California AG Bonta issues statement on Elk Grove’s Oak Rose project after city delays vote

California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a press release after the Elk Grove City Council decided to postpone a decision on whether to approve the controversial Oak Rose housing project in the Old Town area of Elk Grove.

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued the following statement in response to the Elk Grove City Council’s failure last night to approve a housing proposal that would create 66 apartments for lower-income households at risk of homelessness. Known as the Oak Rose Apartments, the housing proposal is at the center of the state’s lawsuit against the City of Elk Grove. Over the recent public recommendation of city staff, the Elk Grove City Council decided to postpone the vote on the Oak Rose Apartments until their next meeting on October 11, 2023. 

“The Elk Grove City Council has been put on notice on multiple occasions that denying approval of the Oak Rose Apartments is unlawful. Every single time, they have chosen to ignore those warnings, wasting precious time and public resources in the process. It is profoundly disappointing,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Let me be clear about what’s at issue: The Oak Rose Apartments will create 66 apartments for Californians in need, built by workers paid under the state’s strong prevailing wage laws. At a time when California is facing a severe housing shortage, those homes are desperately needed. We will continue to move full speed ahead with our lawsuit against the City of Elk Grove.” 

Filed on May 1, 2023, the state’s lawsuit alleges that the City of Elk Grove’s denial of the Oak Rose Apartments violated numerous state laws, including Senate Bill 35 (SB 35), the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), the Nondiscrimination in Land Use Law, and the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing statute (AFFH). SB 35 requires local governments to provide streamlined, nondiscretionary approval of some projects when they are consistent with objective zoning standards. The HAA also prohibits local governments from enforcing zoning standards that are not objective. The Nondiscrimination in Land Use Law and AFFH prohibit local governments from making land use decisions that are based on discriminatory intent or that have a discriminatory effect.

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