Community Groups Shift to Meeting Online

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Two Natomas community groups are shifting to virtual meetings this month in response to extended stay-at-home orders.

Both the North Natomas Community Coalition and Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association will hold their May meetings via Zoom.

The North Natomas Community Coalition will meet at 6:30 p.m. today, May 13 online. The group’s last in-person meeting was March 11, just a week prior to Gov. Gavin Newsom issuing the statewide shelter-in-place order. The group’s regular meeting place, The Club at Natomas Park, is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically, development projects proposed for north Natomas, are presented to the North Natomas Community Coalition for input. Some projects come back to the group several times as part of the planning process. While the coalition did not hold an a meeting in April, that didn’t stop its members from providing feedback on current projects proposed for north Natomas.

“We were fortunate to have access to all the planning documents for a few projects that needed our attention,” coalition secretary Lisa Pray said.

Because members of the group had access to planning documents for the new Tanzanite subdivision, individual members could submit their comments to the city’s Planning Department on the project, Pray explained. The group, which has also been closely monitoring the Valley Rail Sacramento Extension project, received copies of that project’s draft Environmental Impact Report at the end of March, and were able to submit comments as individuals, she added.

“Naturally, it is much better to get together and discuss aspects of each project, since different people have different points of view,” said Pray.

One of the coalition’s members has access to a full Zoom license and offered to host tonight’s meeting.

“We are so fortunate to be able to catch up with one another this way,” Pray said.

On tonight’s agenda, the North Natomas Community Coalition will discuss whether to request that the city extend East Commerce Drive all the way to San Juan Road. Currently, through traffic from Arena Boulevard southbound must use Airport Road which is also frequently used by bicyclists to commute. If East Commerce Drive is extended, Pray explained, the group may advocate that Airport Road become a dedicated bicycle path.

“There were several comments on the Tanzanite project that noted that the developer does not plan to update the bicycle path on Airport Road,” said Pray. “Other developers have agreed to improve and complete bicycle paths alongside their projects as part of their development plan. (The North Natomas Community Coalition) is a strong supporter of bicycle transportation, and this is another way to expand our commute options.”

Coalition members are hopeful that by moving the meeting online this month, more community members will also be able to attend and participate.

“It really hit me when the Valley Rail Sacramento Extension project contemplated putting a railroad terminal and maintenance facility adjacent to Regency Park,” said Pray. “The neighbors needed a way to coordinate their comments on this project (and the North Natomas Community Coalition) provided a vehicle for that.”

Pray added that there are a variety of housing projects in north Natomas, including apartments, condominiums, single-family homes, gated communities, senior housing and low-income housing.

“Some are in Common Interest Developments, others are not,” said Pray. “We need a broad range of perspectives to make sure all voices are heard regarding the development of our community. The more voices the better, in my opinion.”

The Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14 via Zoom. On the agenda is a report from Vice Mayor Jeff Harris about the city’s actions related to COVID-19 and potential funding for small businesses.

The Natomas Community Association’s March and April meetings were canceled due to restrictions on in-person gatherings as were the Natomas Community Planning Advisory Council’s April and May meetings. At press time it was not known whether either group would move to online meetings.

To attend the North Natomas Community Coalition online go to To call in, dial: 1-669-900-9128 and use meeting ID 873 1461 3163. The password for this meeting is 944570.

To attend the Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association meeting online go to To call in, dial 1-669-900-6833 and use meeting ID 834 4727 4759. The password for this meeting is 820999.

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