On Aug. 18, the Delta Green project's landowners plan to ask the Galt City Council to stop the General Plan process, but three council members have already said they are not in favor of delaying the planning document.
The proposed location for the senior project is not included in the city's limits or the sphere of influence - where the city plans to grow in the future. Supporters want the project area included in that sphere to enable eventual development of the project.
After a six-year process, the city has sent its General Plan - which acts as a planning bible for several decades - to the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission for final approval without the project included.
At the same time, the city has signed on to a regional plan called the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan, which is scheduled to be completed in 2011.
The plan designates certain areas in the city's General Plan that, if developed, would require the developer to purchase other property as mitigation.
Currently, the developer has to independently find property to buy and then work with a variety of agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to make sure it is suitable protection for the endangered species that are at risk from the development.
Under the habitat plan, developers will be able to pay a fee to purchase the land and get all the needed state and federal permits. This streamlines the process and makes it easier for developers to purchase the property, landowners to sell it and agencies to process the sales, said Richard Radmacher, senior planner with the county's planning and community development department.
But Delta Greens' supporters are concerned that once the countywide habitat plan is approved, the city will not be able to grow past its sphere of influence, which does not include the Delta Greens property.
On August 18, Delta Greens advocates plan to ask the city to pull back the General Plan from the LAFCo and amend the city's sphere of influence to include the Delta Greens property.
But on Friday afternoon, Councilmen Darryl Clare, Andrew Meredith and Donald Haines said they would not vote in favor of anything that delays the General Plan.
Another concern Delta Greens' opponents mentioned is that if the city were to change its General Plan, that would delay the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan. Opponents are concerned about the costs the county could pass onto Galt for the delay.
But Jerry Slinkard, the engineer for the project, said the developers, Lewis Operating Inc., will pay any expenses caused by the delay.
Pros and consHere is a sampling of some of the pros and cons relating to the Delta Greens project:
Opponent criticism: The sewer plant will be boxed in and will not have room to expand. Another worry: The plant will not be able to accommodate an additional 2,500 to 2,800 homes.
Proponent response: The new taxpayers will help pay for sewer upgrades, and the project advocates also want to use wastewater discharged from the plant for irrigating the grass on the property.
Opponent criticism: The land borders the Cosumnes River Preserve, and environmental groups have already threatened to sue for destruction of habitat if the project moves forward. One of the main concerns in the area is the Swainson's Hawk population.
Proponent response: The land is already used for farming, and there are barely any trees on the property for the hawks to nest. An expert found there were no Swainson's Hawks nesting on the property. Also, state regulations require the project to mitigate for any destruction of habitat.
Opponent criticism: Twin Cities Road does not have the capacity to handle the extra traffic from this development.
Proponent response: Developer Lewis Operating Inc. and the property owners have commited to paying infrastructure costs and even offered to build a fire station on the property for the Cosumnes River Fire District.