Meeting Time: April 23, 2020 at 5:30pm PDT

Agenda Item

10. Ad Hoc Ordinance Streamlining the Planning Entitlement Process (M19-004) (Noticed 04/10/2020) File ID: 2020-00482

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    Shawn Danino 5 months ago

    I strongly encourage the commission to support the above measure. Local control and discretion consistently pose obstacles to new development, and the most vulnerable populations including populations experiencing homelessness and megacommuters are boxed out of the conversation.

    I am a member of House Sacramento, an organization that advocates for more homes for our growing region. I am supporting the PDC’s approval and forwarding of this proposal to improve the City’s Planning & Design Committee so that it can focus on major policy concerns and not be bogged down by project approvals. Also, in the midst of the housing crisis our state and region are facing, not to mention the COVID-19 public health measures that are crippling the local economy and ability to build critical medical facilities, we need to reduce unnecessary barriers to building our community.

    Please also consider spot designations for historic landmarks rather than exempting all properties in 33 historic districts.

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    Tawny Macedo 6 months ago

    Hello, my name is Tawny Macedo, I’m a homeowner and member of House Sacramento, an organization that advocates for more homes for our growing region. I am proud to support the PDC’s approval and forwarding of this proposal to improve the City’s Planning & Design Committee so that it can focus on major policy concerns and not be bogged down by project approvals. Also, in the midst of the housing crisis our state and region are facing, not to mention the COVID-19 public health measures that are crippling the local economy and ability to build critical medical facilities, we need to reduce unnecessary barriers to building our community. Thank you for your time and consideration of our public comment to streamline housing to meet the moment of building in the midst of this housing crisis.

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    Jennifer Schmidt 6 months ago

    Public comment is not only the deciding factor on whether a project goes through. It is the responsibility of the Commission to review with their expertise whether a project is deemed worthy. Basically, a check and balance procedure. All be it it will be less time consuming to bypass the Commission, however, the more people that view and analyze a project the better you can serve the whole and less poor decisions made.

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    Dov Kadin 6 months ago

    I support this effort to streamline the approval of new housing. It's critical that we continue to plan for, approve, and build housing during the pandemic. We need to empower staff to approve zoning-compliant projects in a timely manner and this proposal helps to do that. Thank you!

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    Nancy Kitz 6 months ago

    Last year, Planning approved a 128 unit residential project on a Leaking Underground Tank Site located at 936 Arden Way.
    This decision was made at the staff level without any public hearings even though the site is contaminated, not acceptable for residential development and subject to CEQA. To make matters worse, the property is located in Zip Code 95815 in District 2, a community that is severely impacted by socioeconomic inequities and the highest rates of disease and mortality in the County.
    Streamlining allowed the City to ignore environmental factors and state law in order to expedite approval. Moreover, the public was left with no recourse to appeal the decision. We oppose this item and any additional streamlining that takes the public out of the planning process and eliminates the important discussions that should occur at city government whenever actions are considered that will affect our neighborhoods, our communities, our families, our lives. Nancy Kitz/Eye On Sacramento

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    Gretchen Steinberg 6 months ago

    The proposed streamlining ordinance is fraught with problems, but none more egregious than the removal of meaningful public participation — which has already been eroded with each subsequent General Plan. We've already seen the disastrous results of projects that were given the green light without public input: rushed demolitions, barren/vacant lots, and disappointing buildings. This is not a good look for our city. Examples include the imposing stucco edifice that CVS built at the corners of Sutterville and Franklin, and the stalled project/empty lots at Land Park and Broadway that were once the site of Tower Records and Books. Please vote no on this item, which operatively does more steamrollering than streamlining.

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    Mathew Malkin 6 months ago

    I am a homeowner in Sacramento and I strongly support this proposal. I fully understand the need for public comment (as I am using that process now) but it's being overused as a veto on badly-needed development and should be reserved for larger-picture policy discussion. It would also be short-sighted to inhibit the planning process during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since it's laid bare our shortcomings in housing production. We have many of the best planners in the country and we should defer to their expertise. I fully support this measure and feel it would ideal to pass it today.

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    Ansel Lundberg 6 months ago

    Hello, my name is Ansel Lundberg and I am a member of House Sacramento, an organization that advocates for more homes for our growing region. I am proud to support the PDC’s approval and forwarding of this proposal to improve the City’s Planning & Design Committee so that it can focus on major policy concerns and not be bogged down by project approvals. Also, in the midst of the housing crisis our state and region are facing, not to mention the necessary COVID-19 public health measures that have the unfortunate effect crippling the local economy and our ability to build critical medical facilities, we need to reduce unnecessary barriers to building our community. Thank you.

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    William Burg 6 months ago

    Please read this into the record. Among the other reasons to defer this decision outlined in public comment, this measure would devolve decisions on tentative maps. The City Council made a decision this week about a street to be named "America First Avenue", which would be devolved to Zoning Administrator, with PDC as the appeals body, by this ordinance. These decisions, like other actions reduced to a ministerial level, could not be appealed to Council or called up by a Councilmember.

    Planning decisions on major and controversial projects should not be delegated to ministerial actions, as they can result in significant environmental impacts, and this policy change does nothing to ensure that major projects will be advanced to PDC or Council, aside from staff's discretion. These impacts were not envisioned by the City of Sacramento's General Plan, and thus should not be considered within the scope of the city's General Plan Environmental Impact Report. Vote "no" on this item.

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    Steven Cvitanov 6 months ago

    I support the Ad Hoc Ordinance Streamlining the Planning Entitlement Process. It is overdue and much needed. No more delays. Thank You.

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    Annette Emery 6 months ago

    Planning by its very nature, takes time to complete. With this time of staying indoors, it is difficult to focus on planning going out in the wider neighborhood. I live in a neighborhood (River Gardens between Garden HIghway and West El Camino) that has seen a flurry of new houses go up. I realize that housing is needed but none of the houses reflect the character of the neighborhood. Also, all are selling for more than $350,000 and many are inhabited by more than one family due to the cost. I would appreciate putting off changes to the Planning Entitlement Process until the neighbors have a chance to get together and look at the effect of the Planning Process on our and surrounding neighborhoods. Thank you.

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    Heather Fargo 6 months ago

    I strongly urge the Planning and Design Commission to defer a decision on this item until a time when the public can participate actively in the meeting. This is a major change to how the citizens of Sacramento have helped to plan their city. This new process would be a big loss of input and influence by Sacramento residents and their elected city council members on development in their districts and city wide.
    Streamlining of planning decisions should not be done by excluding public participation. thank you. Heather Fargo

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    Jackie Whitelam 6 months ago

    Jackie Whitelam
    Location:
    Submitted At: 8:44pm 04-07-20

    I know this action is the culmination of a thorough process that has sought to ensure multiple public policy goals are met. With clear design guidelines in place, I am generally comfortable with the delegation of hearings to the staff and Director levels. However, I suggest that the skills we are all developing in participating in on-line meetings be used to make the Directors meetings more accessible to the public and; that an on-going process to monitor and report compliance with design guidelines be effected.

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    Deborah Condon 6 months ago

    I support the streamlining. Sacramento needs to meet its State target for infill and housing construction. We are in both a climate and housing crisis. Streamlining is more necessary than ever as we as a City come out of the COVID19 pandemic and need to restart and build quickly to jump start the economy. The streamlining proposal provides public access through opened hearings. It includes enhanced notification and an appeal process. Many of the processes were proven to work in Portland. Lets go forward with an improved and expedient permitting process.

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    Anonymous Anon 6 months ago

    Many of these comments of opposition are well intention-ed, but nevertheless misinformed. If you read through the staff report, this streamlining effort is removing burdensome red tape that is preventing many projects that are good for the city from getting built due to a few loud voices in the community. If you read the staff report, it clearly states that the affected planning project types will still be heard at a public hearing, though smaller, members of the public are still allowed to comment and influence the project. Projects can always be appealed to planning commission if necessary. Not only are we in a housing crisis, but we may be slipping into a period of economic recession as a result of this COVID crisis, so this streamlining effort is essential for Sacramento's resiliency and economic growth.

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    Earl Lagomarsino 6 months ago

    Do not approve this anti-democratic ordinance, or you will be removed from office democratically!

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    L Pankey 6 months ago

    It seems incredibly dangerous to remove or reduce the public oversight and imput on Sacramento's development projects. The reduction of public participation, and the inequitable access of ability to respond when citizens have concerns for a project is not how you build a "world class city" it's the makings for building a "playground for the rich". We want our voices to easily be heard.

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    Gordon Lew 6 months ago

    I am opposed to any streamlining of the planning process. Without proper transparency this would not be a democratic process. Many district 2 neighborhoods may not have internet access or know about e comments. I urge you to hold this item until more constituents can access and participate in this matter. I urge the alcohol portion should not be in the streamlining process it should stay with the planning commission.

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    Ski Taylor 6 months ago

    No streamlining the planning process! Let the voices be heard.

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    KC Schuft 6 months ago

    Absolutely oppose this!! This should not be on this agenda at this time. Our democratic process is still in place and deserves public scrutiny.