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SACOG presentation in Lincoln

Public hearing is Jan. 9
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Lincoln residents won’t have to travel to Sacramento to learn about a regional Metropolitan Transportation Plan. Councilman Tom Cosgrove, who serves on the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), requested a Jan. 9 public hearing about the organization’s transportation plan. Cosgrove requested the meeting because of “comments that came up during (the Nov. 8) City Council and concerns expressed.” During that City Council meeting, a two-and-a-half hour discussion was sparked after Sacramento Area Council of Governments chief executive officer Mike McKeever presented information about the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. The plan “is a 28-year plan for transportation in our six-county region based on projections for growth in population, housing and jobs,” according to the Sacramento Area Council of Governments website. Those counties are Yolo, Sutter, Yuba, Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer. Mayor Spencer Short was the most vocal about concerns during the Nov. 8 meeting. Short said a map provided by McKeever showing future regional growth looked like a “zoning map,” according to previous News Messenger reports. Short also took issue with Lincoln’s future development shown on the map as a two-block area, when other area cities were given larger areas for development, according to previous News Messenger reports. Concerns expressed during the Nov. 8 meeting, Cosgrove said, were with “projected growth areas in the region” in relation to the Sustainable Communities Strategy in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. “The city of Lincoln is working with SACOG to make adjustments to the map to identify and shift areas of development on the map,” Cosgrove said. The plan is currently in its draft phase, according to a notice of public hearings released by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. “The why is to bring the information closer to people who live here so they don’t have to travel to see it and hear it, and it gives them an opportunity to learn more about what the Metropolitan Transportation Plan is and how it affects our city,” Cosgrove said. The public hearing is the same day the public comment period for the plan ends, Short said. “Citizens are always welcome to give us their comments on the MTP (Metropolitan Transportation Plan) and SCS (Sustainable Communities Strategy). The problem being is once Jan. 9 passes, we only have our one vote on SACOG,” Short said. “I’m not sure there is value of having a workshop that close to the deadline.” The public can make comments on the plan up until April, according to McKeever, and the Jan. 9 deadline is for public comment on the plan’s environmental documents. McKeever said his agency is “doing a series of workshops around the region, one per county.” “We work for the public and would like to get as much input as we can before we take action. It’s a $35 billion transportation infrastructure plan for the next 25 years that we think will have a lot of beneficial impact on the region,” McKeever said. “Transportation is something that impacts most people.” Cosgrove said the Jan. 9 hearing will start with a presentation, followed by an opportunity for the public to ask questions. ****************************************************** KNOW AND GO What: Public hearing on Draft Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy When: 3 to 5 p.m., Jan. 9 Where: City Hall First Floor Meeting Room, 600 Sixth Street