On August 21, 2019, the City held a joint community workshop of the City Council and Planning Commission to discuss a number of key planning subjects including the status of any application regarding the North Area, an overview of the application and plan review process, the status of the General Plan and an overview of key planning issues in California. The Workshop was well attended and the public provided a number of important themes in their comments.
One of the most important takeaways was the importance that the City needs to ensure a very robust process of engagement, information and planning to bring the community into a process of planning all facets of the how, where and the pace of development within the City.
From the City Staff perspective and in my discussions with both City Council and Planning Commission, the message was heard loud and clear!
Key themes in the comments included:
- The need for a robust community outreach and engagement of residents in planning the City’s future. Multiple people noted that many of the City’s residents today did not have input on the current General Plan, and they should have input on how the City develops moving forward. Its time to get lots of folks involved!
- Concerns regarding the pace, location and the phasing of growth within the City.
- Questions and concerns regarding the current and potential growth boundaries of the City’s planning area.
- Need for a review on the payoff of the debt owed on the 1992 General Plan.
- The need for a review of General Plan policies and sections to reflect community values and aspirations.
- The relevancy and applicability of the City’s current General Plan.
- The importance of citizen input and collaboration in the planning process, review of the General Plan.
- The need for a Climate Action Plan to establish baseline expectations for addressing this critical area.
Staff has taken these themes and is incorporating them into an overall land use planning work program which will be presented to the City Council on October 1, 2019.
At the end of the workshop, the Council provided staff with some specific direction on some key items including the following:
- Status of Northeast Area
- Direct staff to maintain the informational website with current information regarding the project and application status.
- Land Development Application Process
- Affirm the described land development application process for continued use with new applications
- Direct staff to post the steps for a typical land development application process online as an informational tool
- Direct staff to provide monthly updates to Council on activity related to land development projects.
- Status of General Plan
- Direct staff to undertake an adequacy review of General Plan to identify required and other strongly recommended changes, as well as preliminary budget and funding information for making such changes
- Direct staff to develop workplan for update of the Housing Element with preliminary budget and funding information
- Direct staff to investigate mechanisms and a timeline to pay off the 1992 General Plan interfund loan
Status of Annexation
- Direct staff to undertake an adequacy review of the location and extent of the General Plan planning area
- General Plan Implementation
- Direct staff to identify funding and prepare a workplan plan for adoption of a Climate Action Plan/Sustainability Strategy.
- Direct staff to report on the status and adequacy of the City’s infrastructure master plans, including the status of the Flood Overlay Zone (FOZ), and the major projects financing fee program
Additionally, Staff is proposing projects to specifically address many of the themes which were presented at the workshop. There are many details in development and some things will take time to prepare, (and may be modified) but will be presented at the October 1 meeting.
Without question, people at the workshop are interested in participation in planning the future of the City, and making sure that the City’s residents have input into land use and planning decisions moving forward. Making sure that our citizens have this opportunity will be the number one priority.
Staff is now working on the development of a public outreach strategy to maximize community participation in the review and prioritization of general plan policy development.
The work program will include the following to address concerns related to the General Plan:
- A General Plan adequacy review.
- The development of an overall strategy for the update of needed aspects of the General Plan, including funding and an overall framework.
- A General Plan Refresh Strategy which will include the overall scope and parameters for policy review, presentation and update of key General Plan Documents.
The important of establishing a clear picture of a sound financial future for the City to provide services, maintain infrastructure and sustain critical services such as school, public safety and the wide variety of quality of life services such as parks and projected senior services is critical. The work program will include a variety of fiscal models to help in the decision making process.
The importance of accessibility of information on planning is a critical part of the overall process. The work program includes:
- Maintenance and regular updates to the City’s North Area Planning Website to include project status reports, monthly updates, planning application information.
- Regular updates before the City Council on planning applications.
Climate Action Strategy and Plan:
The work program will include a program toward the update and adoption of a Climate Action Plan. This may include:
- Establishment of an Advisory Climate Committee/Commission to work with Staff and consultants in the update and review of a Climate Action Plan.
- Development of a Climate Action Plan Document which may include the update of the current draft document and a merge with the draft climate action strategy.
- The application of applicable Yolo Climate Resiliency Tool Box policies within City policies and programs.
- Environmental Review and adoption of a Climate Action Plan.
The proposal will be one of the most comprehensive planning and community participation efforts in many years for the City.
Stay tuned for more information!
Have a nice labor day!
John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager