one sees bottlenecks, please let them know.
A member of the audience asked if there were any examples of development that the community likes? There was agreement that there have been no residential developments in the area since Stoughton Way in the 1980s.
Another member of the audience asked about the five meetings allowed under SB 330? Ms. Brandt stated they could be the CPAC, the Design Review Advisory Committee, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The member of the audience stated that they had tried to talk to California legislators about SB 330, but received no responses, except for new Assemblyman Harder. Do they know when the proposed Horn Road Light Rail Station is to be built? Ms. Sloan stated that would be a Regional Transit issue. Supervisor Hume could get an answer. Debbie Purvis asked if the developer says that they will mitigate traffic via the new Light Rail station, how would they be held to making it happen? Ms. Brandt stated that paying for the station could be made part of the project. Mr. Borja stated that they could require shuttles.
A member of the audience asked if SB 330 allows the developer to skip an EIR, and who would prepare the EIR? Mr. Borja stated that there is no sidestepping of the EIR. He does not know who would do the EIR in Rancho Cordova.
Gay Jones stated that she is also a member of the Metro Fire Board. They have concerns about the emergency entrance/exit to the Butterfield Station Apartments project: Bollards are not adequate. She is also on the Local Agency Formation Commission, which has done a Municipal Services Review of the Cordova Recreation and Park District. The District has not met its goals for park acreage. She further stated that there are two sets of apartments near the Butterfield Light Rail Station, and she would like to know how many of the people in those apartments actually use Light Rail? There is an existing traffic problem on south bound Bradshaw Road entrance to west bound Highway 50, which already backs up.
Gay continued that BRECA has three guidelines for development in our area: 1. It must blend with the existing community, 2. It must have interconnectivity with the neighborhood, and 3. It must have full park land dedication on site.
- Minutes of July 25, 2023
Jim Morgan reported that an amendment to the draft minutes for July 25, 2023 had been proposed and accepted. Debbie Purvis made a motion to adopt the amended draft minutes. James Adams seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
Andrea White discussed the current budget situation. BRECA has met our budgeted income for the entire year already. The bank balance is $7,287.58.
Jim Morgan reported that BRECA has a total of 85 memberships.
- Web Site
Andrea White reported that Site Ground has been transferred to her, and she is now administrator. She asked how things are routed to be posted on the web site? Gay Jones stated that the web site administrator will not post items until he hears from us. It should be okay to post agendas, approved minutes, special events, and pressing issues. There was discussion of posting the budget. It was agreed not to post the budget.
There was discussion about posting an item on the web site about the proposed Butterfield Station Apartments. Part of the purpose in posting it would be to inform the wider community and attract new members. It was agreed to post an article, but the author needs to be careful about terminology, e.g. pre-application meeting. Jim Morgan volunteered to write the article.
- Little Free Library
Gay Jones reported that the Little Free Library for Riviera East Park has been painted and is on track for installation. We should have a ceremony when it is installed.
- Trumark (Kassis) Proposal
James Adams reported that he had spoken with Arlene, a planner with Rancho Cordova. Trumark submitted a lighting plan for the project on July 27, and Rancho Cordova Planning has until August 27 to respond if their application is complete. Then there will be 60 days to make a decision on whether to do an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). It is not clear who would actually write an EIR.
Rick Sloan, a member of the Cordova Recreation and Park District Board, commented that the last proposal does not have sufficient park land.
A member of the audience commented that the Rancho Cordova City Council is considering a proposal to rewrite the code on development in the flood plain. This could impact the proposed project. An attorney has written a letter stating that a rewrite of the code would require an environmental document, and threatening legal action. Paul Bowers commented that the SB 330 process locks in existing codes, so a new code should not apply to the Trumark proposal. The member of the audience commented that there is a place on the Preserve the American River web site (preservetheamericanriver.org) to send letters to agencies, politicians, etc.
- Old Business
- Picnic in the Park
October 1 was selected as the date for the annual BRECA picnic.
- American River Clean Up
Lori Christensen reported that The Great American River Clean Up will occur on September 23. BRECA will host the Gristmill site. The American River Parkway Foundation has signed up 50 people for the site, apparently from a company. That is more than is needed, unless they work the river from boats.
- New Business
- BRECA September Meeting
Rene Hamlin will chair the September BRECA meeting. Debbie Purvis will get the key.
- BRECA December meeting
There was discussion about whether we need a meeting in December, or should just have a holiday party. It was agreed to have a party at Brookside on December 19, and to get a reservation for the Library Community Room for December 12, in case we decide to have a meeting in December.
- From the Floor
- Meeting adjourned.
The next meeting will be a Steering Committee Meeting at the Rancho Cordova Library on September 26, 2023.