General Plan Update Adopted

The City of Visalia announced yesterday that its general plan update was adopted:

At a special meeting on Oct. 14, the Visalia City Council approved the adoption of the Climate Action Plan, the General Plan Update and the associated Environmental Impact Report.

“This truly is the community’s plan – the community was engaged throughout the process, from inception to adoption,” said Mayor Steve Nelsen. “The time and commitment, attention to detail, public discussion and debate has brought us to this moment, and this Plan will now guide the City’s growth for the next 20 years.”

This Update replaces the existing General Plan which was adopted in 1991. Minor updates have been made to the Plan over the years, but no comprehensive update has been done until now.

The Plan consists of nine chapters, which cover the following topics: Land Use; circulation; open space; conservation; components related to noise, safety, air quality and greenhouse gases; as well as elements that address local concerns such as historic preservation and parks, schools, community facilities, and utilities. The Climate Action Plan provides a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It includes objectives and policies from the proposed General Plan that addresses long-term emissions reduction efforts. The timeframe for the CAP extends from the date of adoption through 2030.

The Update process, which took a little more than four years to complete, was led by the General Plan Update Review Committee, comprised of 25 members representing all facets of the community. Over 33 GPURC meetings involved sharing information and ideas that were developed through a variety of methods used to ensure the community’s full participation, including stakeholder interviews, community workshops (with Spanish translators and translated workshop materials provided), and four “Town Hall” style meetings in each quadrant of the city.

Based on this public input, the GPURC developed the overall themes of the General Plan, potential Growth Concepts and responses to neighborhood-specific issues. The results of the GPURC’s efforts was a Preliminary Draft General Plan, which was presented to the Planning Commission and City Council and ultimately evolved into the Draft General Plan.

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