- City of Vacaville General Plan Update - http://www.vacavillegeneralplan.org -
Posted By dceplanning On May 10, 2010 @ 3:26 pm In | No Comments
Vacaville is joining an increasing number of California communities in developing a plan to address climate change at the local level. The Vacaville Climate Action Plan (CAP) will identify major sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Vacaville and establish a long-term strategy to achieve GHG emissions reduction targets. Implementation of the CAP will guide Vacaville’s actions to reduce its contribution to global climate change and will support the State of California’s ambitious emission reduction targets.
The CAP will be a separate document, but consistent with the General Plan. It will establish a baseline GHG emissions inventory that relies on data provided by the Solano Transportation Authority. Incorporating input from the Steering Committee and community, the CAP will establish appropriate GHG emission reduction targets, as well as a series of measures to reach those targets.
As the “constitution” of development and conservation for the Vacaville community, the General Plan Update will rely heavily on input from Vacaville residents. The primary vehicle for soliciting public feedback will be a series of community workshops held at critical phases of the project. All of the workshops will contain interactive exercises to educate, engage, and maximize participant input. The following five community workshops are anticipated for the General Plan Update; specific dates will be posted here when they are set:
A variety of strategies for public outreach, education, and participation will be employed during the Vacaville General Plan Update. The following efforts will ensure that the public, community leaders, stakeholders, special districts, and agencies are kept up-to-date on project progress.
Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the potential environmental impacts of all major development projects must be assessed, disclosed, and appropriately mitigated. The results of this environmental review process are delivered in the form of an Environmental Impact Report, or EIR.
CEQA identifies General Plan Updates and Climate Action Plans (CAPs) as “major projects.” As required by CEQA Guidelines, the Vacaville General Plan and CAP EIR will identify the potential environmental impacts associated with implementation of the General Plan and CAP. This analysis will assess and, if necessary, include measures to reduce potential impacts related to a series of CEQA-required topics. These topics include: aesthetics; agricultural and forest resources; air quality; biological resources; cultural resources; geology, soils, and mineral resources; greenhouse gases; hazards and hazardous materials; hydrology and water quality; land use; noise; population and housing; public services; recreation; traffic and transportation; and utilities.
The General Plan is the principal policy document guiding the development and conservation of municipalities in California. State law requires every county, city and town to adopt a General Plan. As such, it is often referred to as the “constitution” of local development. Each General Plan outlines that municipality’s goals related to all aspects of community life, as well as policies and actions developed to achieve those goals. The General Plan is the foundation of all local land use actions (zoning, permitted development, allowable activities, etc.) and City Council decisions.
The Land Use Map is the policy “backbone” of the Land Use Element, and is required of all General Plans. The Land Use Map presents the land use designations for all parcels in Vacaville, including residential, commercial, office, industrial, public, open space, and agricultural uses. These designations establish the pattern, nature, and location of allowable development throughout the city.
Vacaville’s General Plan Land Use Map was last updated in 1990. In 2008, the City of Vacaville adopted an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) that effectively delineates two areas of the city as accommodating the majority of Vacaville’s growth over the next 20 years. Growth in these two areas, roughly defined as the area east of Leisure Town Road and the northeast area of the city straddling Interstate 80, is not addressed in the current Land Use Map. Therefore, a major component of the General Plan Update process will be to strategically revise the Land Use Map to provide for future development in these key areas. Other areas of the city in which growth may be encouraged through changes to Land Use Map designations include Downtown Vacaville and various underutilized commercial centers.
The location of the Vacaville Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) identifies two areas of Vacaville as centers of new growth and development over the next 20 years. It is critical that General Plan Update policies and the Land Use Map integrate input from current owners of land and businesses in those areas. Therefore, the project team will host a pair of stakeholder workshops specifically to engage stakeholders in these two areas in the creation of land use alternatives. The following stakeholder workshops are anticipated; specific dates will be posted here when they are set:
The Steering Committee for the Vacaville General Plan Update is as an advisory panel comprised of the seven members of the Vacaville Planning Commission, one member of the Housing and Redevelopment Commission, and one member of the Community Services Commission. The Steering Committee will convene meetings to provide input and feedback throughout the General Plan Update process. The first meeting will be scheduled soon, and it will focus on introducing Committee members to the General Plan Update process, discussing the role of the Steering Committee, reviewing the project schedule, and discussing goals and expectations for the process. All Steering Committee meetings will be noticed and open to the public. Presentations and handouts developed for all Steering Committee meetings will be posted for public review.
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