Decade-old Development Project Comes to Community Planning Advisory Council Tonight


The long-dormant Century Palms project, planned for the open property at the southwest corner of Rio Linda Boulevard and M Street, has been in planning for a decade now, since 2012.

Somewhat surprisingly, the project is on tonight’s CPAC docket, and Brothers Property Development (on L Street in Rio Linda) is asking for some deviations to the Rio Linda Downtown Special Planning Area ordinance.

The CPAC packet for today’s meeting can be found here.

They are:

  • A Use Permit to allow light manufacturing, processing, and assembly in the “Commercial Mixed Use” (CMU) zoning.
  • A Special Development Permit to allow increased setbacks, deviating from the maximum setback requirements of the SPA.

What is a CPAC?

In order to understand what this means, we first have to understand who the CPAC are, and what the Rio Linda Downtown Special Planning Area is.

For our purposes, CPAC refers to the Rio Linda/Elverta Community Planning Advisory Council. This group was created to encourage direct citizen participation early in the planning process. The main purpose of the CPAC is to gauge community opinion when considering a project. The RLECPAC hears and considers many issues, from broad policy questions that apply countywide, to small development projects of local interest. Entitlements reviewed include General Plan and Zoning Code amendments to plans, zoning matters, and use permits.

The current CPAC members are:

  • Hal Morris, District 1 Appointee (Chairperson)
  • Kristin McCandless, District 4 Appointee (Vice Chairperson)
  • Roy Hickey, District 4 Appointee
  • Amy Tackett, District 4 Appointee
  • Tonia Silva, District 4 Appointee
  • Tisha Torres, District 4 Appointee
  • Vacant

What is the RL Downtown Special Planning Area?

The 2004 development of the Rio Linda Plaza shopping center at Elkhorn and Rio Linda Boulevard had an immediate detrimental effect on the Rio Linda Downtown commercial corridor. For many years, the community shopped and dined on M Street and at the MarVal Plaza shopping center in Downtown Rio Linda.

Once the new shopping center was developed and constructed, many businesses moved operations to the new location leaving the M Street corridor to wilt. MarVal Grocery Store closed on the same day that Food Source opened. Papa’s Pizzaria and Rio Java coffee both moved to the new location.

Over the course of eight years, the County engaged the CPAC and the Rio Linda Elverta VISIONS Task Force to develop a strategy that would result in a walkable, shoppable, workable plan to beautify and promote business on the M Street corridor. This plan was adopted in 2015.

You can see the current RLDSPA by clicking here.

The resulting plan, the SPA, was developed with a great deal of input and respect for the wants and needs of the Rio Linda Elverta community. The community inout It was determined that there should not be particular types of businesses on M Street, such as recyclers, junkyards, adult uses or gun sales, etc.

How does this impact the development in question?

The Century Palms developers are seeking two permits which would allow them to vary from the published RLDSPA ordinance.

#1 A Use Permit to allow light manufacturing, processing, and assembly in the “Commercial Mixed Use” (CMU) zoning.

The area in question is located in the “Gateway” section of the SPA. That area, at the SW corner of Rio Linda Blvd. and M Streets is zoned CMU. That is Commercial Mixed Use.

The Gateway Area is envisioned as a mixed-use area offering shopping, services, employment, and housing options. The Commercial Mixed Use (CMU) zoning designation is therefore intended to foster a commercial center around this important intersection that incorporates goods and services for residential through traffic as well as local pedestrians.

The SPA ordinance says:

Permitted Uses:

  • Mixed Use Developments
  • Single Family Residences
  • Light assembly, manufacturing or fabrication of small high-tech or electronic components that does not produce external smoke, odors, vibration or noise beyond the perimeter of the building (For APN 206-0171-041 only).

Conditional Uses:

  • Auto Service Station (CB)
  • Car Wash (CZ)
  • Drive Through Facilities (CZ)
  • Flex-Space – Warehousing/Storage and Light Assembly, Light Manufacturing and Processing in conjunction with Offices consistent with such uses allowed in the General Commercial (GC) zone and as defined in Zoning Code Section 7.3, (For APNs: 206-0210-019 and 038 only) (CP)
  • General Retail over 50,000 square feet (CZ)
  • Liquor Stores (CP)
  • Pawn shops (CZ)
  • Tattoo Shops (CZ)

Prohibited Uses:

  • Adult Uses
  • Check Cashing Facilities
  • Gun Sales
  • Major Auto Repair

#2: A Special Development Permit to allow increased setbacks, deviating from the maximum setback requirements of the SPA.

The setback requirements as defined in the SPA are shown below:

From the drawings supplied with the CPAC packet, it looks like the setback distance along M Street is in excess of 5 feet more than the SPA defines.

The meeting takes place tonight 9/28/2022 at the Depot Park building in Downtown Rio Linda, at 7pm.

It will not be live streamed via Zoom.