Council just approved a plan to transform this area near Broadway. What happens now?

The Sacramento City Council last week approved the West Broadway Specific Plan, which sets development and land-use policy for a 292-acre area near Broadway for the next two decades.

“The goal of the plan is to provide a vision for making this former industrial area in Upper Land Park more livable and better connected to both the riverfront and the central city,” said Elizabeth Boyd, senior planner for the City.

So now that the plan has passed, what happens next?

The first thing to remember, Boyd said, is that this is a plan, not a specific project.

“What Council approved is essentially a set of detailed guidelines,” Boyd said. “Any development project proposed for the area now must comply with the policies and zoning, which were designed to build a more cohesive, connected community.

“Moving forward, City staff will be looking for ways to fund and implement planned public amenities, including bike- and pedestrian-friendly street updates, additional connectivity to the waterfront and a new community center that would be created through the adaptive reuse of a former wholesale produce building.”

Other actions included in the plan include finding a site for a full-service grocery story, updating the parks master plan for Miller Regional Park and working with the Sacramento Unified School District to implement an urban farm at Leataata Floyd Elementary, Boyd said.

Ongoing community engagement

Much of the discussion around the West Broadway Specific Plan has focused on the Alder Grove and Marina Vista, two public housing complexes in the area. Both complexes are owned by the Sacramento County Housing Authority and managed the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA).

In recent weeks, residents and others have expressed concerns that Alder Grove and Marina Vista will be demolished. While demolition is one of several possible outcomes referenced in the 20-year plan, SHRA repeatedly has stated that they plan to rehabilitate the existing units and keep them affordable to existing and future low-income residents.

In addition, several policies were added to the plan in response to community concerns, including a minimum 1:1 replacement of low-income housing units if they cannot be rehabilitated.

The City and SHRA plan to conduct ongoing community outreach and engagement to dispel any confusion about the future of Alder Grove and Marina Vista and to help tenants understand their protections and rights. Meetings with community leaders and families attending Leataata Floyd Elementary School currently are in the works.

Celebrating Nathaniel Colley

The City Council also approved an initiative to rename the new County courthouse for Nathaniel Colley, the influential African American attorney who fought for desegregation of public housing and whose work is associated with the New Helvetia Historic District, which is part of Alder Grove. City staff will be starting a dialogue with the State of California to discuss this proposal.

In addition, SHRA will work with the local schools, community leaders and residents to explore ways to honor Colley. Lastly, City staff are nominating the New Helvetia Historic District on the Sacramento Register of Historic & Cultural Resources. The first hearings for the nomination process will occur during fall 2020.

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