Turlock General Plan Earns Prestigious American Planning Association Award

David Fransen

The City of Turlock's new General Plan is among the best in the region, according to the American Planning Association.

The APA California Chapter Central Section has presented the City of Turlock with an Outstanding Planning Award of Merit in the Comprehensive Planning: Small Jurisdiction category for the city's General Plan.

The APA is a national not-for-profit educational organization which advocates excellence in community planning. Since its 1978 founding, the APA has also worked to empower citizens to play a role in community planning.

The new Turlock General Plan, adopted in September 2012, will govern the city's growth for the next 20 years. It was developed over a four year period, with numerous public meetings held to obtain public comment on the plan.

The General Plan reflects the vision of community members, focusing on maintaining farmland and limiting growth through the compact development of master planned neighborhoods. Those compact neighborhoods will have greenbelts weaving through them, encouraging walkable and bikeable neighborhoods.

“The City of Turlock’s efforts to incorporate walkable design criteria into new development shows a respect for all development types and encourages a balanced and healthy community,” said Ralph Kachadourian, the California Chapter Central Section director.

The APA California Central Section encompasses 11 counties, ranging from Stanislaus to Kern Counties in the valley as well as mountain counties like Mono and Inyo. Its annual awards recognize quality and innovation in land use planning, as well as outstanding achievements and individuals.

“Without employing good planning principles, local development could lead to urban blight, unmanaged sprawl, and less than desirable aesthetics,” Kachadourian said.

Turlock was one of five governmental agencies to win awards from the APA California Chapter Central Section in 2013. Lemore, Tehachapi, Kern County, and Madera also earned awards for various planning achievements.

TurlockCityNews.com Editor Alex Cantatore was recognized with the APA California Chapter Central Section's Individual Journalist Award in 2012 for outstanding public service reporting on land use and planning issues in the City of Turlock.

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