Guest Column: Does Policy Need Revamping?

By Brandy Kollenborn

It is no secret that the topic of inclusionary housing is a hot button in Natomas, and coming up in February there are a series of workshops that will give the public the opportunity to voice their opinion about making changes to the Sacramento Housing Ordinance.

The current ordinance was put in place in 2004 ,when Natomas was in it infancy, and requires that 15% of new residential construction be designated as affordable housing. As a community rampant with new construction, Natomas was particularly impacted resulting in concentrated, low income, high density, apartment complexes. While these apartment complexes meet the requirements of the housing ordinance, many believe it has not best served the Natomas community.

Recently, neighboring communities have reconsidered their housing ordinances. Rancho Cordova chose to eliminate their ordinance altogether in an effort to revitalize their city and improve neighborhoods. Rancho Cordova’s ordinance was adopted in 2003, and similar to Sacramento, required 10% of new residential units be affordable. Many builders in Folsom, Elk Grove, and Roseville have chosen to pay fees in lieu of complying with the housing ordinance in those areas, in order to maintain the desirability of their developments.

Many argue that the existing low income ordinance stratifies neighborhoods, does not promote ownership opportunities, creates pockets of project-like housing, and does not truly integrate income levels in Natomas. Some of the suggestions that have been proposed by residents are to:

  • implement a maximum low-income unit requirement to prevent concentrated complexes,
  • provide additional resources for the schools in areas that are dealing with more low income students at the expense of less effected areas,
  • look at the correlation between crime and low income housing, the economic effect it has had on Natomas, and
  • a residency requirement to prevent moving from other areas just to use our housing resources.

The purpose of the upcoming workshops is to hear input from various advisory groups, including the public, and formulate the best designed housing ordinance for Sacramento.

While all are welcome to attend all three sessions, the most crucial meeting for public comment will be at city council on Feb. 10. With Natomas being so impacted by the existing ordinance, it is critical for our community to use our experience to educate council on the best possible solution. It is expected to be a packed house so please bring your constructive suggestions and have a voice for Natomas!

SHRA Commission

Wednesday, February 4th

6:00 pm

600 I Street, Commission Room (first floor)

City Council

Tuesday, February 10th

6:00 pm

915 I Street, First Floor Council Chambers

City Planning Commission

Thursday, February 12th

5:30 pm

915 I Street, Historic City Hall

The same staff report will be used for all three meetings (with slight stylistic/organizational changes).

· The SHRA Commission materials will be available on January 30th by contacting Vickie Smith, SHRA Clerk at [email protected].

· The City Council materials will be available on the City’s website within 72 hours of the meeting date at

· The City Planning Commission materials will be available on the City’s website by February 6th at

Brandy Kollenborn lives in the Regency Park area of Natomas. She is a co-founder of the Witter Ranch Community Alliance. Have a comment about this column? Send it to us at [email protected].


  1. Beautifully written and so very concise! This column highlights all the issues currently surrounding the inclusionary housing policy, without taking sides.

    Thank you Brandy and see you at the meetings!


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