City Beat October 2022
By Don Reynolds, City Manager
As published in the August issue of the Mission Village Voice
Here comes the fall season- time for the City to get its best work done.
On Tuesday, September 20, the Council worked for 4 hours considering a ban on all fireworks and other new ordinances. They updated the personnel policies regarding COVID-19 and approved a telework policy. They decided to re-bid the street improvements after an issue with the bid process. They discussed appointing a new Planning Commissioner (having 2 applicants) and put final decision off until October 18, 2022. They amended the parking ordinance in favor of 2 new parking restrictions about blocking sidewalks and driveways. But the biggest question before the Council centered on the City’s future growth.
Since the mid-1980’s the City’s population has grown at less than 2% per year. The 2016 General Plan estimates a growth of 3%, but its sphere of influence (“SOI”) was never approved by the Local Agency Formation Commission (“LAFCO”). The current SOI is the 1998 General Plan’s Sphere of Influence and is much larger than the one proposed in the 2016 General Plan. In 2020, the City established an Urban Growth Boundary (“UGB”) Ad Hoc Committee to redefine the UGB and SOI. The staff report and definition of this action are all available on the City website: https://bit.ly/3xS3gEl
The UGB-SOI Ad Hoc Committee was reorganized following the election and met in November 2021 and December 2021. A two-tiered map was considered: one tier indicating a select few parcels to be included in the SOI and a second tier of parcels being considered for conservation. In February 2022, the City Council approved hiring a consultant to prepare the LAFCO applications. This includes land use designations and environmental review based on the map considered by the Ad Hoc Committee, which had not approved the final map to be considered the addition or subtraction of an y more parcels to the SOI. The Committee will guide the discussion to decide whether the parcels indicated for conservation will be within the SOI or outside the SOI. This important discussion about the rate of City growth will be in the form of a recommendation that will be brought forward to the Planning Commission and City Council. These steps must occur before any application is submitted to LAFCO.
The City Council agreed to slow the process down, be more deliberate, and allow the UGB-SOI Ad Hoc Committee to resume and complete its work. The Committee will lead this conversation, the most important had work that cities do.
The community still has plenty of opportunities at in-person Planning Commission and City Council meetings to weigh in on the City’s future growth and conservation plans. Please stay connected to this process and be a positive part of the City’s future.