Tomorrow morning at 9am in downtown Sacramento at the County Office of Community Development there will be a pivotal public meeting about the controversial Arden Creek Town Center project, as readers of this blog may know from the several recent posts about the project. The Arden Arcade Community Planning Advisory Council (CPAC), which is supposed to ascertain citizen opinions about the project, has reported to the County the "vast majority opposed" the project when it was explained to the community at the CPAC's meeting last June. Who might be on the receiving end of that report? Answer: county staff.
The way Sacramento County has choreographed this project's approval, the go/no-go decision is left to a county staff person, Zoning Administrator Mark Michelini, who handles "final action on minor use permits and variances". Isn't it interesting that a large project at a major intersection in Arden Arcade, one opposed by a vast majority of residents, is nothing more than a minor one upon which County staff will pass judgement? Other proposals on the staff person's agenda are located in North Highlands and Orangevale. Despite pleas from the impacted community here in the wilds of the UnCity to hold the hearing when and where people could actually attend, Sacramento County has managed to schedule the official decisions on these projects at a time and location convenient to its staff-level decision-maker instead of the public. It is almost like the decision is intended to be made out of view of the public. Is that how to run an open, transparent government? Or is it just a sneaky way to help a developer and keep the public at arm's length?