There is a continuous and never settled argument among agencies and the public they serve about when to have meetings. Some people are all in favor of day-time meetings because it fits their schedule, and others in favor of evening meetings because they work during the day. Most people do work during the day, but significant numbers work other hours. If an agency always has meetings at the same time, then the other group of people will be left out, always. Many of the issues considered by agencies have a direct and significant impact on low-income people, and excluding them by scheduling a meeting when they would have to take off work is not good governance.
A few agencies handle this by varying their schedule, sometimes day time and sometime evening.
But there is an even better idea. CADA, Capital Area Development Authority, is a city-state chartered entity that owns or manages residential and commercial properties in the downtown/midtown area. On October 3, they had an outreach/engagement meeting to gather input on the Envision O Street project. Instead of one meeting, they had two, one in the early afternoon (12:00-1:30) and the other in the evening (6:00-7:30). I think this is a model that should be used for all public engagement.
Whether two meetings could also work for board meetings, where legal decisions are made, is less clear, but it could certainly be explored.
Two articles from yesterday, CADA gets go-ahead for more housing (SacBee 2015-05-04) and Small is beautiful: Mini-developments popping up in Sacramento’s central city (Sacramento Business Journal 2015-05-04) talked about several locations where infill development has or will occur. The SacBee mentions Warehouse Artist Lofts, Legado de Ravel, 16 Powerhouse and Eviva Midtown. WAL and Legado de Ravel are complete though not all retail spaces are yet occupied. 16 Powerhouse is nearly complete, and Eviva is just getting going again, with foundation work underway. Also mentioned are Enterprise Rent-A-Car at the corner of 16th and N streets; the entire block bounded by 12th, 13th, N and O streets (this is incorrect, the block is actually 12th/13th/O/P, which is largely a parking lot but contains several older apartment buildings); and the southwest corner of 14th and N (a parking lot). The Sacramento Business Journal mentions Capitol Avenue near 18th Street (1809 Capitol Ave, where constructing is going on right now), an empty lot at 1523 E St, the southeast corner of 17th and Q Streets (a parking lot), 2215 Q St, and four single-unit townhomes on four lots at 2117 20th St (I think this may be an incorrect number on 20th, as there are some new townhouse that are part of the Tapestri Square area).
I was curious to look at these locations, some of which I’d not noticed before, so visited and took photos of each, presented in the slideshow below.
Let me say that I’m opposed to demolishing still usable buildings in order to build new developments. Not because we don’t need new large developments, but because there are plenty of other properties where they can take place. This would apply to the 12th/13th/O/P locations, on which sit several apartment buildings.
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of properties throughout downtown/midtown which could be redeveloped. They are empty, or parking lots, or occupied by abandoned buildings which cannot reasonably be reconstructed, or buildings which have been vacant for number of years.
The City of Sacramento and CADA held a community meeting on November 23 on the R Street Phase III Streetscape project, presenting design alternatives for the section of R Street between 13th and 16th streets. Phase I is the already completed portion between 10th and 13th, and Phase II is the upcoming portion between 16th and 18th. Three alternatives were presented for each of the three blocks, basically representing three different levels of traffic calming and devotion of right-of-way width to pedestrians rather than vehicles. Alternative three for each block includes curb extensions or bulb-outs at most corners. All the alternatives include wider sidewalks.
I am glad to see the city moving forward on these improvements, with the already completed Phase I making a huge difference to the usability and appearance of the street. Though the most economically vibrant portion of the street currently is this section from 13th to 16th, it will unfortunately be the last to be completed.