SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Sacramento Zoo needs to move out of Land Park due to its current size restrictions and the question goes before City Council Tuesday night- where should the Zoo go?

The Council will vote tonight on a $150,000 economic feasibility study to look at up to 12 potential locations.

CBS13 first reported in November that the Zoo and City had a short-list of possible locations, with the old Sleep Train Arena site in Natomas considered the most ideal. However, the Kings own the land and have expressed interest in turning it into a mixed-use development.

Tuesday morning, John Rinehart, the Kings President of Business Operations, told CBS:

“In November, we filed a general entitlement plan with the city to provide for the maximum flexibility in the redevelopment of the Natomas site. This flexible plan provides for a broad range of opportunities, including destination amenities, which could include a zoo. Any ultimate end user would need to be compatible with all other neighboring uses, and have the necessary funds to purchase and develop the site. Working collaboratively with all parties, we are excited to push forward to make the property redevelopment a reality for the Natomas community and City as a whole.”

READ ALSO: What Would It Take To Move The Zoo To Natomas?

The City Council agenda report now shows the other alternative sites being identified as possible locations, with the Tier 1 sites considered the best options, Tier 2 considered potentially viable, and Tier 3 not recommended:

  • Former Sleep Train Arena (Tier 1)
  • North Natomas Regional Park (Tier 1)
  • Bing Maloney Golf Course (Tier 1)
  • Natomas Joint Vision (Tier 2)
  • Del Paso Regional Park (Renfree Field) (Tier 2)
  • Executive Airport (Tier 2)
  • Haggin Oaks Golf Course (Tier 3)
  • Cal Expo (Tier 3)
  • Granite Regional Park (Tier 3)
  • Job Corps (Tier 3)
  • Delta Shores Regional Park (Tier 3)
  • Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course (Tier 3)

Schultz & Williams studied a list of potenitial locations in 2018 and 2019 and identified the best options using the following criteria:

  • Serve as a premier destination for residents and visitors to the Sacramento Valley
  • Provide fun and engaging animal & educational experiences that connect our communities with wildlife
  • Generate a sustainable business model to support the Zoo’s core mission
  • Provide the highest level of animal care while ensuring that animal management “best practices” are maintained for future generations
  • Allow for the development of a successful, viable, and sustainable AZA-accredited 21st-century zoo

Swipe To See Renderings Of New Sacramento Zoo

The City of Sacramento worked with Schultz & Williams in 2010 when it commissioned a feasibility study to determine if the Zoo could relocate to Sutter’s Landing Park. That location was determined to be challenging due to significant investment costs.

If the Council approves the feasibility study Tuesday night, it will look at the prequalified sites “that best meet the criteria and analyze the key economic aspects of the sites, along with development of a funding and phasing plan.” It should take about six months to complete.

SEE ALSO: Group Applying Pressure To Kings, City, To Adopt Sacramento Zoo’s Natomas Relocation Plan

The Zoo used to house several large animals, but the Association of Zoos and Aquariums standards have shifted and Sacramento can no longer exhibit those larger animals. In order to maintain the accreditation it’s held since 1975, Sacramento needs to address and comply with exhibit requirements and management guidelines. If the Zoo stays in Land Park, management says it will need to “change its core focus and the species it exhibits.”

The Sacramento Zoo opened in 1927 on 4 acres in Land Park. It expanded to its current 14.8 acres in 1968.