Located at the southern end of the City, the Southeast Policy Area is the last large-scale development area within the urbanized portion of Elk Grove. It lies directly south of the Laguna Ridge Specific Plan area and west of Lent Ranch/Elk Grove Promenade and the approved Sterling Meadows development. It is approximately 1,200 acres in size.
Recognizing the importance of this area, in 2003 as part of the adoption of the General Plan, the City Council declared this area a special Policy Area. With this designation, special policies were adopted for how the area would be developed. Specifically, the policies required the preparation of a comprehensive master plan and prohibited the approvals of any specific development prior to completion of the master plan. In 2007, a group of land owners and developer interest initiated the process for master planning, submitting an application for the Southeast Area Specific Plan. However, as the economy cooled, the plan was never finalized.
On July 25, 2012, the City Council directed staff to initiate master planning (in the form of a strategic plan) for the SEPA. The Council direction specifies the preparation of a Community Plan along with high-level supportive infrastructure analysis (including traffic/transportation planning, drainage, water, and wastewater), community design guidelines and standards, and programmatic environmental review. This plan was adopted on July 9, 2014 after two years of public outreach, research, and plan development.
At its core, the SEPA is an employment-oriented development—that is to say, it is a community that supports and encourages the development of employment uses. It does this by:
- Creating opportunities for a range of employment prospects without predisposing any one use.
- Providing nearby places for employees to live at a variety of price points.
- Providing services for employees, including daily shopping and education.
- Providing recreational opportunities for employees within employment areas and the larger community.
- Providing a feasible range of choices for employees on how to get to work (e.g., car, bus, walking, biking).
- Engaging corporate attention and applying the power of public/private partnerships.
- Creating a total community, not individual, unrelated projects.