The city council has discussed what a General Plan Update process would look like and, after discussing the issue preliminarily in July, staff has returned with a plan that would initiate the Core Area policy and code amendments first, which has some overlap with a General Plan Update before starting the General Plan Update.
It is anticipated that this would take between three and three and a half years to fully complete.
Staff recommends this approach, as focusing first on the Core Area would allow the city to develop a vision and address the recurring challenges in the Core Area. Second, it would allow making substantial progress toward Core Area policy/code amendments before embarking on a citywide General Plan update. And third, it would use the Core Area visions and preferred alternatives as guides for the General Plan Update.
Staff then lays out a resolution including the following directions:
- Form based code approach. A primary objective of this planning effort is to consider the approaches, principles and components commonly associated with form based codes. The approaches include: creating a detailed vision for the kind of place the community desires; addressing both private and public space design to create a whole place; and then drafting and implementing a code to implement the vision. The extent of amendments to existing plans, policies, codes and guidelines shall be determined through the planning process.
- Improved guide for long term policy decisions and development. A primary objective of the plan is to provide an improved long term framework for policy decisions and to anticipate future physical development consistent with the vision and the implications of such development.
- Guide for infrastructure. A primary objective of this planning effort is to address the adequacy of infrastructure with future growth and development, and to provide a guide for long term infrastructure needs, priorities and investments.
- Address recurring problems. Another primary objective of this planning effort is to resolve or reduce recurring problems with the implementation of existing Core Area policies, codes and guidelines.
- Implementation tools to be determined. This planning effort does not pre-conceive or pre-determine the planning tools that should implement the vision or address the recurring problems.
- Clearer and more concise. The objective is to make Core Area policies and codes more clear, concise and user friendly for owners/applicants, staff, neighbors, commissions and City Council.
- Creative. An objective for the plan is to be innovative and creative with advanced and original aspects.
- Maintain timeline and budget. The intent is to retain a timeline and budget constraints.
- Time horizon. The preliminary time horizon of the plan, the period over which the plan and its implementation would be most relevant, shall be 20 years which could be January 2040 assuming the plan is adopted in December 2019.
- Processing of development applications during the General Plan update. After the Core Area policy/code amendment update begins (defined as the authorization of the consultant team to proceed), staff will generally continue to process all new development applications. Staff is granted the ability, however, to seek Council’s direction on whether to process new development applications that involve changes of land use designation or zoning.
- Community engagement. The objective is to effectively and efficiently engage the community to inform, seek input and obtain comments using techniques appropriate to the objective at the stage of the update process. Community engagement is anticipated to include but not be limited to: on-line information and surveys; public forums and workshops; formation of a Core Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) with open meetings; and public meetings at key stages at the Planning Commission and City Council. The preliminary scope of community outreach shall be identified in the RFP (Requests for Proposal) by City staff requesting that the consultant teams propose how they would vary and the costs. Community engagement in Core Area visioning is a major component early in the process.
- Advisory committee. The CAAC is anticipated to be the primary advisory body to the City Council. The CAAC is intended to provide high level policy input, represent the entire Core Area community as well as their individual interests, and understand the points of view of others.
- Roles of the different parties. The roles of the different parties in the update process including the City Council, CAAC, staff, consultant, Planning Commission, other City commissions, and community members shall be addressed in the RFP by City staff.
- Background reports/information. The responsibilities for the compilation of background reports/information and analyses of existing conditions/trends by staff and the consultant team shall be identified in the RFP by City staff.
—David M. Greenwald reporting