City Hall

The Civic Minute: what’s happening at Citrus Heights City Hall (April 12)

City leaders are slated to hold a public hearing during tonight’s council meeting regarding an appeal filed against a recently approved 42-unit townhouse project near Sylvan Corners. The council will also hold a study session regarding a proposed Rental Housing Inspection Unit and will consider approving agreements related to several multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, including a $7 million “Electric Greenway” project.

Here’s a brief summary of what’s on schedule for the council’s April 12 meeting, followed by vote highlights from the most recent council meeting:

SPECIAL MEETING (6 p.m.):

  • Study session. Review options for a proposed Rental Housing Inspection Unit (additional information was not listed in the agenda packet).

REGULAR MEETING (7 p.m.):

  • $1.8M project. Staff recommend the council approve an agreement with Caltrans related to Phase 3 of the “Mariposa Avenue Safe Routes to School” project, as part of a grant authorization process. According to a staff report, the $1.8 million project will provide “a continuous pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure between Skycrest Elementary and San Juan High schools and along Farmgate Avenue linking the schools to each other and to the neighborhoods to the east. It will construct curb, gutter, sidewalk, bike lanes, curb access ramps and eight street lights on the east side of Mariposa Avenue between Northridge Drive and Eastgate Avenue, and will construct curb, gutter and sidewalk along the north side of Farmgate Avenue from Mariposa Avenue to Our Way.”
  • $2.6M project. Staff additionally recommend the council approve an agreement with Caltrans related to Phase 4 of the “Mariposa Avenue Safe Routes to School” project, as part of a grant authorization process. According to a staff report, the $2.6 million project “will complete the bicycle and pedestrian network between Northeast Circle and Madison Avenue, including sidewalk, curb, gutter, bike lanes, street lighting, and upgrades to the traffic signal at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Mariposa Avenue.”
  • Electric Greenway project. The council will consider approving an agreement with Caltrans related to a $7 million “Electric Greenway,” a 2.9-mile paved multi-use trail between Sunrise Boulevard and Wachtel Way. According to a staff report, the trail will largely follow an existing SMUD electric corridor easement and will connect several neighborhoods to seven parks, several schools and the Sunrise MarketPlace. The project also includes “a new signalized crossing of Fair Oaks Boulevard; pathway lighting; sidewalk; curb and gutter along a segment of Oak Avenue; drainage improvements; traffic signal modifications; and landscaping.”

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

  • Appeal: 42-unit townhouse project. A neighborhood association filed an appeal after the Citrus Heights Planning Commission voted 5-1 in January to approve a 42-unit townhouse project near Sylvan Corners, behind Bearpaw’s corporate offices. The appeal was filed by the Sunrise Old Auburn Road neighborhood association, which covers the area where the proposed townhouses were approved to be constructed. Association President Jayna Karpinski-Costa told The Sentinel her neighborhood group thinks the development is “a terrible project in what could be a great spot.” She also cited concerns about “issues of traffic and vehicular and pedestrian safety,” as well as concerns about parking, landscaping and access. City staff recommend the council deny the appeal and approve the project, citing various portions of the general plan and zoning code, a traffic study, and staff responses to objections made in the appeal. (See prior story for context)

The city council’s special meeting will convene at 6 p.m. on April 12, 2018, at 6360 Fountain Square Drive. The regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m.  The full agenda packet can be viewed by clicking here.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM March 22nd COUNCIL MEETING:
Present: Mayor Steve Miller, Vice Mayor Jeannie Bruins, Jeff Slowey, Bret Daniels, Albert Fox
Absent: none.
Meeting length: 2 hrs. 14 min.

QUOTABLE: “…it’s not going to happen overnight.” – Mayor Steve Miller, responding to a statement made during public comment urging the city to review and update the city’s sign code to allow more temporary business signage.

  • Proclamation. The Council issued a proclamation recognizing resident Ron Ferns for decades of work planting flowers and maintaining a section of Auburn Boulevard near Costco, as well as for volunteer work at a nearby nature preserve.  Related: City recognizes Citrus Heights man for beautification work on Auburn Blvd
  • Public comment. Louise Cordray, the owner of Java Cherry coffee house on Van Maren Lane, urged the council to review and update the city’s temporary sign guidelines, which ban most A-frame and temporary flag signage. Her brother also spoke during public comment, urging council members to consider the needs of small businesses. Mayor Miller replied that the sign ordinance is being looked into, but said the process would not “happen overnight.” Related: Owners say portable sign ban in Citrus Heights hurts small businesses
  • Public hearing. An uneventful hearing was held regarding a report that detailed how $589,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds were used last year, the majority of which went to complete infrastructure improvements related to disability access. The council voted 5-0 to approve the report. (See the draft report)
  • Annual crime report. Police Chief Ron Lawrence presented his annual crime report for 2017, reporting an overall decrease in violent crime in the city last year, along with increases in several categories of crime. For more, see story: Police Chief: violent crime dropped 12% in Citrus Heights during 2017