Elk Grove, California. – With the City’s efforts to explore options for an alternative location with the applicant unsuccessful, and with litigation looming, due dates and expenses, Elk Grove officials announced today that they will ask the Elk Grove City Council to reconsider the Oak Rose Apartments project (the “Project”), a project Permanent supportive housing of 67 units was proposed in the Elk Grove Historic District during their September 27, 2023, meeting.
In July 2022, the City Council determined that the project did not qualify for streamlined approval under California Senate Bill 35 (“SB35”). In October 2022, the company applying for the project, Oak Rose Apt, LP, filed a lawsuit against the city in state court. In May 2023, the California Attorney General’s Office filed a second lawsuit against the city in state court, challenging the city’s decisions. Both the project applicant and the state are seeking a court order approving the project, plus attorney’s fees and costs. The applicant’s lawsuit also seeks unspecified financial damages from the city.
The city attempted to negotiate a resolution to the lawsuits with the project applicant and the state by proposing alternative sites, with potential incentives, that would have resulted in the city taking ownership of the project site, which could be set aside for public use, such as as an expansion for the upcoming library. Despite the city’s efforts, no agreement was reached.
After considering applicable law, the current allegations in both cases, the uncertainties, risks and costs of litigation, and after exploring alternative location options with the applicant and the state without success, city staff intends to return the project to the City Council for reconsideration. Staff expects to make a recommendation at that meeting for project approval. If the City Council agrees to reconsider the project, the scope of the issues in the pending lawsuits will likely be narrowed to a decision on what attorneys’ fees, costs and damages, if any, could be awarded to claimants.
“Elk Grove maintains its commitment to housing for all,” said Elk Grove Mayor Bobby Singh-Allen. “The City Council has approved other projects including 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 shelter, a temporary facility to house up to 30 adults from Nov. 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, with priority given to Elk Grove residents or people with a connection to the city. Elk Grove. The facility will operate its first season from the city-owned property at 9260 Elk Grove Boulevard, the former Rite Aid building and future home of the new Elk Grove Library. The start of construction on the new library in mid-2024 means the enhanced winter campus will need to be located elsewhere in the coming years.
The Elk Grove City Council will reconsider the Oak Rose Apartments project during its regular meeting on September 27, 2023. This meeting is open to the public and will be streamed live from the city website beginning at 6 p.m. at elkgrovecity.org/councilmeeting.