The City of Sacramento is doing it to us AGAIN - with another project that will draw crime and lawlessness back into our park- conveniently for lawless individuals who are looking for a place to do their "business". First this project for the homeless- and now a park "improvement" project that will do anything but!!! Homeless shelters and unsecured, unmaintained rundown ballparks are NOT a good combination. ESPECIALLY in a residential R-1 zone, close to homes, parks, schools. But what's worse? A half built, blighted, unfinished project.
Why are they doing this here again? The City of Sacramento sited a shelter in an area that is, for all intents and purposes, NOT in the CITY of Sacramento. It is "technically" City of Sacramento property, but this location in the City of Sacramento's District 2 "Peninsula" is essentially siting city projects in unincorporated Sacramento County. (See map) http://saveoursuburb.org/facts.html
The crime, drug use, and trash that inevitably accompany makeshift homeless population encampments is what all of us countywide want to have cleaned up. But now, in addition to dealing with that, we will have additional concerns to worry about: an unsecured, unmaintained breeding ground for more crime. Why? Because of a proposed Del Paso Regional Park "improvement" project. But will it actually be an improvement?
Unincorporated Sacramento County neighborhoods surround Del Paso Regional Park. Our County Sheriff, Park Rangers and local park resources are there for us when we need them. They care about what is going on in our community. Why doesn't the City care? Because it's NOT their backyard. We deserve to be safe in our community. We have had to deal with the homeless and the situation of unsavory crime and illicit activities in our area effectively on our own. We've learned how to do it - and we finally did what the City neglects to do by way of our own community volunteers and resourcefulness. Because of Del Paso Regional Park's special "Natural Habitat" status there aren't any homeless on D2 City property following our efforts. Del Paso Park Rangers come out after we notify them and at times have made felony arrests while removing the encampments that were illegally trespassing (Sac City Code 12.72.060 AA). If another city project of any type (respite center/shelter, underfunded Renfree Field plan) happens at this spot, it will not only necessitate that the city's homeless population be bussed or otherwise drawn to the Del Paso Park and into our residential neighborhoods- it will create a new haven for crime- which we have worked hard to get to a point where we now can keep our neighborhood clean, pleasant and enjoyable... free from drugs and safe from crime.
Overwhelmingly, our community supports alternative options to replace the former Science Museum- such as a Nature Center + Local History museum tied to the Del Paso Regional park (similar to Effie Yeaw Nature Center), or another type of Children's Museum that would enrich and serve the Children in our area- including Childrens Receiving Home residents next door, or a local history museum to provide our community with educational opportunities and a central location to learn about the unique history of this area... We all need our Park to be managed in a more consistent use with the zoning and location. City money isn't put towards this. Initially, the City of Sacramento proposed building a homeless shelter on the site of the former Powerhouse Since Museum, a parcel that is now considered, and treated as "surplus property". Mayor Steinberg's "Comprehensive Siting Plan" found a convenient location for such a facility, particularly when you consider that none of his voters would be impacted. Since the approach and funding for that plan is ever changing, it would be more fiscally responsible to create a self-funding amenity that would also create jobs...not to mention, a more inclusive and wide ranging "recreational area" surrounding a facility like a Nature Center or history museum. Currently, the city has entered into a very expensive contract that is grinding away every day without seeing a single client. This isn't beneficial to the city or to any of the stakeholders involved.
Long term goals between the two entities of City and County are absolutely possible if we think critically and evaluate how decisions are evolving to where we are at NOW. Enough is enough - it's high time that we, the community, and our elected representatives take proper care of this unique piece of land. The political leadership downtown needs to listen to and understand what the residents of the Unincorporated areas of Sacramento County think about the City of Sacramento's District 2 "Peninsula" and the way the park has been treated as merely an investment for the City to use and abuse, to neglect and not protect... far from them but near to us. Enough! Keep the park AS a PARK, divest from the City and reconfigure the park as County property.
We are tired of the way things have happened up until now and don't intend to allow this to continue. Save Our Suburb! Preserve and "Keep Del Paso Regional Park Green" for Future Generations!