My 01/04/2021 Public Comments on Emergency Shelter Zoning

My Monday, January 4, 2021 public comment to Rancho Cordova City Council Meeting Agenda Item 11.1 : AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTIONS OF THE RANCHO CORDOVA MUNICIPAL CODE RELATED TO TITLE 23 ZONING CODE AND DISCUSSION AND DIRECTION ON FUTURE AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 23 (Discussion and Direction – Emergency Shelter permitted in Zones OIMU, M-1, M-2)

Staff Memo/Report:


Donald Childs
2601 Barbera Way, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 | (916)207-2659 |

January 4, 2021

Rancho Cordova City Council, City Manager Cyrus Abhar, Planning Manager Darcy Goulart
2729 Prospect Park Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670


I am opposed to the permitted use of Emergency Shelters in the OIMU (Office/Industrial/Mixed Use) and believe this decision should be moved through public workshops to address residential and business concerns with having emergency shelters located near neighborhoods, retail, business parks and motels.

I am also disappointed as to how this subject was placed on the agenda, inconsistent with standard practices of cities throughout the county, region and state.

This community has a storied and unjust history in land use decisions being made at our expense to address social problems, alleviating other communities from shouldering their fair share. The need for residents and local businesses to be real, empowered stakeholders remains.

I am in complete support of permitted use of Emergency Shelters in the M-1 and M-2 zones, with the condition that council form a commission addressing housing, housing insecurity and homelessness; that commission be comprised of members of the commercial real estate community, owners, tenants within the M-1, M-2 zones, as well as housing advocates, multi-family housing property management reps, homeless npo staff, and at large seats for residents.

This commission should receive a quarterly report on permitted emergency shelters from RCPD, Code Enforcement, homeless program managers/staff measuring how many clients were served, the number of calls for services, code enforcement complaints so that the commission may provide stakeholder oversight and recommend to staff and council needed changes.

I hope in the coming months you will consider the roll out of workshops to address the permitted zoning of emergency shelters and the re-instatement of the Planning Commission to participate in bringing stakeholders together to help make these decisions in traditional, conventional ways that every other city in California above 55,000 in population have been committed to doing.

Sincerely, Donald Childs

Proposed Trumark at Kassis Housing Project

Proposed Trumark at Kassis Housing Project

I am opposed to approval of the Trumark at Kassis housing development, as currently presented/proposed, due to traffic, environmental impacts to the American River Parkway, as well as no traditional public stakeholder participation to date.

I have signed the petition circulated by SARA (Save the American River Association) and share concerns with Tiffany neighborhood residents about the project and the city council’s responses to date.

I am also opposed to the concessions the city and community must make to facilitate this development being built as proposed in the FBSP designated “Parkway Corridor Overlay Zone” (RCMC 23.325.070 Parkway corridor (PC) overlay zoning district), which includes the orchard and river bank, sensitive areas to the health of the American River Parkway.

As identified as an “Opportunity Site” in the Folsom Boulevard Specific Plan:

“The opportunity sites designate locations where the City will concentrate resources (e.g., economic development incentives, public investment, facilities, outreach, coordination) and community assets (e.g., public gathering places, events, activities) with the goal of catalyzing significant private investment in these areas.”

Chapter 5, Opportunity Sites 2013 Folsom Blvd Specific Plan Update

Nowhere in the FBSP Opportunity Site assessment of the Kassis Property does it mention the American River Parkway as a “community asset”. The major blind spot of the perspective of this specific plan is that it promotes private investment at the cost of the American River Parkway.

Our city must strike a balance between meeting our housing needs share identified in the SACOG “Regional Housing Needs Allocation”, the economic development opportunities and challenges facing Folsom Boulevard, and protecting the American River Parkway.

I strongly urge the project proponents demand greater due process for their project and the neighboring property owners’ interests, by demanding that the City Council immediately restore the planning commission, allocate funds to hire additional staff to study this project, and create a task force of neighboring property owners, project proponents and regional parkway stakeholders to iron out project alternatives that don’t impact the American River Parkway and address traffic safety and preservation of quality of life in the established Tiffany neighborhood.

I would also ask that each of the candidates running in the November 3, 2020 election for Rancho Cordova City Council share their position or perspective on the proposed Trumark at Kassis project and protection of the American River Parkway.

Trumark’s most successful projects in other cities have moved through the planning process with a planning commission in play. This fact should inform their sense of urgency to avoid costly and wasteful litigation, and bring neighbors and parkway stakeholders together to achieve a successful housing project that meets the housing needs of the city, mitigates harm to the American River Parkway, and honors the property and due process rights of all involved.

-Donald Childs

Sacbee Voter Guide – Donald Childs Questions and Answers

I participted in submitting basic bio info and answering specific issue questions posed by the Sacramento Bee, and well as general questions.

Link to access guide:

There isnt a way to only link to my profile and answers, so I will share them here.

Question 1: Who are your top three campaign contributors?

Donald Childs: I have not sought campaign contributions.

Question 2: While coronavirus restrictions are expected to eventually subside, budget shortfalls from COVID-19 are expected to persist. How will you address these and what are your priorities for spending in the future?

Donald Childs: With falling revenues comes an inability to maintain current city service levels not mandated by the state of California. The city will have to freeze, and in many cases reduce service levels across the board. Citizens will need to be engaged and dealt with as stakeholders in making those decisions. We have to reassess how we use our current revenue sources that are not state mandated, such as Measure H, and protect revenue generating sources such as housing construction, retail, hospitality industry and business to business sales and services activity. The city must also examine its revenue neutrality property tax payment agreements with Sacramento County. We must maintain our ability to address housing insecurity for working families to prevent increasing homelessness, and continue to seek partners, county, state and federal funding to address the homeless problem.

Question 3: Racial inequality exists in all of our communities. How do you plan to address these gaps in the community you are seeking to represent?

Donald Childs: I want to create a Diversity and Inclusion Commission, adopt a roadmap to change, identical to the process the city of Elk Grove adopted and implemented. I also want to adopt a policy of annual Implicit Bias training for all city employees, police department and city council. We deserve to be involved in the decisions that impact our quality of life and economic opportunities. Citizens of every other city in Sacramento County benefit from due process and inclusion a planning commission brings to the land use planning and zoning decisions that affect them. In 2011, the Rancho Cordova Planning Commission was suspended to benefit developers. If elected, I will work to restore the Planning Commission.

Question 4: Housing affordability is changing our neighborhoods. What must be done to ensure our communities provide enough quality affordable housing for families of all income levels?

Donald Childs: The City of Rancho Cordova has identified in its housing element vacant infill sites and underutilized infill sites within the Folsom Boulevard Corridor, Coloma Road Corridor for affordable housing projects. The city needs to continue to focus on encouraging housing production through zoning appropriate land, and facilitate owners of unsuccessful, underperforming and vacant office/retail parcels to rezone to residential mixed-use zoning.

Question 5: What do you believe is the most important issue facing your constituents today, and what will you do to address it?

Donald Childs: Housing Insecurity. Many Rancho Cordovans face uncertainty in maintaining employment and paying their rent or mortgages. Just over 40% of residents in Rancho Cordova rent, living in multi-family housing. I want to expand the Folsom Cordova Community Partnership – Relief Safety Net Services: CDBG-CV– grant program, by appropriations from Measure H fund, CDBG-CV fund to provide a one time rental or mortgage payment grant to residents who have a dire need, and are facing eminent homelessness from current budget of $100,000 to $500,000. I also want to increase funding for Sacramento Self-Help Housing: Housing Counseling and Renters Helpline services provided to Rancho Cordovans.

City Of Rancho Cordova 06/15 “We Stand for Justice” statement

On Monday, June 15, the city issued a press release “We Stand for Justice” and created a “We Are Listening” page inviting the community to engage city staff, police and city council.

The information is currently only available on the city’s web site, links below.

The information has not been shared on Nextdoor, Social Media or by email with the General Public. Please sign up to participate in the conversation on the “We Are Listening” page and stay informed, get involved.

We Stand for Justice

We Are Listening

Article: Emptied chamber pot: Rancho Cordova council lets chamber slide on $192K loan debt – Sacramento News and Review – 08/08/2019

Emptied chamber pot: Rancho Cordova council lets chamber slide on $192K loan debt – Sacramento News and Review – 08/08/2019

The Rancho Cordova City Council voted June 17 to convert an outstanding loan balance totaling $192,079.94 into a grant. The chamber had received a $201,882.04 loan in 2008 followed later by an additional loan of $36,832.52, according to a memorandum by Kim Juran-Karageorgiou, administrative services director for the city.