Tag Archives: district

Public can comment on big city plans

The “Liberty” project. City officials will be taking public comment on this Southport project area, which will be home to up to 1,900 residential units, as well as three other West Sacramento project areas, at an April 28 public meeting. (from a City of West Sacramento staff report)

The “Liberty” project. City officials will be taking public comment on this Southport project area, which will be home to up to 1,900 residential units, as well as three other West Sacramento project areas, at an April 28 public meeting. Click to enlarge.
(from a City of West Sacramento staff report)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 16, 2014 —

The City of West Sacramento will hold a public meeting about the process of updating its general plan at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 28, at the community center.

The updated plan is meant to guide city policy and growth patterns for years to come.

The public will also be allowed to give input on fourth specific growth areas:

— Stone Lock, consisting of about 215 acres of publicly-owned land along the barge canal near Jefferson Boulevard, mostly stretching east-west next to the canal;

— Pioneer Bluff, a corridor of old industrial uses, including petroleum “tank farms,” along the riverfront of the Sacramento River. The corridor stretches along South River Road from Stone Lock to the U.S. 50 freeway;

— Liberty Specific Plan area, a planned 1,900-unit, 450-acre area that’s part of the planned “northeast village” of Southport. It’s located against the river levee and also bounded by Davis Road to the south, the Clarksburg Branch Line Trial to the west, and to Linden Road and its subdivisions to the north;

— Seaway, a 270-acre project area at the Port of Sacramento. Current zoning allows for such uses as industry, business park and open space, but not housing. The property is located just south of the port’s turning basin – along Southport Parkway, west of Lake Washington Boulevard.

The general plan meeting will be held at the city community center, 1075 West Capitol Avenue.

 

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West Sac tries again for riverfront hotel

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 22, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento officials will try, with at least their third serious effort, to bring a Marriott Hotel to the city riverfront. They envision a project complete with conference center and other amenities.

Last Wednesday, the city council approved an “exclusive negotiation agreement” with Portman Holdings, an Atlanta-based developer whose projects include a Marriott at Union Square in San Francisco and a project in Shanghai, for a possible development deal.

The new hotel is still slated for a three-acre spot near Raley Field, on land now under negotiation. The design has been pared down a bit, from 343 rooms during the last attempt to 300 “keys” in the current iteration, and with reduced conference space.

City officials believe that market forces may well support a hotel, but that public participation is needed if it is to include a conference center and ballroom. So the West Sacramento Finance Authority, a city-related entity, plans to invest up to $28 million to build and own the conference center in of the project.

Portman Holdings, LLC, was chosen from among applicants responding to city outreach to a “short list” of possible hotel developers. Portman Holdings and the city have given themselves 120 days to try to hammer out a project deal. They anticipate Portman will also hammer out a deal to acquire the property from Bridge District Riverfront LLC.

“The direct benefit to the City is the generation of increased property, transient occupancy and sales taxes that in the long term will fund municipal services and construction of public infrastructure,” said a city staff report on the new agreement.

Only one member of the public spoke at Wednesday’s meeting on the project. Jeff Lyon of the north-area Washington Neighborhood Association asked the developer to pressure the city to clean up the homeless camps along the riverfront.

“Why does the mayor welcome the homeless to illegally camp along the river?,” Lyon asked from the podium. “We want to send a message loud and clear, far and wide, that our mayor is not enforcing the law.”

He said the riverfront was “infested” with illegal homeless campers.

The four council members in attendance, though, focused on expressing support for the development deal.

Councilman Mark Johannessen noted that projects are percolating on both the Sacramento and West Sacramento sides of the river.

“Hopefully, the arena is going to be starting on the other side of the river,” he said. “We have, hopefully, a streetcar that will be coming in a year after that. So the timing couldn’t be better.”

His colleague Bill Kristoff added:

“It is not just that stand-alone hotel – it’s the other things that happen because of the hotel.”

“It’s really prime real estate,” observed council member Oscar Villegas. “It’s one of the best corners in the region.”

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON:  'no ribbon cutting yet' on elusive new hotel (News-Ledger file photo)

MAYOR CHRISTOPHER CABALDON: ‘no ribbon cutting yet’ on elusive new hotel (News-Ledger file photo)

And Mayor Christopher Cabaldon added that the new hotel project could serve local residents, providing a place to dine and hold weddings. Noting that the city has tried before to make the project happen, he added:

“There is no ribbon cutting yet. . . but this represents a very strong opportunity to make the hotel a reality.”

All four council members voted in favor of the 120-day period for exclusive negotiations with Portman Holdings; Council Member Chris Ledesma was absent.

In other business, the council voted 4-0 to support a bill by State Senator Alex Padilla to phase out single-use plastic bags such as those offered by supermarkets. The bags are believed to be a problem for sewage systems and waterways. Padilla was on hand for the vote.

The council will hold a special strategic planning session, with a facilitator, on Monday and Tuesday at city hall. Monday’s meeting begins at 9:30 a.m., and Tuesday’s at 9 a.m. The meetings are public.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

West Sac joins Davis cemetery district

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 27, 2013 —

Residents of East Yolo get a slightly-preferred rate to use services at the Davis public cemetery

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Sure, you want to live the rest of your life in West Sacramento. But where do you want to go after that?

West Sacramento doesn’t have a cemetery. But options for city residents looking for a final resting place became a little bit more attractive earlier this year when West Sacramento and Clarksburg joined the Davis Cemetery District. The expansion of this special governmental district came after a study by Yolo County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) and the approval of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

A News-Ledger reporter dropped in on the Davis cemetery this week, finding a sunny day replete with wild turkeys and a guinea hen strolling among the headstones. The cemetery is located along Pole Line Road in East Davis.

Gathered on the grounds of the Davis cemetery: Superintendent Joseph Cattarin,  Office Manager Susan Finkleman and Community Outreach Director Joseph Finkleman. The cemetery includes gardens, wildlife and the only natural hill (“swale”) in that city, reports Joseph Finkleman.  (News-Ledger photo)

Gathered on the grounds of the Davis cemetery: Superintendent Joseph Cattarin, Office Manager Susan Finkleman and Community Outreach Director Joseph Finkleman. The cemetery includes gardens, wildlife and the only natural hill (“swale”) in that city, reports Joseph Finkleman.
(News-Ledger photo)

Joseph Finkleman, community outreach director for the public cemetery, explained that until recently, its district was much smaller.

“It was just Davis, El Macero and a few chunks of dirt contiguous to Davis,” said Finkleman. “LAFCo did their every-five-year review of our agency, and in the process of the review, they looked at East Yolo, which had no special (cemetery) district. There will never be a cemetery there because of the (high) water table.”

So the county decided to draw Clarksburg and West Sacramento into the map.

While Davis land pay a small amount of property tax to support the cemetery (it amounts to about $2.50 per year per resident, said Finkleman), West Sacramento and Clarksburg residents won’t see their property taxes routed the same way. Instead, residents of this new part of the district will see “Tier 2” pricing when they shop for a spot at the cemetery.

“They will pay $250 – a one-time fee – regardless of the number of plots they’re arranging for,” said Finkleman. “Our lowest-end service is a scattering (of ashes) in our cemetery. We have scattering gardens, and we actually place the cremains in as many flower gardens as we can. There’s also a memorialization included – a very small stone about brick-sized. That’s $440, plus the $250 fee (for residents from new areas of the district).”

A traditional single burial with a Titan “fully-sealed” container costs $4,886 for the same customers.

The cemetery also offers other services – including a “green burial” in which the body is encouraged to “return to the earth” in a biodegradable container or shroud ($4,057).

“Green burial is one of the only reasons people with no affinity for this cemetery district would want to be buried here,” added Susan Finkleman, the cemetery’s office manager. “We are one of the few public cemeteries that will do green burials.”

The “public” Davis cemetery will accept clients from outside the district, for a $500 additional fee instead of the $250 fee to be paid by West Sacramento and Clarksburg clients. All fees include an “endowment” charge that go into a fund meant to keep maintaining the cemetery even after it is filled and closed.

“We sit on 28 acres,” said Finkleman. “We have almost 20 acres of undeveloped land. At the rate we’re utilizing the cemetery, we have enough space for somewhere between 300 and a thousand years.”

Finkleman said he believes the prices at the Davis Cemetery are generally lower than those at private facilities (Susan Finkleman reports that 45 percent of its budget is subsidized by property taxes). As a public cemetery, the Davis facility has no funeral home of its own, no above-ground mausoleums and does not allow separate burial of pets – although Fido’s ashes can sometimes be included along with his owner’s burial if desired.

The facility boasts several flower gardens, a labyrinth, an arboretum, indoor rotating art galley and abundant wildlife.

For more information, visit www.daviscemetery.org, call (530) 756-7807 or email cemetery@dcn.org.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Mike McGowan to step down as supervisor, accept governor’s appointment

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 13, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Michael McGowan, one of West Sacramento’s preeminent ‘pols’ since becoming the city’s first mayor in 1987, will leave elected office next month.

He has been appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as deputy director of strategic planning and policy at the state department of motor vehicles.

MICHAEL McGOWAN: Currently a Yolo County Supervisor, he has served as West Sacramento's first mayor and is now immediate past president of the California State Association of Counties (courtesy photo)

MICHAEL McGOWAN: Currently a Yolo County Supervisor, he has served as West Sacramento’s first mayor and is now immediate past president of the California State Association of Counties (courtesy photo)

“My last board of supervisors meeting is December third and my first day at the new job is the fourth,” McGowan told the News-Ledger.

After serving on West Sacramento’s first city council starting in 1987, McGowan was elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in 1993. He has served the 1st District (Clarksburg and most of West Sacramento) since.

He believes the county to be in “sound” shape with a great staff.

What will he do at the new job?

“My role is probably more akin to being a special assistant to the director,” he told the News-Ledger. “One of the things I know I’ll be doing right away involves the ‘undocumented drivers’ legislation that the governor approved into law. That will undoubtedly require some programming challenges. How is it going to work in different parts of the state, or with local sheriff’s departments?”

The new post pays about $125,000 annually. The remainder of McGowan’s board term (which ends in January, 2017) will be filled by an appointment by the governor.

McGowan told the News-Ledger he does not yet know if Governor Brown will seek his input on filling the new vacancy on the board of supervisors.

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Beer, food & music come to Bridge District

FROM THE WEST SACRAMENTO NEWS-LEDGER —

Sactoberfest – a beer and food celebration patterned after Germany’s Oktoberfest – comes to West Sacramento’s “Bridge District” on Saturday, Oct. 19. Experience German beer culture under a big tent. The official “tapping of the keg” is scheduled for 12:15 p.m.

Many local breweries are participating. Tickets start at $25. The event is held near Bridge Street at 5th Street, between the freeway and Raley Field near the riverfront. The charity-supporting event is open to those 21 and over. Visit www.Sactoberfest.com.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Project near Tower Bridge starts up

NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 7, 2013 —

West Sacramento officials on Thursday will celebrate the groundbreaking of a 272-unit “infill” housing project near West Capitol Avenue, Raley Field and the ziggurat building.

  Mayor Christopher Cabaldon will join the Wolff Company development team and architect David Mogavero for an 11:30 a.m. ceremony at 777 5th Street.

  The “Capital Yards” project sits on 8.5 acres just north of the Tower Bridge gateway, bordered by Third, Fifth and G Streets. The project has also been called “Tower Bridge Commons.”

  A second phase of the project will later bring the number of housing units to 378, architect David Mogavero told the News-Ledger.

  Said the website of Mogavero Notestine Associates, the architect:

  “There are two building types in two phases: phase 1 consists of courtyard buildings that include 270 studio, one and two bedroom and penthouse units; and phase 2, our Tower Bridge Gateway building, four stories tall with structured parking that includes live/work, studio, one and two bedroom and penthouse units. Combined, both phases will build out to 350 units.”

   The courtyard buildings will have tuck-under, garage parking.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

MADD honors prosecutor, local cop

Jonathan Raven, a Yolo County Prosecutor honored by 'Mothers Against Drunk Driving.' (courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney's office)

Jonathan Raven, a Yolo County Prosecutor honored by ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving.’ (courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney’s office)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 5, 2013 —

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has given its “Prosecutor of the Year” award in California to Jonathan Raven, Chief Deputy District Attorney in Yolo County. The award “is presented to one prosecutor who has made a significant impact in one or multiple cases and worked closely with MADD,” reports the office of District Attorney Jeff Reisig.

Judy Utter, a senior victim services specialist for MADD, said she saw Raven make a difference in a local case in which a family lost their daughter in a DUI accident.

“The judge was ready to let the defendant out of custody when Jonathan stood up and cited a new constitutional amendment giving victims the right to speak out at bail hearings,” said Utter, quoted by the D.A.’s office. “Jonathan spoke with me and the mom outside and the mom made a passionate statement to the judge in open court. The judge did not let the defendant out of custody.”

At the same recent award ceremony, several regional police officers were honored by MADD for fighting impaired driving. They included West Sacramento officer Matt Boudinot.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013