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City of Elk Grove sued by developers of Oak Rose apartment project

The developers of a proposed apartment complex in the Old Town Elk Grove area that was denied by the city of Elk Grove are now suing the city over that decision.

The proposed Oak Rose development was a 67-unit project located on Elk Grove Blvd just west of Waterman Road. The developer, Excelerate Housing Group, applied for the project under the state of California’s SB 35 legislation. SB 35 allows developers of affordable housing to obtain faster approval of projects by going through what is called a ” ministerial review”. SB 35 limits the power of local governments to deny affordable housing projects.

The Elk Grove city council cited the incompatibility with the Old Town Special Planning Area’s zoning restrictions in denying the project.

The city issued a press release on Thursday in response to the lawsuit.

CITY OF ELK GROVE STATEMENT REGARDING OAK ROSE APARTMENT PROJECT LITIGATION

The City of Elk Grove received a copy of a lawsuit late Tuesday filed by Oak Rose Apts LP, an applicant that proposed development of Oak Rose Apartments, a 67-unit supportive housing project within the City of Elk Grove, as well as a letter from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The City’s attorneys are in the process of reviewing and evaluating the allegations.

“Due to the litigation, we are unable to respond to specific questions; however, the community and those in the region should know that the City of Elk Grove is committed to providing housing options for everyone,” said Elk Grove City Manager Jason Behrmann.

Since January of 2021, the City has approved the development of 1,016 affordable housing units, including supportive housing units, and invested more than $9 Million for their development, including:

• The Gardens at Quail Run (Phase II): 108 units

• Poppy Grove: 387 units

• The Lila: 294 units

• Cornerstone Village: 84 units

• Bow Stockton Apartments: 143 units

Nearly 700 affordable housing units will start construction in the next few months and more than 300 units are in various stages of development and financing. Each of these developers has committed to helping the City address homelessness and housing affordability in a collaborative way.

We recognize that there are strong views on all sides of the issue of homelessness. Our community has a long legacy of showing compassion to all in need and the Elk Grove City Council has advanced several initiatives that provide for permanent, transitional, and temporary sheltering to care for those most in need. We strive to collaborate with Elk Grove residents, non-profit partners, and the development community to balance the rights of the unhoused with those of the rest of the community. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 35 and other State legislation intended to address the construction of affordable housing usurps local control over land use decisions and creates an environment that discourages dialogue, collaboration and partnerships among affordable housing developers, neighborhoods and local governments and replaces it with a more costly, time consuming and adversarial process.

“Our residents care deeply for their community and for their neighbors,” said Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen. “We know that every city must do its fair share to address the state housing crisis and we remain committed to supporting balanced solutions that engage the community and encourage a dialogue that includes all voices and perspectives.”

City of Elk Grove
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