Articles by: Citrus Heights Sentinel

Council Votes 5-0 to Take ‘No Action’ on City Hall Proposal

Council Votes 5-0 to Take ‘No Action’ on City Hall Proposal

With speaker after speaker lining up to voice their opposition to the controversial proposal to move city hall and construct a medical office building in its place, Citrus Heights council members voted unanimously to postpone a final decision on the proposal Thursday night, pending a full Environmental Impact Review.

Although the City had prepared an environmental assessment document known as a “Mitigated Negative Declaration,” attorney Chris Butcher with the group Save Our Civic Center threatened a lawsuit last month over “inadequacies” in the document, asserting the City would violate the California Environmental Quality Act if it were to go ahead with the proposal before conducting a full EIR.

by · August 14, 2014 · City Hall
DUI Checkpoint Planned in Citrus Heights

DUI Checkpoint Planned in Citrus Heights

Police officers plan to set up a DUI Checkpoint at an undisclosed location this weekend, as part of an effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities, according to a press release issued by the Citrus Heights Police Department.

Officers from the CHPD Traffic Unit will be stopping drivers who pass through the checkpoint and checking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, beginning Friday at 7 p.m. and continuing until 2 a.m. Officers will also be checking for valid driver’s licenses, and “will strive to delay motorists only momentarily,” according to the release.

CHPD acquires funding for its checkpoints through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and has found the results to be successful — with the Department reporting that its last checkpoint resulted in two DUI-suspect arrests, 15 citations and three impounded vehicles. The six-hour checkpoint was held on August 1 and screened 820 cars at the intersection of Greenback Lane and Birdcage Street.

by · August 11, 2014 · Police
New Staff Report Recommends Council Take “No Action” on Moving City Hall

New Staff Report Recommends Council Take “No Action” on Moving City Hall

A new Staff Report is recommending the Citrus Heights city council take “no action” on the controversial proposal to move city hall, according to documents released Friday night on the City’s website.

“Staff recommends that the City Council take no action on the medical office building and City Hall project at this time and direct staff to do additional environmental review,” reads a summary of the report issued by City Manager Henry Tingle, who has been a vocal supporter of the proposal.

Opponents of the plan to move city hall see the report as a change in the right direction, as prior reports from staff have recommended going ahead with the proposal.

“We see this as a favorable development, but our position remains unchanged,” said Tim Schaefer, with the group Save City Hall. “We will remain vigilant until moving city hall is off the table for good.”

Residents from the Greenback Wood Neighborhood Watch group connect with Citrus Heights police officers during National Night Out, Tuesday.

Neighbors, Police Celebrate National Night Out Across Citrus Heights

With ice cream socials, picnics, barbecues and more, 16 different neighborhoods across Citrus Heights participated in the 31st annual National Night Out yesterday, as part of a country-wide effort to prevent crime by connecting neighbors and building local partnerships between the community and police.

Beginning as early as 4 p.m. and continuing well-after dark, residents around the city gathered outside their homes and on quiet neighborhood streets to get to know one another and do their part in preventing crime in their area.

Citrus Heights police officers made an effort to show up at each event around the city, seeing the night as a way to increase trust, build strong communities and reduce crime, according to Officer Anthony Boehle, who was out participating in a small parade in the Greenback Wood area.

“I really do think it helps,” said Greenback Wood Neighborhood Watch Community Coordinator Susan Jenkins, whose group celebrates National Night Out each year with a three-quarter mile joint parade of local police and residents

by · August 6, 2014 · City Hall, Community
Photo by Matthew Bowden.

Citrus Heights Water Use Drops 20%, While Statewide Use Rises

According to the Citrus Heights Water District, users cut overall water consumption by 20 percent so far this year and will not see any additional reduction requirements from the District — despite other water suppliers resorting to mandatory fines and penalties.

In an email response to water questions raised by residents, CHWD said its approach “has been and will continue to be education and working with customers to reduce water use,” and that it “has no intent of reviewing individual meter data to enforce a 20 percent reduction goal.”

In a July Water Update the District said it calculated its water use reduction percentage by comparing overall water use during the first six months of 2014 with the same time period in 2013, finding a total reduction of 20.6 percent.

Following statewide emergency water regulations implemented on July 29, a statement on the CHWD website said its existing Stage 3 Water Warning complies with the new regulations, and that residents will continue to be asked to cut water use by 20 percent.

by · August 2, 2014 · City Hall, Community
Council members listen as an environmental attorney criticizes parts of the proposal and threatens a lawsuit, Thursday night.

Council Postpones Vote on New City Hall Deal, After Lawsuit Threat

In a crowded room Thursday night, Citrus Heights council members voted 3-2 in favor of postponing a final decision on the controversial proposal to move city hall and allow construction of a three-story medical building in its place — expressing the need for more research after an environmental attorney threatened a lawsuit…

by · July 25, 2014 · Business, City Hall
Tim Schaeffer, with Save City Hall, speaks at Sunday's rally in Rusch Park, joined by resident Joan Bippus on the right.

Residents Rally Against Moving City Hall, Council to Vote Thursday

As a proposal to relocate city hall moves to council for a vote this Thursday, Citrus Heights residents hosted a noontime “Save City Hall” rally at Rusch Park on Sunday — vowing to vote out council members who vote for replacing city hall with a three story medical building.

“We’re gonna take every step that we possibly can to stop this project,” said Save City Hall coordinator Tim Schaeffer, mentioning his group had gathered over 1100 signatures to petition the council to vote against the proposal. He also warned city officials that his group plans to put the issue before voters through a referendum process — if the council votes to move city hall away from the civic center.

With four city council members in the audience, about a dozen residents took the opportunity to be heard from the microphone during the rally, voicing concerns over cost, location, environmental impacts and deviation from the General Plan.

Citrus Heights Mayor Mel Turner delivers his "State of the City" address to a sold-out business luncheon, Tuesday.

Mayor Highlights Strengths, Threats in ‘State of the City’ Address

Citrus Heights Mayor Mel Turner delivered the annual “State of the City” address to a sold-out business luncheon, Tuesday, highlighting a 13 percent drop in crime over the past year, a rise in home values and the newly opened Stones Gambling Hall.

Defining Citrus Heights as “a city of promise,” Mayor Turner articulated his perspective on secrets to the city’s success: its voters and council members, a caring city manager, a community of involved volunteers, and the ability to manage change well.

“We don’t believe in change for the sake of change,” the mayor said, speaking highly of the city’s latest change in approving a 400-employee casino. “There needs to be a sound reason, with a return on investment to the community as a whole for the change.”

Campers gather around a fire and listen to live music at Rusch Park, Saturday night.

Campers Choose Citrus Heights ‘Tent City’ Over State Fair

Dozens of tents dotted the grass at Rusch Park this weekend, as the Citrus Heights Community Camp Out kicked off with live music, star-gazing, hot dogs and more, at the annual overnight event.

Drawing about 200 sign-ups from residents, camp organizers said they were happy with the turn-out, given competition from opening weekend at the nearby California State Fair.

The annual event is sponsored by the Sunrise Recreation and Park District, in collaboration with the City of Citrus Heights and the volunteer-led Residents’ Empowerment Association of Citrus Heights.

by · July 12, 2014 · Community
Planning Commission members listen as Citrus Heights resident Norman Hill addresses concerns about the project, Wednesday night.

Planning Commission Gives OK for New City Hall & Medical Building

In a packed council chamber Wednesday night, the Citrus Heights Planning Commission voted in favor of recommending the city council amend its General Plan and zoning codes, allowing for a controversial proposal to move city hall and construct a three-story medical building in its place…

by · July 10, 2014 · City Hall