Re "Ruling on city growth nears" (Our Region, Oct. 7): Elk Grove needs the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission's approval to expand its sphere of influence, the precursor to annexation and urbanization. In making its decision, LAFCO is charged by state law with preventing urban sprawl, and ensuring that farmland and open space are conserved and that urban development occurs no sooner than needed.
More than 3,000 acres within Elk Grove's boundaries are presently vacant and undeveloped. Elk Grove's drive for another 8,000 acres of farmland, mostly outside of the county's Urban Service Boundary, for unknown, unneeded future urban development is exactly the kind of pie-in-the-sky city planning that fueled the land speculation and overbuilding that has hurt many. Even the conservative Sacramento County Farm Bureau opposes it because of the detrimental effects upon the county's agricultural economy of losing 8000 acres of farmland.
-- James Pachl, Sacramento