Rio Linda Downtown Special Planning Area (SPA) is adopted

By Charlea Moore

RLE Visions Task Force oversaw the completion of the Special Planning Area for downtown Rio Linda on November 17th at the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

The SPA was adopted by the County on a 5-0-0 vote of the Supervisors. This project has been nine long years in the works overcoming the lack of funding and the recession to finally be adopted.

Thanks to our Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan, the long suffering Leighann Moffitt and Trisha Stevens from the Planning Dept. and the help and support from Lori Moss, Director of Community Development plus Keri Blaskowski, Mike Huiras, Visions Chair and many others who have never given up on the SPA, it is now a reality.

The SPA will allow more flexibility in the codes for new businesses and for the upgrading of existing businesses. Although some uses will not be allowed in the SPA such as small recycling centers next to retail, any existing businesses are ‘grandfathered’ in and can remain. The existing uses can continue until such time as the property is no longer used for that purpose for at least a 90 day period. After the 90 period the property will become subject to the SPA codes that were adopted.

A benefit of having the SPA is that there may be grant funds available through state and federal programs to help revitalize the Downtown Rio Linda Business District. RLE Visions Task Force was formed in the fall of 2006 as a volunteer group and was loosely based on the North Highlands Visions Task Force. Since that time the RLE Visions has established themselves as a community group interested in finding ways to help Rio Linda Elverta achieve whatever goals and projects that the community would like to see implemented.

The RLE Visions Task Force meets on the second Monday every month in the Community Room at Fire Station 111, 6609 Rio Linda Blvd. at 7 p.m.

Rio Linda Arch shines with new LED lights

By Charlea Moore

The RLE Visions Task Force along with the Rio Linda Grange # 403 and with the support of Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan; Lori Moss, Director of the Dept. of Community
Development; and Keri Blaskowski, assigned to get the SPA completed; and under the leadership of the RLE Visions Chair – Mike Huiras, have successfully installed the new LED lights on the Rio Linda Arch.

The Arch, a gift from the City of Marysville to Rio Linda, has been a symbol of our community since it was erected by the Grange in 1926.

Rio Linda is not an incorporated city and there is no official “government” of Rio Linda to take ownership of the Arch so the Rio Linda Grange is the official custodian of the Arch since they are the ones who erected it in the first place. The Arch has been lit by icicle lights that were purchased and installed by Carl Brothers Jr. and prior to that the Rio Linda Chamber was responsible for lights on the Arch.

Charlea Moore of the Rio Linda Visions Committee does an interview for local TV about our archway lights.
Charlea Moore of the Rio Linda Visions Committee does an interview for local TV about our archway lights.

The RLE Visions Task Force received a presentation from SMUD Lighting Designer Connie Samla at their regular meeting July 13, 2015 with several options for permanent lights designed specifically for the Rio Linda Arch. There was a desire on the part of the Grange and the Visions that whatever was decided should be unique to Rio Linda and not just duplicate the Marysville lights. Also a major consideration was the lack of any available funds from either the Grange or Visions for the project. So when it was disclosed that one of the options included up to $3,500 worth of grant funds from SMUD, the choice was easy. The option chosen was also the one that would best illuminate the beautiful structure of the arches.

The grant could only be used to purchase the materials for the project but could not be used for labor, installation expenses or rental of equipment. Jim Lane of Aerial Lift generously offered his time, labor and equipment and Terry Sewell, a licensed electrician, volunteered to do the installation without charge. This was a significant donation of time, equipment and labor and the community is very fortunate to have a local business and qualified tradesman, that were willing and able to help with this project.

Dave Bisbee from SMUD has worked with all concerned to make sure that the project was completed and he will continue to work with Visions and the community until all the ‘issues’ are resolved.

Last month the North Country News featured a photo of the installation of the lights. This month the lights are installed and on although there are still a few ‘issues’ to work out in controlling the colors and the patterns, the project is finished. On behalf of the community of Rio Linda Elverta, thank you to all of those who worked together to make this project a success. The beneficiary is the community.

Rio Linda gets an early Christmas present

By Charlea Moore

Santa came to Rio Linda disguised as Jim Lane in his super duper boom from his business, Aerial Lift, to install the cutting edge LED lights on the Rio Linda Arch.

On November 7, 2015 the Arch Lighting project got under way with the help of SMUD who provided the grant funds for the purchase of the materials, lights and electrical boxes and Sacramento
County Community Development who gave permission to proceed with the project.

RLE Visions Task Force and the Rio Linda Grange #403 were pleased to see this project implemented in time for the Christmas season. There are still a few loose ends to tie up before the Lighting Ceremony can take place. Once turned on, the lights will illuminate the structure of the Arch. The lights are programmable and will change colors to celebrate special occasions in the
Rio Linda Elverta Community.

Thank you to all those who worked to make this project happen: SMUD, Supervisor MacGlashan, Mike Huiras, Lori Moss, Connie Samla, Jim Lane, Rio Linda Grange #403, John Todd from Rio Linda Online and many community supporters.