Elk Grove City council approves incentives for Costco developer, keeps RV restrictions

Elk Grove City council approves incentives for Costco developer, keeps RV restrictions

 

In a meeting in front of a packed City Hall chamber that lasted past 11 pm, the Elk Grove City Council approved the incentives for the developer of the Ridge Shopping Center that would include Costco and also voted to keep the current restrictions on RV’s in the city as is.

 

The big news of the night was the approval of the incentives for Pappas Investments, developer of the Ridge Shopping Center. Pappas had requested the city pay $8 million in incentives that would help bring Costco to Elk Grove near the intersection of Elk Grove Blvd and Bruceville Road. Darrel Doan with the Elk Grove Economic Development Department, presented the proposal to the council. The City will pay $8 million over a 25 year period from the sales tax revenue generated by Costco.  According to Doan, the city is projected to net over $27 million during that time from the increased sales taxes generated by Costco. This does not include the sales taxes on gas at Costco, which will have 24 pumps, or the sales taxes from other businesses in the shopping center. Critics of the proposal cited other incentives already given to Pappas Investments to bring jobs from the State of California and felt this sets a precedent where future developers will also ask for incentives.

 

During council comments, Pat Hume and Steve Detrick spoke of the economic advantages to the city and the potential to bring in more businesses with the Costco based center as a jump starter for the region. Councilwoman Stephanie Nguyen talked about the jobs this would bring to the region and Mayor Steve Ly echoed the sentiments from the other council members. Darren Suen recused himself from the discussion because he owns stock in Costco.  The vote was 4-0 to approve the incentives package. Construction will start this summer with a projected opening of first quarter in 2018.

 

In other news at the meeting, the council voted 5-0 to keep the existing RV restrictions in place on an issue that has caused confusion in the community since a meeting in February where the council indicated a desire to look at changing the existing code.  In 2006 the city council voted to place restrictions on RV parking in the community.  In 2012 the council voted to exempt RV’s purchased before July 2006. At a meeting in February two residents spoke and asked for an exemption to the current code. That prompted the council to request that staff look into a change.  That decision set off a social media firestorm and caused some confusion with RV owners. The city placed a moratorium on enforcing the current code while studying the subject. According to reports on social media, some RV owners began canceling their storage contracts and bringing their RV’s to their home thinking the city had overturned the ordinance. This prompted the city to issue a press release that the code was not changed.

 

The firestorm created on social media in the past few weeks prompted residents to email the city and members of the city council. City staff and council members stated that the response was overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the current code as is, with as much as 95% in favor of that.  During the meeting members of the community spoke out on the issue. The two residents who had previously requested exemptions also spoke. A group led by local resident Jim Bentley spoke out against changing the ordinance.  Representatives from the Lakeside, Camden Fallbrook communities, representing hundreds of homeowners spoke out against changing the RV ordinance.  The council voted 5-0 to keep the existing ordinance as is.

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