A couple items:
Finally, a word used quite a bit today at the Center for Land Based Learning event was “Vision”. The idea of picturing the future in your mind and steering yourself to making it a reality. Without question, they are doing that with their project in Woodland to lead their organization for the next 25 years!
With our City Staff, we talk about setting goals and I often paint the concept of “giving a diamond ring to the love of your life on the second deck of the Eiffel Tower at sunset of Valentine’s Day”. Some view it as a “Disney Dream”, but I would argue that it is something anyone can do if you just plan to do it.
Vision requires a very soulful introspection of where you want to get to and your overall commitment to seriously making something happen. It’s the idea of setting big goals and then establishing then executing a plan. It takes discipline, commitment and the ability to maintain focus and hope in even the most challenging circumstances. It means collaboration, partnerships and establishing relationships which generate the force multiplier that carry the vision to the heights that no one person could attain. In the end, I have learned that everything is a “team” sport and the greatest satisfaction is celebrating hitting key milestones surrounded by those who all made it happen.
Great vision is the ability to seek extra ordinary results and outcomes. I am convinced that any vision is possible and the difference is the amount of desire and commitment to reach the achievement. To have vision requires courage and the ability to transcend the cynicism and skepticism you will encounter. Its easy to be against something and hard to be a champion for something some may think is unimaginable or may seem inconvenient.
Life is a series of events and ultimately moving yourself forward. Reality will tell you that if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. A vision forward brings an opportunity for adventure and achievement, while sitting still means you are going nowhere and will ultimately get bed sores. Vision establishes the “future” for more people than just yourself and in many ways is a part of your “stewardship” for the possibilities and opportunities which will exist for others. When I talk to City Council Members about “leadership”, I often stress that the decisions we make or fail to make today will determine what will be or not be tomorrow. Vision is important because it really does determine tomorrow!
In Winters, we have many visionary people like Julie and Craig McNamara, Mary Kimball and the Center for Land Based Learning folks. Of late, people like Moyra Barsotti and Emarie VanGalio and the entire Project Playground Team who gave us all a lifetime opportunity to build the greatest playground of our time!
In a city, vision involves looking forward towards the interests of the entire population, both current and future. Where will people live, work and how will the community sustain a quality of life? What happens when you don’t execute the plan or it is left half done? How will we make great things happen which will positively affect people’s lives?
Vision is a collaboration of unique, diverse and talented people coming together to make something that some people feel is a “dream” a reality! Not easy.
Have a nice weekend!
May 2 is the Big Day of Giving and the opportunity to support some of those organization who make Winters a special place to live. Here are some of the organizations serving our community who are participating.
Get out there and support our town!
First, a HUGE shout out to Project Playground. They are paying for Josh Coulter Painting to re-stain the City Park Playground. It looks beyond amazing and (in my opinion) better than new. We have some talented contractors in our town (Josh’s crew) and the folks from Project Playground are the gift that keeps on giving. Well Done and people can see the work this weekend!
Yesterday was the inaugural of my “Ask the City Manager” program which will be held the fourth Thursday of each month in the City Council Chamber and can be viewed on the City’s Youtube Channel. For those wanting a replay, you can go HERE to view it.
Here is the written/Cliff’s Notes Version of my initial briefing of some hot topics this week:
North Area Planning- Nothing new to report on this topic. Still no application. The only recent discussions was a call to Bellevue North to get their permission to release some draft planning comments.
This weekend is Youth Day which is the reunion weekend for our community. Start it off with the Rotary Pancake Breakfast, the parade begins at 10 then time at the park. For those feeling they need to take their best shot at the City Manager, I will be sitting in the dunk tank at 2:00 at City Park.
Have a nice weekend!
The City Council on April 16 will include the following:
April 16, 2019
A busy week on a number of key projects:
Specific Plan Overview:
From last week’s update, I have received a number of questions about “what is a specific plan”, how does it play a role in relation to the City’s General Plan, annexation and eventual development. Here is an overview.
The purpose of a Specific Plan is to provide a vehicle for implementing the City’s General Plan on an area-specific basis. A Specific Plan is both a policy and regulatory document. It must be consistent with the City’s General Plan.
The most important aspects of a specific planning process includes:
The following framework is a draft guide the City Staff has developed with the goal of creating effective, efficient, and statutorily complete documents that share a common outline countywide. The content of a Specific Plan must meet the requirements of California Government Code Section 65451.
Here are some of the key components of a specific plan document:
Thanks and have a nice weekend.
A very busy and active week.
We had a very busy City Council Meeting with public input regarding concerns on development, planning and annexation which are related to a possible request for a Specific Planning Process for the most northerly properties in the City. Lots of issues and questions came up, so I thought it might be beneficial to clarify some things and answer some of the questions directly.
The representatives from Bellvue North who owns the majority of the property in the north part of the City’s planning area have not submitted any plans or official requests to the City as of today. Staff has been in discussions with them regarding the potential for a long range Specific Plan for their property. Discussions have predominantly focused on the area where the planning would occur, the process and scope of the work which would be undertaken, reimbursement of costs incurred by the City to be paid by the applicant and the need for extensive public engagement, environmental review and planning.
Staff has specifically told Bellvue North that any specific plan must include a planning process which includes all land both inside the City Limits and within the current planning area which are outside the limits which would need to be annexed. We put it on Bellvue North to work with the remaining property owners (there are three others) to participate in the planning effort, which they have said they have done. The reason for including the remaining properties if so the final plan will have complete continuity for the entire area.
A simple geographic reference and roughly speaking it is for the properties located just north of Niemann Street and Moody Slough (not including those properties on Niemann). Bellvue North owns 183 acres which are currently within the City limits, 210 acres which are within the City’s planning area but not in the City limits (the acreage which would need to be annexed) for a total of 393 acres. There are approximately 130 acres owned by other property owners which are in the planning area but not in the limits which are owned by others (and would need to be annexed at a later time). In conversations with Bellvue North, they have discussed the idea of possibly expanding the City’s planning area by approximately 270 acres on additional land they own north of the City’s General Plan area. They have also suggested they are interested in establishing a 480 acre agricultural mitigation area just north of the City.
The numbers included here are directly from the Bellvue North. In meetings, they have shown maps and photo’s but not submitted or given anything for the City to keep. I would venture to guess that over the years, we have seen no fewer than 6 versions, all different with very little specificity on ultimate land uses.
Yes. Over the years, we have met with representatives of Bellvue North, their owner Greg Hostetler, their engineers and environmental consultants on numerous occasions regarding multiple topics including flood control and drainage, Moody Slough, the prospect of creating public access for bike and walking trails, water, wastewater re-use, environmental projects, economic development opportunities and planning. In total (both in and out of the City) they own literally thousands of acres and are a major land concern so without question, Staff talks with them.
As Staff discussions with Bellvue North moved toward the potential for a request coming to the City, their representative, Jeff Roberts requested to meet with the City Council Members in February for an opportunity to introduce himself, talk about the prospects of a specific planning process and the overall process for public engagement, plan development and environmental review. The Council Members met individually(so as to avoid a violation of the Brown Act) with Mr. Roberts, he brought in some large photo’s of the properties and talked about the concept of the specific plan, possible expansion of the planning area and agricultural mitigation area. Staff (me) sat in on each meeting to assure continuity of information delivered to the Council and to answer any questions or provide clarification on issues which might arise, especially on process. One City Council Member met with Mr. Roberts on a second occasion and Staff participated in that meeting also.
In the past, Mr Roberts has inquired about the prospect of submitting a subdivision map for the 183 acres already in the City limits for development (which they can do at any time). Staff has suggested that a more comprehensive planning effort, such as a specific plan would be more beneficial to the City. The logic behind this position is that a broader planning area gives greater opportunities for a cohesive long term outcomes which would benefit the City.
As part of the Economic Development Advisory Committee Meetings (EDAC in 2018), Jeff Roberts representing the property owner came in as a guest speaker to answer questions regarding potential economic development opportunities on their property. The EDAC has included extensive recommendations on land use and flood control in their report. Because many recommendations were specific to Bellvue North land, Staff provided drafts of the report to Mr. Roberts so their group would not be surprised or unaware of the discussions. As Mr. Roberts was considering submitting a planning request, Staff repeatedly suggested that they wait to allow public discussions to occur (through the Strategic Planning Workshops) so they could hear public input outside of their request before submitting and starting another process.
As an aside, Staff meets constantly with property owners, businesses and prospective property owners about land use. At the City of Winters, we work to maintain optimum transparency and customer service for people who own property, businesses or are looking to invest in the City. Its simply what we do both big and small! The biggest complaint about government is people’s inability to “get answers” so we work to keep an open door and be accessible.
The City Staff is unaware of any RFP by Bellvue North for planning services. We have told them and they have acknowledged that they want to bring a quality planning organization as part of any application to work with the City on such a project, so it would not be out of the ordinary for them to look to hire someone. This is no different than a property owner who hires an architect to help them design a home. In this case, Bellvue North will have a large group of planners, engineers, environmental consultants, etc within their team and doing an RFP is how you get proposals.
Before considering or working on any submittal by Bellvue North (or any applicant), the City has provided our standard form “reimbursement agreement” which provides for the applicant to cover all City costs in the consideration of their application. In this case, we requested a $20,000 deposit and they have executed and sent the agreement it back. We do this for all projects to insure that the City costs are covered.
As a perspective, the City hires and pays all consultants associated with processing an application by any developer. This includes the project manager, environmental consultants, engineers, traffic engineers, financial consultants, etc as well as City Staff. The City team works independently of the applicant, reporting only to the City and not the applicant. This is done to avoid any conflicts. It is through the reimbursement agreement that the City receives the funds to pay the consultants.
Yes. LAFCO is the agency responsible for all annexations and it is logical to contact them on process and law. Our discussions are also a courtesy to keep them in the loop that something might be on the horizon. We have been talking with them about annexation issues for probably the past 5 years!
General Plans are extremely expensive and the City still owes almost $400,0000 from the 1992 plan. Timing on this depends on whether a planning application is submitted by Bellvue North which would essentially do a comprehensive update on all of our planning documents and in essence, an updated General Plan. The City has received a $100,000 grant towards a “refresh” of our documents to make them more user friendly and in line with State goals for how planning documents look. A refresh would most likely occur in our 2019-20 Fiscal Year.
Tuesday night was an active discussion with lots of issues.
Have a nice weekend!
A couple items this week:
Today, I attended the Sacramento Valley City Manager’s Group at the City of Davis Police Department. To begin the meeting, we heard from Chief Darren Pytel who gave us an overview of dealing with the murder of Police Officer Natalie Corona. To say it was riveting would be an understatement as the Chief gave a summary of the incident along with the ramifications it has had on the Davis Police Department. Simply unfathomable and much respect to the men and women of the Davis Police Department for their professionalism and humanity in dealing with the situation then and now moving forward.
One of my biggest takeaways from the event was the Chief describing how fast social media took the situation. He described the need to provide notification to the family of Officer Corona’s passing and how social media beat him to getting back into the Police Station to get a phone number before the family and friends were alerted to the situation from media and the social media system. Imagine the idea of being alerted of the death of a loved one on Facebook?
Without question, technology has expedited things but at some point, we need to question the veracity of spreading this type of information outside the human interaction and dignity which notification of such an issue deserves. People post information without even questioning or considering the impacts on the sensitivity on those with the greatest impact, such as family members. Just a takeaway.
Finally, Chief Pytel shared a quiet tribute paid to Officer Corona. In the early morning of January 11th following her passing, the body of Natalie Corona was transferred from the UC Davis Medical Center to the Yolo County Morgue. He described a procession which left the Medical Center at 3:30 am with literally hundreds of police officers and family in tow behind the hearse. On virtually every overpass between the Medical Center and Woodland there were fire trucks and ordinary folks with lights and candles paying honor to the fallen officer. The community coming together in those moments was the start of the healing for the family, Davis PD and the greater public from a very tragic and heart wrenching event.
Chief Pytel and his entire team are outstanding representatives of what is really important about leadership in law enforcement, especially when they are forced into critical incidents like the murder of a fellow officer. Humanity, professionalism, the rule of law, compassion and dignity were all in play on the evening of January 10 and Davis PD made the law enforcement community and Officer Natalie Corona proud.
Have a nice weekend.
Finally, I had an opportunity to participate in the Youth Empowerment Seminar which was hosted by Yolo Auditor-Controller-Elections Officer Jesse Salinas. The program is designed to educate high school students on local government and allow them to discuss issues important to them. It was an amazing program!
The first thing you realize is the local government is just not taught in our schools in really any form. It was surprising what some clearly well informed students simply did not know about how their communities operate in relation to local services, including their own education through the school districts.
The most important thing you realize is what a promising future we have with these students. The students were extremely sharp and passionate on a variety of the top issues of today from health care, food, water and housing. I will share that when it comes to housing and development, the students understand the crisis in housing costs and availability probably better than most adults. Sustainability to them falls into where they live in proximity to jobs, entertainment and amenities. It was refreshing to hear them taking a much longer view on the future than I expected.
The “ah ha” moment for me was sitting with two students from Winters High, one of which I have known literally her entire life (she is my neighbor) and the other is the cadet sergeant with our Police Department Cadet Program. The poise and confidence of these young women was impressive. Articulate, sharp and very capable of taking on the assignments being given by the YES coordinator. They took on a couple pretty complex issues and just knocked them out of the park! I was proud to be from Winters as they showed leadership at the table with students from other schools.
One thing I have learned about students from Winters High (both of my kids are Winters High grads) is that small town school avails a very quiet confidence because there are few places for them to hide. The engagement they get compared to students in the larger high schools is evident. We are blessed with some really good teachers throughout the WJUSD and it shows. Our students represented well at the YES conference!
Have a nice weekend.
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