The Turlock City Council and Turlock Planning Commission will be holding a joint meeting on February 19, 2009 that will publicly kick-off a current Updated General Plan process. The public joint meeting will begin at 6:00pm at City Hall located at 156 S. Broadway.
The Turlock community is invited and requested to attend the meeting to share and exchange ideas on the Updated General Plan that will guide city growth during the next 20 years.
The General Plan update process is supposed to be a very public one while working to plan the development of the city according to the community’s expressed goals.
Turlock’s current Updated General Plan, adopted on March 15, 1993, included a very public process spanning almost 3 years. The Updated General Plan has a 20 year horizon.
Seven general plan elements are required by State law, which permits the required contents of the elements to be combined at the discretion of the local government producing the Plan. The seven required elements are: Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Open Space, Conservation, Noise, and Safety.
The consistency requirement established by State law (Government Code Section 65300.5) and interpreted in several significant judicial decisions requires the separate parts of the Plan to be fully integrated and to relate internally without conflict. This horizontal consistency requirement extends to the diagram and figures, as well as to text, and to data and analysis in addition to policies.
All portions of the Plan, whether required by the State or included at the option of local government, have equal legal weight. None may supersede another. Furthermore, if a single element of the General Plan is judged to be inadequate with respect to legal requirements, the entire Plan may be considered inadequate. Comprehensive General Plan revisions such as the one that resulted in production of this Plan provide an ideal opportunity to satisfy the requirements of both comprehensiveness and consistency.
The Plan may be amended from time to time, but opportunities for such amendments are limited to four times per year. Each amendment may make an unlimited number of changes to the Plan. Because the requirement for internal consistency is never relaxed, particular care must be taken to ensure that amendments maintain consistency with text and diagrams in all Plan element.
The current General Plan Update project the City of Turlock and Turlock community will be working on has a purpose, process, a list of key issues, and a schedule outline already in place:
Purpose & Process
In summer 2008, the City Council initiated a multi-year process to update our General Plan. While much of the policy direction and programs in this document remains valid and will be carried through, others may require rethinking and changes. The existing General Plan was adopted in 1993 and partially updated in 2002, and needs to be comprehensively reexamined to ensure that it reflects our goals and priorities for the next 15 to 20 years.
A comprehensive update to the General Plan offers an important opportunity for the people of Turlock to engage in discussions about our history and our future. Residents have the opportunity to get involved at all stages of the process, from the initial visioning and exploration of plan alternatives to the selection of the preferred plan and review of its accompanying Environmental Impact Report. The General Plan is the policy document that will guide the growth and enhancement of your community, so we encourage you to take this opportunity to make your voice heard.
In conjunction with the General Plan, we will be preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is the environmental documentation that must accompany the plan according to State law. The EIR ensures that environmental opportunities and constraints are identified and incorporated into the planning process, and identifies policies that can mitigate any adverse environmental effects of other aspects of the plan. The EIR is a public process as well, and we invite your participation and input during this stage of the planning effort.
Building on our Assets
The City of Turlock has accomplished a great deal since the adoption of the existing General Plan. Successful master and specific planning efforts have resulted in the development of highly desirable new neighborhoods with parks, schools, and local retail. Monte Vista Crossings has become a regional shopping center, bringing increased retail options to city residents and augmenting the local tax base. Other recently completed and ongoing projects contribute to Turlock’s high quality of life, including the Regional Sports Complex and the Carnegie Arts Center. The establishment of the Westside Industrial Specific Plan (WISP) area has positioned the city well to attract new jobs and capitalize on the San Joaquin Valley’s growth. At the same time, Turlock has preserved substantial farmland, maintaining its ties to the agriculture industry and remaining a stand-alone urban area, physically separated from neighboring communities.
Many of the objectives of the current General Plan have been met, and they are exemplified in the city’s many assets. However, many new opportunities and challenges have emerged. The General Plan will have to address many key issues, including but not limited to:
Identify the location for future residential neighborhoods
Attracting jobs and businesses
Forming better partnerships with CSU-Stanislaus
Providing entertainment and youth activities
Building a range of housing types
Fostering a business-friendly attitude at the City; having more flexibility in Codes for older buildings and small businesses
Beautifying the city and its gateways
Continuing Master Planning
Addressing homeless issues
Upgrading transportation, both regionally through expanding capacity and locally through improving road conditions
Incorporating County islands
Achieving fiscal stability
Maintaining and enhancing quality of life for residents
Finally, the General Plan must be crafted in a way that is clear and easy to use, and can be efficiently revised to incorporate future updates and amendments.
The General Plan update process is anticipated to take approximately two years, concluding at the end of 2010. At that time, the City will have comprehensively updated its General Plan, including the Housing Element, and prepared an accompanying Environmental Impact Report (EIR) according to state law.
The diagram below illustrates the phases of the planning process and shows all of the opportunities for public participation throughout.
Information, including most of this information provided, and many more relative documents may be found at the website dedicated to this Updated General Plan process: www.gpupdate.turlock.ca.us