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City to further assess potential annexation of four areas into Citrus Heights

A map shows two areas of unincorporated Sacramento County that could become part of the City of Citrus Heights, if proposed annexation moves forward and is successful. // M. Hazlip

Sentinel staff report–
The City Council on Thursday gave staff direction to further pursue consideration of expanding the city’s borders to include four areas located just outside the city limits of Citrus Heights.

If annexation were to be successful in all four areas, the city could stand to end up gaining the theater at Greenback Lane and I-80, hundreds of more homes near the railroad tracks, a hospital, and commercial businesses in a shopping center off Fair Oaks Boulevard.

Two of the areas were previously considered for annexation in 2006, located just outside the western and northwestern city limits, known as Greenback Gateway and Roseville Pointe. Two additional areas now being considered are near Celtic Cross Church along Dewey Drive and the commercial center on the northwest corner of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Madison Avenue.

The exact boundaries of the areas under consideration for annexation are to be decided, based on further analysis. Including the Home Depot store on Antelope Road with the Roseville Pointe annexation, for example, could end up making sense financially if it balanced out a previously projected revenue shortfall for annexing the 289 homes in Roseville Pointe into the city, according to City Manager Ashley Feeney.

Councilman Steve Miller also inquired during the meeting about including the Mercy San Juan Medical Center in the potential annexation near Dewey Drive. However, Community Development Department Director Casey Kempenaar noted the hospital doesn’t pay property taxes.

“It would be great to have those jobs in the city,” said Kempenaar. “But if there’s not a reasonable allocation to cover the services, then maybe that doesn’t make sense.”

Kempenaar later in the meeting said there still could be potential to include the hospital, depending on further financial analysis.

Greenback Gateway. The area is located between Auburn Boulevard and Interstate 80, and would extend the city limit west to the freeway. Annexing the area would mean Century Theaters, East Lawn Cemetery, Verner Oaks Apartments, Country Squire Estates Mobile Home Park, and a Public Storage facility would become part of Citrus Heights.

Roseville Pointe. A largely residential area along Roseville Road just north of Antelope Road. The area includes 289 single-family residential units, along with 6.8 acres of vacant land zoned commercial, a 1.1-acre parcel with a water tank, and a 1.8-acre park, according to the report.

Dewey Drive. The boundaries for this potential area to be annexed are unclear, but would include areas near Dewey Drive and Celtic Cross Church, possibly including Mercy San Juan Medical Center off Coyle Avenue.

Fair Oaks Blvd. The area includes the commercial center on the northwest corner of the intersection at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Madison Avenue. Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins said it was carved out of the original boundary for the city in 1996 due to opposition from property owners there. She said, however, that opinions may have changed 25 years later.

A formal vote was not taken during Thursday’s council meeting, but the council gave staff consensus direction to move forward with further analysis of annexation of the four areas. Staff will return to the council at a future date, after more analysis has been completed.

As previously reported, annexation would require at least three public hearings, as well as approval from affected property owners. During a protest hearing, if less than 25% protest the annexation, the process can move to completion without a vote. But if a majority protest, the proceedings would be terminated without a vote.

However, if between 25-50% protest, the annexation proposal would go to voters in the annexation area and require a majority approval. Negotiations involving Sacramento County and the Local Agency Formation Commission would also be necessary.

A prior report in 2006 found that annexing Greenback Gateway and Roseville Pointe would result in an annual deficit to the city, depending on conditions at the time. However, a current assessment could find a different result.

Revenue shortfalls could be compensated for through a special tax or benefit assessment on impacted properties, with residents voting on whether to tax themselves, according to a staff report.

Why annexation?
Annexation has been considered in the past, and the city’s General Plan has listed a goal to pursue possible annexation near Interstate 80 as a way to “gain better control of routes into the city and to establish a distinctive city presence along Interstate 80.”

Councilman Bret Daniels described the annexation proposal as “cleanup” of the city’s borders, to include areas that should have been included in the original incorporation effort 25 years ago.

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