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The Citrus Heights Electric Greenway Trail Project is a 2.9 mile proposed multi-use trail that largely follows an existing Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) electric transmission corridor. The trail will span between the Arcade Creek Park Preserve to the west and Wachtel Way to the east.
This project will provide connections to several community parks, schools, shopping centers, and neighborhoods along the corridor. This effort is part of the city’s overall goal to increase walkability, safety and provide improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout a system of creekside trails, passive open space, and parks.
This project is a partnership between the City of Citrus Heights, Sunrise Recreation and Park District (SRPD), Orangevale Recreation and Park District (OVPD), San Juan Unified School District (SJUSD), Sacramento County, and SMUD.
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As early as the 1970s, Sacramento County identified the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) corridor as a location for a pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian trail. As property was subdivided along the SMUD corridor, pedestrian, bike, and equestrian easements were dedicated benefitting Sacramento County to allow for future trail installation. The City of Citrus Heights’ General Plan and Zoning Map identify this corridor as Open Space.
In 2014, the city approved the Creek Corridor Trail Project, a feasibility project that evaluated the potential for multi-use trails along the SMUD corridor and creek corridors. City Council directed staff to proceed with funding, design, environmental review and construction for the Priority 1 Trail Segments (including the Electric Greenway).
In 2015, the city adopted a Bikeway Master Plan and General Plan Update which included the Electric Greenway as a priority project. The area known as the Electric Greenway is identified in the Sacramento County Bikeway Master Plan providing connectivity to the east of Wachtel Way and thru Citrus Heights.
In 2016, the City adopted a Pedestrian Master Plan which identified the Electric Greenway as a priority project for the City.
In 2017, the City applied for and received grant funding from the state Active Transportation Program to build the Electric Greenway.
The project is currently in the preliminary analysis and environmental documentation phase. The city has hired a consultant team, led by GHD, to assist in this phase of the project. Tasks related to this phase of the project include the preliminary analysis, environmental impact review, as well as the draft and final environmental documentation.
Additional community engagement is also part of this phase of the project. Within the coming months, the city plans to host a virtual community workshop and another community open house.
Once the preliminary analysis and environmental documentation is complete, the project will move into the detailed design phase. Trail construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2021.
The Electric Greenway Trail Project is primarily funded through an Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant. Money received through this grant program can only be spent on projects that increase the number of people biking and walking, increase safety for non-motorized users and enhance public health. ATP funds cannot be used to repair or resurface vehicular roadways.
The Electric Greenway Trail Project will receive no direct General Funds. The project is funded primarily through grant funds, with an approximate 10-12% match coming from local transportation funds.
One goal of the Electric Greenway Trail Project is to avoid removing or impacting trees as much as possible. In cases where trees are removed for the project, the project will be responsible to mitigate the loss of protected trees.
Separate from the Electric Greenway Trail Project, the city will be working with SMUD to evaluate trees along the SMUD corridor which are unhealthy or impacted by utilities that should be removed to eliminate hazards or further utility conflicts.
Various security measures are currently being evaluated through the alternative development and evaluation process. Some of those security measures include lighting, open sight distances, fencing, landscaping (or purposeful lack thereof), and more. If you feel there are particular areas along this alignment that should have security measures installed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The trail will be designed to handle maintenance and emergency vehicles on the 10 foot wide paved section. The street entrances to the trail will have locked and removable bollards.
The Citrus Heights Police Department currently has a supplemental services contract with Sunrise Recreation and Park District. The contract enables Citrus Heights Police Department officers to work in all of the parks within the city limits. Once the trail is complete, officers will also patrol the trail in cars and on bicycles. These patrols will be in addition to the normal patrol checks and park checks that occur on a regular basis. Orangevale Recreation and Park District has a service contract with the Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District’s Police Division which provides park and trail patrols.
Police will continue to provide exceptional police services to all areas along the trail alignment. If you see something, say something. Although not expected, if there is crime that occurs along the trail, the two police departments will utilize the data to effectively and efficiently deploy resources to locations that need it the most.
Lighting is an option, however exact locations of where the lights will be installed and the type of lighting has yet to be determined. As we anticipate some property owners will want lighting and others may not, we are currently seeking input on specific locations and areas where residents and property owners would like lighting to be installed. To provide your feedback on where lighting should be installed, please email email@example.com.
Lower profile solar powered LED lighting fixtures are being considered along several sections of the Electric Greenway Trail alignment. Park areas currently served by SMUD lighting are being evaluated for possible additional fixtures. Best lighting practices along trails are being considered in the trail lighting design standards.
In general, the homeless population prefers to be in areas that are hidden from public view. Currently, portions of the corridor for the Electric Greenway Trail Project are overgrown or otherwise not visible to the general public, which can result in homeless camps or other related activities. The construction of the Electric Greenway Trail Project will reduce overgrown vegetation and introduce legitimate trail users to the corridor which will discourage homeless activity along the corridor. In addition, by improving the trail the Citrus Heights Police Department, Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, and the Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District’s Police Division will have improved access to the corridor allowing regular patrols and improved ability to respond.
In 2013, Sunrise Recreation and Park District constructed the Arcade Creek Park Preserve including a 1/3 mile multi-use trail. The park was constructed on land that was formerly overgrown and heavily used by the homeless population. As part of the construction of the project, the overgrown areas were cleaned up and legitimate trail and park users introduced to the park. As a result, the homeless population moved away from the park and the park continues to be heavily used by families, trail users and children.
The Electric Greenway is a high priority project for the City of Citrus Heights, Sunrise Recreation and Park District, and Orangevale Recreation and Park District. The project is identified in the city’s long term planning documents as a priority project in the General Plan, Bikeway Master Plan, and Pedestrian Master Plan.
Each of the project partners’ legislative bodies will be required to approve the ultimate trail alignment, environmental review, and funding prior to construction.
Yes, a pedestrian activated traffic signal is planned at the trail crossing of Fair Oaks Boulevard.
In order to provide a safe crossing, a pedestrian activated traffic signal across Fair Oaks Boulevard is recommended. The signal will be activated and stop vehicles on Fair Oaks Blvd only when needed, minimizing delays and impacts to the operations along the Fair Oaks Boulevard arterial.
The trail will remain open till 10PM for those who are actively using the trail to travel to and from their homes. Actively using the trail is defined as walking, running, bicycling or other approved modes of transportation. Park hours will continue to remain from dawn to dusk.
An easement is a property interest that allows use of a portion of a property by someone other than the property owner. The majority of the Electric Greenway Trail Project’s alignment is located within existing public park lands and public right-of-way. However, portions of the trail are located within existing pedestrian and bikeway easements on private property.
The presence and location of easements can be found on the recorded subdivision maps and assessor’s parcel maps. Easements are also typically listed on title reports which are provided to property owners upon purchase of a property.
Properties are assessed based on many factors, including the presence of any easements. When an easement is located on private property, the land still belongs to the property owner but certain restrictions and requirements are applied to the easement area. These restrictions and requirements are taken into consideration when the property is assessed, whether the easement is in use or not. Because the Electric Greenway Trail Project is proposed within existing easements, there will be no change to assessed property values or taxes.
The various sections of the trail will be maintained by the public entities responsible for that portion of property. This includes the City of Citrus Heights, County of Sacramento, Sunrise Recreation and Park District and Orangevale Recreation and Park District. After the trail is built and during construction, individual private property owners would not be responsible for maintenance of the trail or areas within the existing easements.
The project will take into consideration the existing alignments of fence placement along the easements. It is the intent of the city and the Park Districts to construct the width of the trail only as wide as necessary to safely and adequately accommodate users, and consistent with standard practices. The final location of fences will be determined based on existing topography, trail alignment alternatives, existing tree/vegetation locations, and sight distance requirements to name a few.
The minimum lot size for animal keeping is 10,000 square feet. This is based on gross square footage of the lot. The trail easement would not be deducted for the purposes of calculating minimum lot size for animal keeping or any other use that requires a minimum lot size.
California Government Code § 831.4 (2017) provides for broad and absolute immunity to public entities for liability for injuries caused by a physical defect of a trail used for hiking, riding or access to recreational or scenic areas. The immunity applies to the public entity and the grantor of the easement. For the Electric Greenway Trail, the grantor of the easement is the private property owner. Thereof the landowner is protected if the conditions of 831.4 are satisfied:
CA Govt Code § 831.4 (2017) - A public entity, public employee, or a grantor of a public easement to a public entity for any of the following purposes, is not liable for an injury caused by a condition of:
(a) Any unpaved road which provides access to fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, riding, including animal and all types of vehicular riding, water sports, recreational or scenic areas and which is not a (1) city street or highway or (2) county, state or federal highway or (3) public street or highway of a joint highway district, boulevard district, bridge and highway district or similar district formed for the improvement or building of public streets or highways.
(b) Any trail used for the above purposes.
(c) Any paved trail, walkway, path, or sidewalk on an easement of way which has been granted to a public entity, which easement provides access to any unimproved property, so long as such public entity shall reasonably attempt to provide adequate warnings of the existence of any condition of the paved trail, walkway, path, or sidewalk which constitutes a hazard to health or safety. Warnings required by this subdivision shall only be required where pathways are paved, and such requirement shall not be construed to be a standard of care for any unpaved pathways or roads.
Per CA Government Code § 831.4 (2017), the Trail Immunity does provide broad form indemnification as it relates to recreational trails along public property and easements for public use. However, property owners may want to check with their insurance companies regarding this as everyone’s policy and carrier is different.
In general, fence maintenance will be the responsibility of the property owners as they are located on private property and are there to serve the residential property and not the open space, park or trail. However, because the proposed trail will be spanning multiple jurisdictions, parks and easements, the project will continue to evaluate this concern and we will provide further information.
In general, if new or relocated fencing is required as part of the project, the project will pay for the associated construction. Fencing height, type, materials and locations have yet to be determined. Once the fencing needs and locations have been determined, the height, type and material options will be explored and shared with the public at that time.
Some property owners have made use of the hiking, equestrian and bikeway easement for vehicular access to their rear yards, however the easement was not dedicated for this purpose. This access is also located within a 200 foot wide SMUD transmission line easement. The city is consulting with SMUD to understand their allowances and/or restrictions on uses and access within the transmission line easement. At this time, the project has not determined if backyard vehicular access will be allowed to continue once the trail is constructed. The project will evaluate each segment of the proposed trail where existing rear entry use is apparent and will make recommendations keeping public safety in mind and these FAQs will be updated as additional information becomes available.
The city has worked to improve walking and biking conditions throughout the city since incorporation. Recent outreach affiliated with the Creek Corridor Trail Project, Pedestrian Master Plan, and Bikeway Master Plan indicates that many people are interested in active transportation (walking, biking, etc.) but are concerned with the potential conflict with motor vehicles. The majority of respondents indicated they would be more willing to use active transportation if they were physically separated from vehicles. Further, residents responded they were more willing to walk if they had safe access to key destinations (such as parks, shopping/entertainment, and schools).
The Electric Greenway Trail Project provides an off-street route for residents to access key destinations throughout the city including the Sunrise MarketPlace, numerous parks, schools and other desirable locations
The police department is not aware of any safety issues that would be present along the trail that will connect between Villa Oak Drive and the Olivine Open Space. Although the distance between access points may be greater in this area than in other areas, it is not an enclosed area which would still allow for someone to summon help or escape, if needed.
The existing corridor following the proposed trail alignment is located between rear yard fences for some of the trail route. This area is typically a minimum of 25’ wide but varies along the route. In a few places (for example between Villa Oak Drive and Wachtel Way), fences have been constructed encroaching into and blocking the easement creating a dead end along this corridor. This existing dead end limits the capabilities of emergency responders to access the easement from only one direction.
The existing unimproved condition of the corridor (presence of overgrown vegetation, lack of legitimate trail users along this corridor, and the dead end) creates a potential opportunity for criminal activity to occur due to the limited visibility of this area.
As part of the Electric Greenway Trail Project, the existing corridor will be improved by:
Eliminating the existing dead ends along the corridor thereby improving access for emergency personnel for regular patrols and emergency access.
Introducing legitimate trail users to the corridor. Legitimate trail users aid emergency personnel by providing additional eyes on the corridor to more promptly report inappropriate activity or emergencies.
Remove overgrown vegetation and potential hiding places from the corridor. In addition, the trail alignment will be evaluated by law enforcement to ensure the principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) are adhered to.
Allow for the introduction of lighting, security cameras, and other enhancements that will provide added measures of security. These features will be considered throughout the design of the project.
In August of 1983, a lawsuit was settled between the County of Sacramento and various property owners along a portion of the Electric Greenway Trail Project alignment. The lawsuit pertained to property rights through three separate subdivisions answering the question of whether or not the County owns a hiking, equestrian and bikeway easement over various properties. Ultimately, the judgment of the court was that the there is an easement over two of the three subdivisions including Sunrise Farms No. 2, and Farmette Hills. There is no easement over the properties developed as part of Sunrise Farms.
Please see exhibit A showing the location of the three subdivisions here.
Copies of recorded subdivision maps exhibit B can be found here.
Copies of recorded subdivision maps (with easement locations highlighted) exhibit C can be found here.
A copy of the court judgement exhibit D summarizing the lawsuit findings can be found here.
Please contact the Citrus Heights General Services Department at (916) 727-4770 or email the project at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An interactive map is available on the project webpage.
Document last updated February 19, 2019