The last time that the community came together to update the city’s General Plan – the planning document that shapes the city’s goals and future for decades – the vision for Manteca was set for 2020.
And if everything goes as planned with the new effort launched Thursday night at a community meeting at the Manteca Transit Center, the update designed to guide Manteca’s growth through 2040 will be in place just before that date actually arrives.
Led by a Sacramento-area planning consultant that has been hired to steer the project through to completion, the community was part of a brainstorming initiative on Thursday to come up with ideas that will help those who are drafting the document narrow the focus onto key elements that the public wants included.
Short of the housing element, which was recently submitted and approved and certified by the State of California, the entire fabric of the document – which serves a long-range planning map for city staff and elected officials – is being reworked and updated to current standards and forecasts.
For Gary Singh, the former Manteca planning commissioner who was elected to the city council in November, the document provides a roadmap for carrying the city into its future and the fact that it’s being redesigned, he says, will help solidify the vision that the community has for itself.
“I think that is a complete approach towards getting a better perspective on our future where we are going to move going forward,” Singh said of the complete overhaul approach to the overall document. “I think that putting a Band-Aid over the differences from when this was last approved in 2003 is not the option, so we have to find something that accommodates our plans for future growth and allows us to understand our needs for housing as we grow.”
If everything goes as planned, components of the draft document could be in place by the end of this summer, and the final document could be up for approval and certification roughly two years from then – from early to mid 2019.
That would update the last forecast which was set for 2020 just one year shy of that target date, and roll back the next target date for 2040 – giving the city an idea of what it’s future growth projections are, and how to plan to accommodate that growth and sustain the existing components of the community.
According to Ben Ritchie, the principal of the El Dorado Hills-based De Novo Planning Group – which recently updated the general plans of Sebastopol and Brentwood – meetings like the one held Thursday help narrow the focus of a rather large light down onto the core elements.
“We’re looking to develop a vision statement and create components that will shape the direction of this document moving forward,” Ritchie said. “These meets help develop that vision and assist in that process.”
Two other vision workshops will be held in April – on April 6 and April 20 – at the Manteca Transit Center at 6:30 p.m. The report on the existing conditions within the current general plan will be available in either late spring or early summer, and the report focusing on issues that the community needs to address will be ready in the summer.
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