Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Citrus Heights council to hold public hearings, vote on gag rule

Sentinel staff report–
The Citrus Heights City Council will meet via live-streaming video conference call Thursday evening to hold several public hearings and consider voting on a proposed rule that would bar planning commissioners from speaking to media.

First up on the City Council’s May 28 agenda is a special meeting at 6:30 p.m., where a study session will be held to review and discuss “community support and neighborhood improvement projects funding” for the upcoming fiscal year. No additional information on the item is listed in the council’s agenda packet.

The council’s regular meeting is slated to begin at 7 p.m. with approval of multiple items on the council’s consent calendar, which includes a recommendation from the city’s Planning Division to adopt updated rules governing the Planning Commission.

Beyond minor grammatical changes to existing rules, the proposal adds language instructing planning commissioners that: “all media inquiries shall be directed to the Planning Manager and/or the Communications Office,” to ensure accurate information is released about past or future items within the commission’s purview. A staff report says the proposed rule changes were reviewed by the Planning Commission last month and “no modifications or concerns” were voiced.

Asked about the proposed changes, Planning Commission Chairman Tim Schaefer told The Sentinel on Wednesday that he initially hadn’t noticed the wording regarding speaking to media in the 16-page revised rules. He said commissioners, who are appointed by the City Council, should have the right to explain the reason for their votes directly to media and said he has since requested that the council pull the item from the agenda to allow more thorough review by the Planning Commission.

Public hearings to be held during the meeting include several zoning code updates addressing recycling centers and accessory dwelling units (ADUs), as well as amendments to grant program administration. One update would allow for up to two accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on certain parcels and remove development impact fees on ADUs that are less than 750 square feet in size, in order to bring the city’s code into compliance with legislation passed last year designed to address California’s housing shortage.

Under the new zoning code, larger ADUs would be set at 50% of the impact fee for a standard single-family dwelling. Other changes to encourage ADUs are also included.

Additional details about items on the May 28 agenda can be found in the council’s 197-page agenda packet, posted at

Those wishing to submit public comment can do so by emailing up to a 250 word comment to:, or by completing an online speaker request form posted on the city’s website. Each comment will be read aloud during the meeting.

An update on Thursday’s council meeting will be included in The Sentinel’s May 31st Weekend e-Edition. To sign up for our free email editions, click here.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)