Within the last twelve years, Elk Grove's population has more than doubled to over 159,000 residents, and the city has spent the last five years waiting to be able to plan for even more residents in the future. Seeking to expand its sphere of influence (SOI) boundaries (or planning area) by 8,000 acres, Elk Grove wants to accommodate more residents, more businesses and maintain more open space within its city limits.
Before it can do that, the Sacramento County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) needs to approve the SOI plan and associated environmental documents. Some environmentalists object that the expansion may impact the nearby 45,000-acre Cosumnes River Preserve to the south and reduce available land for the proposed South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan, which is intended to protect local environmentally sensitive areas.
Though even if approved, the City would still need to comply with environmental review requirements with any land annexation plans, including separate petitions to LAFCO.