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Galt to discuss growth with county, Elk Grove

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Posted: Wednesday, February 7, 2001 10:00 pm

The city of Galt is becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility of urban growth north and west of town.

With Sacramento County receiving requests to build two-acre ranchettes, Galt and county officials are planning a joint workshop to review the city's and county's development policies outside the city limits.

The Galt City Council, dominated by slow-growth advocates, asked the county in August to deny all development applications for lots smaller than five acres. The request came in light of a pair of applications by Lodi-based Seibel Land Surveys.

Seibel wants to rezone two parcels that would add 57 ranchettes to the landscape. One is a 50-acre parcel southeast of Pringle Avenue and Christensen Road. The other is a 64-acre parcel south of Spring Street between Midway Avenue and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

The two rezone applications have yet to be heard by county planners, but the county's Project Planning Commission approved a 15-ranchette subdivision on 30 acres at Christensen and Robson roads, also west of Galt, on Jan. 29.

The city didn't register any objections to the Jan. 29 action because the land was already zoned for two-acre parcels. The county's approval, however, renewed Galt officials' desire to meet with Elk Grove and county officials.

The city-county workshop, tentatively scheduled for March or April, is scheduled to include the Galt City Council, the Board of Supervisors and planning commissions from the city and county.

In addition, the Galt and Elk Grove city councils may schedule a joint meeting to discuss establishing mutual boundaries near the Cosumnes River.

Galt Mayor Dan Pillsbury and Galt Councilman Tim Raboy held exploratory talks in January with Elk Grove Mayor Jim Cooper and City Manager David Jinkens about that city's plans to expand its sphere of influence south to the Cosumnes River.

Pillsbury and Cooper are scheduled to ask their respective city councils whether they would like to meet jointly to discuss sphere-of-influence issues.

Elk Grove's application with the county's Local Agency Formation Commission to expand its sphere became a campaign issue in November's Galt City Council election.

Some Galt candidates, wanting Galt and Elk Grove to remain separated by a greenbelt and farm land, said they were concerned that by expanding its sphere of influence toward Galt, Elk Grove might be planning to urbanize the 10-mile stretch between the two cities.

However, Elk Grove officials said they chose the Cosumnes River as a boundary because it's the same boundary as the Elk Grove Community Services District, which provides park, recreation and fire service.

Elk Grove's southern city limits currently ends in the Grant Line Road area.

Pillsbury said he was reassured that Elk Grove doesn't want to urbanize south to Galt, but he doesn't like the idea of Elk Grove following the Cosumnes River, which extends southwest to Twin Cities Road, about halfway between Highway 99 and Interstate 5.

Instead, Pillsbury said, Galt should probably set its sphere of influence where the Cosumnes River meets Highway 99, then extend it due west to I-5.

Raboy and Councilman Tony Gora said in the fall that they don't want to expand Galt's sphere of influence because it encourages development.

A date hasn't been set for the city-county workshop, but it may be sometime in March, said Rob Burness, a county senior planner.

Burness is scheduled to meet this afternoon with Curt Campion, Galt's planning director and assistant city manager, to discuss a possible agenda for the workshop

Potential topics include recent project approvals and pending projects north and west of the Galt city limits, city and county growth policies in rural areas, traffic circulation, groundwater quality, conflicts between residential and agricultural lands, the prospect for urban expansion and the feasibility of extending city water and sewer service.

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