At a crowded meeting Monday night, community leaders in east Sacramento called for developer Phil Angelides to make a $20 million railroad undercrossing at Alhambra Boulevard part of his plan for the proposed McKinley Village subdivision.
Hundreds of east Sacramento residents packed the Clunie Community Center’s Grand Hall in McKinley Park for a forum on the controversial plan, hosted by City Councilman Steve Cohn.
Developers, led by former state treasurer Angelides, propose building 328 homes on 49 acres of vacant land surrounded by elevated railroad tracks and the Capital City Freeway. The awkward site and community resistance have defeated various construction plans over the years, including a high-rise development called Centrage in the late 1980s.
Angelides says his plan to build single-family homes fits with the older surrounding neighborhoods of east Sacramento, but neighbors say they are worried about additional traffic.
At Monday’s meeting, leaders of several community groups called for the developers to build a vehicle tunnel under the tracks at busy Alhambra Boulevard. Current plans call for a vehicle tunnel at quieter 40th Street and another traffic access point at 28th Street via a freeway overcrossing.
“Providing vehicular access to Alhambra is a good start” to resolving residents’ worries, said Heather Sullivan, who helped start a group called Love East Sac in response to the McKinley Village plan.
Sacramento city traffic engineer Hector Barron told the audience that an entrance at Alhambra would be expensive. “It’s an improvement that could cost over $20 million,” he said.
Megan Norris, with Angelides’ Riverview Capital Investments, said the cost and difficulties of tunneling under the tracks at Alhambra had thwarted the developers’ desire to put a vehicle crossing there.
“It made a lot of sense to us. We’ve looked at it for years,” she said.
Instead, plans call for a pedestrian and bike undercrossing at Alhambra.
A draft environmental impact report with public comments has been prepared, and the city’s planning commission is tentatively set to review the final report on March 13.
To see the draft report with public comments, go to: http://portal.cityofsacramento.org/Community-Development/Planning/Environmental/Impact-Reports/McKinley%20Village.
Call The Bee’s Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.