City, County and Neighborhood News
This is my last column written as your representative on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, so allow me to express my appreciation for the privilege and honor of representing you and the communities of Arden-Arcade and Carmichael. I’d like to share some final observations.
The weight of public authority continues to crush a handful of property owners who fought for decades to keep people away from the Sacramento River levee in Pocket, Greenhaven and Little Pocket.
The latest victory for public access comes from the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, the state agency that owns and controls the levees.
In November, the flood board formally canceled its 1996 policy that permitted nine private fences and gates to block the levee. The old policy allowed property owners to seal off public access and create private playgrounds for themselves along the waterfront. The vote to drop the policy was unanimous.
Like many people in Pocket, Little Pocket and Greenhaven, Cassandra Fong is eager to see public access finally come to the Sacramento River Parkway. When she learned Army Corps of Engineers contractors plan to tear down private levee fences that block public access to the parkway, she said, “Hallelujah.”
But Fong wasn’t completely ready to celebrate. She knows the fences have been an eyesore and insult to public accessibility for almost 50 years. And she knows the handful of property owners who control the fences may not accept the fact that the river parkway is finally open.
“Perhaps we need to set up a committee or group of people who will continue to ‘police’ the area so that these same people don’t start building new privately owned encroachments,” she wrote to me.