This is the second in a series of blogs reviewing the Sacramento County Grand Jury report.
Anybody who has been in Sacramento more than 15 years remembers that North Natomas is farm land. It used to flood on purpose to protect other neighborhoods. A few people were brave enough to live here, but that was mostly farmers maintaining their agriculture land. That is until 1983 when the Kansas City Kings and other developers began filing for land development entitlements. With the Kings, came more development. And so the story of the insanity of North Natomas begins...
The city amended the 1974 general plan in 1986 to allow development in North Natomas. The new North Natomas Community Plan (NNCP) required open space, recreational space, mixed use land, infrastructure and a jobs to housing rate of 60%. In theory, the area would be "one of the must livable communities in the region and a community that serves as a model for the rest of the nation." (North Natomas Transportation Management Association Literature) The community would develop with smart growth principles, public transit, walkability and grow the village concept where neighbors can walk to work and to stores.
30 years later, the Grand Jury has found that almost none of the original NNCP has taken place. North Natomas has grown dramatically since the development of the plan in 1986 and yet we are still without:
* A police substation
*Numerous planned parks, including the regional park central to the village concept
*Bus service to the west of I-5
*Sidewalks that lead to Inderkum High School and Natomas Middle School
*Light rail to downtown and the airport
What did North Natomas get out of the deal?
*Monstrous shopping centers that are unwalkable and draw major congestion to the area
*Dangerous bike trails that pop out onto streets with no warning
*Loss of the 250 foot buffer at Fisherman's Lake
*Mandatory flood insurance
My 2 cents:
It's time for the city to review the original NNCP and determine exactly what the goals for the area will be for the next 10 years. As a resident of North Natomas, I bought into the village idea, the regional park, the live/work concept and the theory that the levees had been upgraded and we were now 'safe'.
At the bare minimum, North Natomas deserves adequate police protection and the same response time as the rest of the city. Beyond that, the residents deserve to know the truth about the plan for the area, including how much of the development rests in the hands of the Maloofs, Lennar and the "arena plan."