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City of Elk Grove to reconsider Oak Rose Apartment complex

The city of Elk Grove issued the following press release:

Elk Grove, Calif. – With efforts by the City to explore options for an alternative site with the Applicant proving unsuccessful, and litigation deadlines, dates and expenses on the horizon, Elk Grove officials announced today that they will ask the Elk Grove City Council to reconsider the Oak Rose Apartments project (the “Project”), a 67-unit permanent supportive housing project proposed in Elk Grove’s historic district during their meeting onSeptember 27, 2023.

In July 2022, the City Council determined that the Project was not eligible for streamlined approval under California’s Senate Bill 35 (“SB35”). In October 2022, the Project Applicant, Oak Rose Apt, LP sued the City in State court. In May 2023, the California State Attorney General’s office filed a second lawsuit against the City in State court, challenging the City’s determinations. Both the Project Applicant and the State seek a court order approving the Project, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. The Applicant’s lawsuit also seeks unspecified monetary damages from the City.

The City attempted to negotiate a resolution of the lawsuits with the Project Applicant and the State by proposing alternative sites, with possible incentives, that would have resulted in the City taking ownership of the Project site, which could be dedicated to a public use, such as an expansion of the forthcoming library. Despite the City’s efforts, an agreement has not been reached.

Having considered the applicable law, the current allegations in both lawsuits, the uncertainties, risks and costs of litigation, and having explored options for alternative locations with the Applicant and the State without success, City staff intends to return the Project to the City Council for reconsideration. Staff anticipates making a recommendation at that meeting to approve the Project. Should the City Council approve the Project on reconsideration, the issues in the pending lawsuits would likely be narrowed to a resolution of attorneys’ fees, costs, and damages, awardable to the claimants, if any.

“Elk Grove maintains its commitment to providing housing for all,” said Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen. “The City Council has approved other projects that include permanent supportive housing units and continues to fund and operate a range of options designed to prevent, respond to, and end homelessness.”

Earlier this month, the City announced plans to open an Enhanced Winter Sanctuary, a temporary facility to house up to 30 adults from November 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024, with priority placement being given to Elk Grove residents or people with a connection to Elk Grove. The facility will operate its first season from the city-owned property located at 9260 Elk Grove Boulevard, the former Rite Aid building, and the future home of the new Elk Grove Library. The start of construction on the new library in mid-2024 means the Enhanced Winter Sanctuary would need to be located elsewhere in future years.

The Elk Grove City Council will reconsider the Oak Rose Apartments Project during their September 27, 2023, regular meeting. This meeting is open to the public and will be livestreamed from the city’s website beginning at 6 p.m. at elkgrovecity.org/councilmeeting.

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