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The Sacramento County Planning Commission voted Monday to recommend Murieta Gardens, a commercial and residential project, to the Board of Supervisors for approval.   The five planning commissioners voted unanimously to approve the project after planning staff, developer representatives, a consultant for the Rancho Murieta Community Services District and a CSD official answered questions about various aspects, including the availability of water.

The project is planned for 53 acres across from Murieta Plaza and next to Murieta Airport. It calls for 95 single-family homes, a mini-storage facility and a shopping center.

Commissioners were told that there is an adequate supply of water for the development plan, but additional water treatment capacity is needed. One of over 100 conditions planners have attached to the project requires developers to reach agreement with the CSD on a Financing and Services Agreement to fund and build the water treatment plant expansion before the project can go forward.

During public comments, two Murieta residents who are long-time critics of development spoke. Janis Eckard repeated claims she’s made in recent months at CSD and Rancho Murieta Association meetings about water availability, saying she believes CSD water planning was  “manipulated to show Rancho Murieta had sufficient water for additional development, putting the existing residents at risk of running out of water.”  Candy Chand said she supported Eckard, and added that Eckard is now taking her concerns to state officials.

Last month, the Board of Supervisors accepted an independent peer review of  CSD water and wastewater planning.  The supervisors authorized the review in September 2007. The peer review examined water, wastewater and drought planning studies the CSD prepared between 1990 and 2007.

Monday’s  Planning Commission vote to approve the Murieta Gardens project also closed the draft environmental impact report comment period and directed staff to prepare the final EIR for the Board of Supervisors to use in its deliberations on the project.

Candy Chand's picture
Joined: 08/15/2007
Posts: 304
Post rating: 811

Plaza Foods is Missing Again

As I posted yesterday, the approval was expected. I do not anticipate the actual project in my lifetime.

However, I do want to share the following email I sent to the county this morning, because, once again, Plaza Foods is missing.

Email copy:

I'm sharing  one of my 9 guest columns in Sac Bee--this one about Murieta Gardens and our invisible supermarket. I'm sharing it because, at last night's hearing, our existing grocery store, Plaza Foods, disappeared. Again.
First of all, the planning director did not mention our existing supermarket (only the county store--which is simply a mini mart) in her presentation about the nearby site location. But even after I got up to clarify, by testifying that we already have a full sized grocery store and shopping center, one commissioner preceded his vote with a short chat about how Murieta does not have a supermarket and, therefore, residents need to travel into town to do even basic grocery shopping.  Seriously? The grocery store was still a mystery--even after my testimony? if I seem frustrated, it's because I am.  I have to wonder, is anybody downtown listening? Even to testimony? 
I just want to make sure staff assigned to Murieta Gardens understand even the most basics about our existing community, before the BOS hearings for the project begin. We Have a supermarket. We have had one for over 20 years. Please, somebody, take note. 
If this Sac Bee piece helps, I'm including a link below.
Thank you.
Candy Chand
Candy Chand: Sacramento County residents find invisibility isn't so fun

Candy Chand's picture
Joined: 08/15/2007
Posts: 304
Post rating: 811

Response from Plaza foods, Darin Sexton

Darin Sexton, owner of Plaza Foods, just gave me permission to post the email he, also, sent to the county this morning (about  his missing store, and about false information in the development staff report.) Thank you, Darin!. I've copied his email below.
Good Morning,

My name is Darin Sexton.  My family has owned and operated Plaza Foods Supermarket 
since 1985.  This year marks our 25th year serving the community of Rancho Murieta.  Let me make it perfectly clear that we are a full service supermarket providing fresh meat, produce, delicatessen, beer & wine, milk, eggs, bread, and everything else you'd expect to find in a supermarket.  We accept EBT, we pay taxes, we are real.  

The glaring omission of the existence of Plaza Foods and its legitimacy in your reports is insulting. (see quote from page 7 of your report)


In addition, the additional supermarket/drug store within the boundaries of Rancho Murieta will
reduce current number of vehicles trips and associated CO2 emissions to distance
shopping areas for food and medicines and other necessities of life. On page 15-21
of the RDEIR, it reads in part “the commercial development would likely result in a
33 percent reduction (CO2 emissions) by supplying the area with essential goods and
merchandise that is currently almost absent in the community”.

The information provided in your report is FALSE.  (See quote from page 8 of your report)

  A Potential Sales Survey (PSS) was just submitted that assumed a
46,000 square-foot Bel Air market, and the relocation of Plaza Foods to the project
site in combination with a Longs Drug store inside a 30,000 square-foot tenant

Plaza Foods is NOT planning to relocate to the Murieta Gardens shopping center. 

 A representative from Plaza Foods had an impromptu conversation with Wm. Ramey Osborne from Camray Marketing- who, by the way, stopped in our store on a "cold call"- about the potential of relocating to a new shopping center across the street from our current location in Murieta Plaza.  The tone of the conversation was purely hypothetical and absolutely did not imply that we were planning to build a new store.  There's no way that it can be construed as a "Potential Sales Survey" (PSS) if that's what your report is referring to.  Furthermore, who would imagine that two supermarkets could occupy one shopping center in a community as moderately sized as Rancho Murieta?   

How can our "non-existence" be used to decide that Rancho Murieta needs a supermarket on page 7, then on the next page be used to show us as interested in relocating to the new project?

Please listen to the facts.  Plaza Foods is a legitimate supermarket providing food and services to Rancho Murieta.  We contribute to community charities, we pay taxes, we employ more than 30 people.  We have been in business since 1985 at this location and do not plan to relocate. 

Darin Sexton - Murieta Plaza Foods, Inc.

Candy Chand's picture
Joined: 08/15/2007
Posts: 304
Post rating: 811

Plaza foods writes again

Lastly, the folloiwng email from Michelle Hubbell (co-owner of Plaza Foods) was also sent to Sac County this morning. Thanks, Michelle, for permission to share.

Candy Chand


I am writing you all today, because we are the owners of Plaza Foods Supermarket in Rancho Murieta.  Located at 7248 Murieta Drive.  We have been at this location for 25 years and are a full service 17,000+ square foot grocery store.  There seems to be misinformation being put out about our business.

At times we don't exist at all, being excluded from maps.  With statements being presented, "Rancho Murieta needs a grocery store, they all have to drive into town."  It seems then when it might be convenient for the developer, we do in fact exist.  With  the latest new rumor, that we are going across the street.  We are NOT going across the street.

I had conversation with Wm. Ramey Osborne,  from Camray Marketing Corporation, when he stopped by a few weeks ago.  He was asking vague questions around the shopping center.  ( Yes we are a complete shopping center, with restaurants, shops, services.)  Most people talked to him as a courtesy, but no one I talked to gave him any definite assurances.  If this is the (PSS) survey that you are referring to,  I am extremely upset that these vague questions may now be being represented as a marketing survey.

After reading your staff report, I cannot believe what is being stated.  The survey saying that a new shopping center would reduce traffic and emissions is completely exaggerated.  Most people who live in Rancho Murieta work on a daily basis.  They are commuting to Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and Sacramento. So having a new shopping center is NOT going to reduce driving.  Many people also drive their children to school.  We have no junior or high schools in Rancho Murieta, and some parents also choose private schools out of the area.  This again adds to the constant need to commute.  So making a statement about reduced emissions is at best exaggerated.

I would be very happy to speak with any or all of you about this matter.  I would hope that this will help.  I invite you all who have not been to Rancho Murieta to take a drive and see what is here, since in some part you are all deciding the future of our community. 

Thank you for your time,
Michelle Hubbell

Phillip Sexton's picture
Joined: 04/01/2008
Posts: 27
Post rating: 32

Plaza Foods

First, I am not related to the Plaza Sextons.  I was in the food industry for forty years before my retirement in 2003.  I traveled to every major grocery headquaters in the US and have been in more supermarkets than I care to think about.  Plaza Foods is a supermarket in every since of the term.  Fresh cut meats, a deli with a large selection of meats, cheese, salads and fresh produce.  If they don't have something, just ask and they will do everything in their power provide an item for you.  But Plaza Foods is much more than a supermarket.  It provides employment for young people still in school and supports our community.  Their cashiers and carry-out service is without equal.  Their friendly attitude is superior to many of the "chain supermarkets".  Having lived in many different cities, how nice it is to go shopping at a store that is easy to shop with such friendly service.  If letters to Sacramento County would have an influence, please count me in.

Phil Sexton

Phillip Sexton

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Just plain crazy!

Just plain crazy!   Have you taken a picture of Plaza Food to them?  How about an aerial of the whole plaza shopping center!   I wonder what they'd do if the non-existent store stopped paying taxes?  

Maybe we should create a sign-in sheet for everyone who uses Plaza Foods and then submit that to the County  :-)

Steven DeMello's picture
Joined: 09/09/2007
Posts: 74
Post rating: 24

What's Up? Plaza Foods?

 In reading comments already submitted on this matter… It would seem that failure of the Environmental Impact Report to identify such an important community asset as Plaza Foods would/should cast suspicion on the validity of the entire environmental review process being done for this project.   Do we really have enough water?

Bill Gengler's picture
Joined: 06/26/2008
Posts: 99
Post rating: 167

Murieta Gardens EIR

It confuses me that there was not even a "draft" enviornmental impact report as the 5 person Planning Commission "closed the draft environmentl impact report comment period."  The Sacto County Planning Commission should have at least looked at and considered an EIR before all 5 members votied to approve the project.  What is going on?  Do we really need airplanes crashing into new ice cream shops (re: Sac City airport crash several years ago)?  Do we also need them crashing into housing units built on the 53 acre plot across from the plaza?  Nothing against the airport or the present Plaza shopping center.  They have been here for a long time and haven't impacted the environment like this new proposal would do.   Isn't an environmental report very important? 

Have a Rancho Murieta Day!   Bill Gengler

William Gengler


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