City Council appoints General Plan task force
The last comprehensive General Plan update was 18 years ago.
The Corning Planning Commission has been tasked with an enormous responsibility.
The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved appointing the commission as the city's General Plan update task force.
"This is a process that could take years. It will be a lot of work and I appreciate your willingness to take on the job," Mayor Gary Strack told members of the Planning Commission during a joint meeting of the council and commission.
Commission members include Ryan Reilly, Frank Barron, Melodie Poisson, Brant Mesker and Chairwoman Diana Robertson.
Funding for the General Plan update comes through a $100,000 grant from the Planning/Technical Assistance Allocation of the state Community Development Block Grant Program.
The grant is good for two years, according to City Planning Consultant John Stoufer.
City Manager John Brewer said updating the general plan will provide the city an opportunity to adopt sustainable goals and policies, provide for mixed-use and denser development and promote development that's more harmonious with the environment.
The city's Environmental Consultant Eihnard Diaz said utilizing the commission as the update task force makes sense because the agency is already familiar with the General Plan and that knowledge will spell out to less cost in creating the update draft.
"We have an outstanding planning commission," Stoufer said.
In a presentation, Stoufer and Diaz said the purpose of the general plan is to provide for improvement for the city, its residents, employers and employees; provide for the physical development of the city and any land in its sphere of influence; provide a blueprint for the development and conservation of city resources; and identify the city's long-range goals, objectives, policies and implementation measures.
"According to the California Supreme Court, a city plan is a 'Constitution for future development,'" Diaz said.
The plan also establishes a foundation for land use decisions and informs the community of the "ground rules that guide existing and future development."
It has been 18 years since the last comprehensive general plan update took place.
"The practice is to update every 15 to 20 years," Diaz said. "The upcoming update needs to reflect the city's current vision and priorities for the next 20 years."
A "tentative preliminary" plan update schedule was presented that began with Tuesday's meeting and ended March 2013 with a city council review and adoption.
"This is very much open to change," Stoufer said.
The process includes numerous public hearings and public workshops.