Home>Articles>Sacramento City Councilwoman Says it Out Loud: Rules For Thee but Not For Me

Sacramento Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela. (Photo: Facebook)

Sacramento City Councilwoman Says it Out Loud: Rules For Thee but Not For Me

Does the Safe Ground Homeless Camp in Valenzuela’s district violate the city’s permitting process?

By Katy Grimes, October 13, 2021 7:32 am

A Sacramento resident recently posted a question to Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela on Nextdoor asking about a Safe Ground Camp on W & X Streets in downtown, noting that the location in Valenzuela’s district actually violates the city’s permitting process.

“Katie’s Safe Ground Camp on W/X actually goes against the city permitting,” she says.

Councilwoman Valenzuela’s response is stunning, as she openly admits that the City can violate its own policies, but residents cannot.


Really? “We do not need to get a permit to do things within the City (since we are the permitting authority) we are not subject to the rules of the ordinance we passed that governs permits for emergency shelters.”

This is a map of the area:

City of Sacramento map of Safe Ground Camp location W/X Freeway. (Photo: CityofSacramento.org)

Valenzuela missed an opportunity to explain that the Sacramento City Council adopted an emergency ordinance that significantly expands sheltering options for people experiencing homelessness, the city website says:

Authorizing the establishment of privately-run temporary shelter facilities, the new ordinance allows the City to quickly issue permits for “safe-ground” tent encampments, parking lots and tiny home communities.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg called the ordinance “vital,” adding that “we must act now – and frankly more effectively – to actually build, implement and raise from the ground the shelters, the tiny homes, the safe parking lots – all the options we have been talking about … .”

The size of any such temporary shelter facility will be capped at 80 beds. Council members will be responsible for selecting potential locations in their districts, with some members already launching site discussions in their communities.

New temporary shelter facilities require only an administrative permit to locate on any assembly site (such as a church property) or on sites in commercial or industrial zones at least a half mile away from an existing temporary shelter. All sites must be 500 feet from sensitive uses such as schools, childcare centers or parks.

The City suspended its own rules, which cities do during “emergencies.”

However, Valenzuela’s answer is telling and exposes her governing ideology.

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9 thoughts on “Sacramento City Councilwoman Says it Out Loud: Rules For Thee but Not For Me

  1. Gee, in Sacramento itself??? Who woulda thunk it? Meanwhile I’m on my 13th month of paying rent on an empty store, waiting for the city of L.A. and ABC to issue me my business permit.

  2. I don’t agree with her reply, she could have dove in a little abs actually give a more comprehensive summary of why she is allowed and why the urgency. However, your article is just trying to find dirt were there isn’t, Katy. If you are a true journalist how about you actually write about the need for affordable housing, how nor Republicans or Democrats are acting quick enough, how the money for affordable housing is actually being spent. That is real journalism, not articles like this where this person is actually doing what is allowed regardless of your political affiliation.

    1. Evidently you don’t have a problem with government having a completely different set of rules for their pet projects. That’s scary and your side of the isle is usually opposed to that nonsense by the other side.
      Additionally real journalism includes articles you wish were left uncovered or ignored.
      You can’t name a better investigative reporter (I dare you to try)

  3. She is destroying her district? How did this arrogant hypocritical Democrat get on the city council? No doubt it was due to Democrat fraud and rigged voting machines?

  4. It’s really quite incredible isn’t it? The city council and mayor have seemingly done everything they can to make Sacramento a run down city. Trash, crime, drug addiction and a growing problem of graffiti all over the place. Just when we thought the city council hit rock bottom someone threw them a shovel and they kept digging. Reap what you sow voters.

  5. More than anything, Ms. Valenzuela’s response exposes her callowness.
    Next election, Sacramento residents might think twice about electing a complete novice, and instead focus on a candidate with some knowledge and relevant experience.

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