The work in progress is the update of the city’s General Plan, the bedrock planning document that guides how the city grows and is maintained. It covers the location and types of housing, roadways and utilities, types and locations of businesses, park construction and open space, providing for public health and safety, ensuring financial stability and quality-of-life issues such as traffic, noise and appearance.
“It really is important at this point in time for any stakeholder to be involved, whether they live here, work here, have a business here or just own property,” said Tim Nielson in the city’s Community Development Department.
The various elements within the plan are updated individually between comprehensive updates. For example, the Growth Management, Land Use and Circulation Elements were updated in 2001, while a Housing Element update was completed last month.
State law requires each city’s General Plan to be updated periodically – about every 20 years – to make certain the plan reflects the current conditions of the city and the desires of current residents. Brentwood’s last comprehensive General Plan update was completed in 1993; the current update will be completed in 2014.
There are several ways in which residents can weigh in. First, a series of visioning workshops is aimed at encouraging residents to become involved in the process and provide input regarding the issues, visions and goals that the update should address. An overview of the update process will be presented at the beginning of each workshop, as will a variety of activities such as hands-on mapping exercises and break-out discussion groups, said Nielson.
The next Visioning Workshop is set for next Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak St. The last scheduled workshop will be held Saturday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Brentwood Senior Activity Center, 193 Griffith Lane.
Helping to convert the information gleaned from the workshops into a draft General Plan will be the General Plan Working Group. The nine-member group will include two City Council members, two planning commissioners, one Park & Recreation commissioner and four residents. The group will put together the rough draft of the plan, which will be sent to the full Planning Commission and City Council.
The Working Group will meet monthly for about 18 months, beginning in February of 2013, Nielson said. Applications can be found on the city’s website, www.ci.brentwood.ca.us, and must be submitted by Jan. 11, 2013.
The third way for residents to provide input is through the city’s website. The site’s home page provides a link to the General Plan Update, where you can fill out a pair of polls. Nielson said the most thorough of the polls could take anywhere from a half-hour to several hours to complete, depending on the level of input you wish to provide.