Two of WALKSacramento’s staff attended the March 9, 2011 workshop on growth management held by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. Teri Duarte, Executive Director, and Chris Holm commented on the staff recommendation for a growth management strategy that includes maintaining the current urban policy area (UPA) and evaluating major new development proposals using a set of smart growth criteria.
Teri introduced herself as the new WALKSacramento executive director. She related the benefits of walkable communities and how the DCE recommendations should be considered as minimums. Chris addressed the importance of using the smart growth criteria for all development, connectivity, and the relationship between density and transit.
The General Plan Update hearings were placed on hold last fall to give staff time to resolve issues with growth management and land supply. Design, Community & Environment (DCE), a design and planning firm, was retained by the County to review the draft General Plan and make recommendations for a growth management strategy. DCE responded with a strategy to allow growth beyond the existing UPA only for projects that meet a set of smart growth criteria. The recommendation by County staff proposed using a revised DCE strategy with less challenging criteria.
The BOS workshop was held to allow the Board and the public to comment on the staff and DCE recommendations. Nine of the sixteen people commenting on the strategy supported the recommendations of staff or DCE. Four people, three of which were associated with the Cordova Hills project that is currently outside of the UPA, asked for the criteria to be used as guidelines. The other three people that commented did not directly address the smart growth criteria.