Tag Archives: Pat Lynch
East Sacramento Preservation wishes all our members and friends a Happy New Year. After more than two years working to help the neighborhood oppose McKinley Village, 2015 was a time to return to our roots. Below is a brief summary of what we’ve been up to this year and some plans for next year.
Our popular Speaker Series hosted three outstanding presenters with unique talents and deep historical understanding of Sacramento.
Paula Peper–Historian and author of several books about our beautiful park neighborhoods and trees
Bill Burg–State Historian, author and Sacramento trolley history expert
Wes Green–design genius and owner of Twigs Floral Design
When ESP’s Judy McClaver started to volunteer at McKinley Pond three years ago she never imagined that she would become an award winning neighborhood icon. Her efforts have forced the city to address the issues at the pond. ESP supports her and the cadre of pond volunteers’ incredible dedication and hard work. She serves on the city pond committee and worked daily to clean and preserve the pond. (City Parks denied her use of the boat, so her garbage patrol and island work are curtailed.) However, park maintenance has stepped up and is now keeping trash cans empty on regular basis and the City reportedly has hired a pond maintenance company starting Jan 2016. We’ve set aside a portion of funds to donate to the rehab effort, once the city is able to create a workable plan. (At the end of this article is Judy’s “pondlife” list. Amazing what we have in the city!)
This year’s National Night Out was a packed bonanza. SWAT, canine, car patrol, bike patrol, fire, politicals—they all came, as did the neighborhood. It was a party.
Essays, provocative and informative, tackled East Sac issues with humor and insight. Our most popular essays were Airbnb, Pond Update, Exact Spot, Insist on Trees, No Permit, Illegal Building Draws East Sac Neighbors’ Ire.
ESP has joined multiple neighborhood associations in the effort to preserve Sacramento’s tree canopy. We are cosigners on numerous comments and letters to the city and support the healthy preservation of our canopy. We also promoted the retention of snag habitats, whenever it is safe to do so.
When the city sends us information, we share it. From parking, palm pruning, to events and meetings, we send it your way. When neighbors ask for help with city issues, we step up.
ESP supported the Ethics and Transparency movement led by the League of Women Voters and Eye on Sacramento. We stand firm with Eye on Sacramento and know there is much more to be done. However, we offer kudos to both groups for their work.
ESP featured Nextdoor in an article on the web site. The fun of this was that we drove to San Francisco and visited the start up. What a great group of innovators.
For more than seven years East Sacramento Preservation has been the pour and clean up team at Pops in the Park at East Portal. In 2016 we’re helping out at East Portal and Bertha Henschel Parks. If you’d like to pour with the team, send us an email!
Supporting SCUSD and school events is a pleasure. We post and spread the word about fundraisers, events and surveys.
Locals send us information about community events, farmers’ market, volunteer days, health and safety, river danger issues and individual efforts. We post all that come our way.
Traffic is an on-going concern in East Sacramento and our flag program on 33th and H is in its third year. Although flag theft makes the effort a little tricky, we know this is a great safety benefit to the community. ESP also distributes the Drive Like Your Kids Live Here Signs.
East Sacramento Preservation, Inc. is proud to support the designation of the Maple Avenue/38th Street Historical District that has been presented to the City of Sacramento’s Preservation Director. We should hear soon how the city will act on the application. These two blocks of 38th Street between J Street and Folsom Boulevard are a showcase of early 20th Century residential structures and the history of their occupants is long and important to the development of Sacramento. Many of the original occupants were captains of industry that have left a legacy of contributions to the city.
We are hopeful that this first historical district in East Sacramento will lead to other deserving portions and individual structures in the neighborhood being similarly designated. This is essential so that these resources are not lost to the speculative fever that is currently resulting in the wanton destruction of the residential fabric and character that helps make this community special.
News for 2016
An ESP High School Scholarship is under discussion. Our student board member, Emiliano Gómez, will be leading the study.
In the coming year we will work to improve the web site set up and delivery system. We love all feedback, positive and negative, and have read all your comments.
Our popular speaker series will continue with new and exciting speakers.
Please consider year-end donations to ESP. We’re an East Sacramento charity that works in your neighborhood. We spend money in no other place. All donations or membership will go to our established programs and is 100% tax deductible. All ESP community workers, writers, project organizers, forum and speaker series participants are non-paid volunteers.
Judy’s Pondlife List
Black-crowned night herons
Greater White fronted geese
Robins and other common Sacramento birds
Miscellaneous migrating birds
All the domestic ducks and geese were relocated by Judy to help preserve the pond and protect wildlife’s health.
Turtles—99% are red-eared sliders
And, of course, the ubiquitous, squirrel (most are Fox Squirrels with a few Grays)
NIMBY vs. DIMBY
by Pat Lynch
The term NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) has become a common pejorative, used most often to depict people who oppose development that they believe degrades the quality of neighborhood life. NIMBYS live in a variety of older houses on generally quiet streets. DIMBYS, (Development In My Back Yard) on the other hand, scorn NIMBYS, and yearn for new, spacious dwellings with warehouse-sized garages to park their Land Rovers. They long to buy into new developments containing expansive houses with much ballyhooed “modern amenities.”
The proposed McKinley Village project has fired up both groups. NIMBYS in East Sac and Midtown dread the traffic assault that will overwhelm them if developers blast through the levee to funnel thousands more cars daily into their streets. Developers say they’re not blasting through the levee, they’re blasting through the “embankment.” But blasting through is blasting through, the NIMBYS say, no matter what you call the target. Some of the kindlier, more humane NIMBYS fear that DIMBYS might be flooded or otherwise injured if they live in a bowl with a railroad and freeway spewing toxins from the rim. But DIMBYS appear to be fearless. Some of them say NIMBYS are old and don’t want to see a newer generation enjoy the good life. (You can find some of these unmannerly DIMBYS assertions on the East Sacramento Preservation Neighborhood Association Facebook page). One developer advocate told several NIMBYS who protested traffic explosion, “You live in an urban world. Deal with it.”
The developer, the DIMBYS and the City all reverently refer to the McKinley project as “infill,” and “smart growth.” But NIMBYS ask, how smart is infill that spills out into neighboring communities, thus creating traffic hazards and lowering property values? How smart is infill that creates outspill? While we ponder these matters pro-development lawyers try to change CEQA laws so that ‘obstructionist’ NIMBYS can’t sue “on aesthetic grounds” (that is, when oversized, overbuilt structures are wedged into small infill vacancies. The infamous twenty pounds of potatoes in a ten-pound sack comes to mind.
In this controversy I come down on the side of the NIMBYS. Old? No. I don’t consider myself old until I live in a group home with people whose names I can’t remember. Obstructionist? Sure, if I’m obstructing something I perceive as harmful. But to be certain about these matters, I researched the principles of smart growth and urban infill. One of the requirements is “compact building design.” I live in a compact house. Several McKinley Village houses will have three car garages. Another smart infill requirement is that it “provide a variety of transportation choices.” I live around the corner from the bus stop. The Prius sits in the driveway. The bike is in the den. We don’t know yet what shuttle service or bus line service the developers will present.
Megan Norris, Vice President of Riverview Capital Investment which funds the proposed McKinley Village, said there was “strong demand from residents in existing city neighborhoods for homes with modern… amenities.” Modern amenities? In my compact house I was able to plug in an electric car in a regular outdoor outlet. Central heat and air conditioning work efficiently in this bungalow built in 1920. So does every other modern amenity—desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhones,–you name it, I plug it in. I realized as I read that this house meets infill standards. My neighbors and I are what it’s all about. We can walk to Starbucks or the drug store. We can walk or bike to Corti Brothers or McKinley Park. And we do. Many take the J Street bus to downtown jobs.
We’re good NIMBYS. We work. We vote. We attend civic meetings. We support charities. We have Neighborhood Watch. We cherish the trees and flowers and recognize that ours is a classic, fragile environment. We care for one another. On my block alone seven people have Environmental Respiratory Disease, so we worry about auto exhaust and traffic increase that threatens the safety of our kids and the health of our lungs. We don’t like being told we’re anti-progress simply because we try to define the term.
The developers stay on message, say the same thing over and over in the expectation that it will somehow morph into accepted doctrine. But this doesn’t work with us. We don’t like being told that the fix in and things are “done deals.” We don’t like being told that we’d better accept this proposal because it’s the best we’ll get. It’s not. And this is what we say to the person who said, “You live in an urban world. Deal with it.” Here’s how we deal with it. We calm traffic and oppose its increase. And we resist perilous infill projects that turn stable neighboring areas into collateral traffic damage.
It’s sane and progressive to fight to preserve Midtown and East Sacramento. It’s right to resist car-centric projects that will foul our air and engulf us in traffic. Ad hominem Dimby attacks won’t deter us. We have, as they note, been around the block. Right now McKinley Village doesn’t seem to us like smart growth at all. It seems more like Phoenix.