East Sacramento Preservation Board Member Addresses McKinley Village Issue

WHAT TO DO WITH 48 ACRES!

It was obvious at the East Sacramento Preservation meeting last week that no one is crazy about 400 homes that are supposed to look like East Sac or River Park neighborhoods. Yet, time and time again over the past decade the community is being asked to accept high density housing or high rise office buildings.

The property was surplus land from the construction of the freeway, so Cal Trans sold it and the City zoned it to industrial that is compatible with the landfill across the freeway. This development was intended to connect to former State Route 148, eventually connecting to Richard’s Boulevard and Interstate 5. That being said, there was never an intension of opening-up this property to the McKinley neighborhood, yet every proposal does exactly that…at the expense of burrowing under the railroad tracks to gain access and jeopardizing flood protection. We get comments like it’s too expensive to build an overpass. Or, it’s not cost effective, etc…. but it’s okay to negatively impact the neighborhoods. Amazing.

The property is adjacent to the freeway with terrific sight-lines all the way to the railroad tracks. Potential land uses, then, should take advantage of this fact and design land uses that are oriented toward the West, toward the freeway, not easterly impacting the McKinley neighborhood. If I owned the property I’d look for businesses that take advantage of freeway access and visibility, i.e. automobile oriented uses like we’ve seen off Fulton Avenue where car dealerships jump out at you at the Marconi curve. With on and off access to the freeway, aren’t there an array of automobile uses that would want to locate there: Big-O Tires, Midas Muffler, etc, and maybe even a small strip commercial to support automobile uses. Thousands of cars and trucks pass this site daily. Isn’t there a land use that’s car- compatible?

Housing in my view is not a good use for this property. Unfortunately, that’s all the community has heard….infill development, high density urban living, etc. without public transportation or an employment base to support it. There are plenty of other infill housing sites in Sacramento.

Riverview Capital Investments’ excellent reputation in developing “green urban projects” seems to be confined to building houses. Commercial land uses can be clean energy projects and equally “green!” I agree with Councilman Cohn: Riverview Capital Investments is a leader in the financial world and they have the expertise to do a great job of developing the famous 48 acres…..but it doesn’t need to be housing.

How does an orchard or a Soil Born Farm sound?

Terry Kastanis

Board Member

East Sacramento Preservation Neighborhood Group

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