The General Plan Update
What is it and why do we do it?
In the lifespan of a Town, there is more to growth than putting up buildings or constructing roads. There has to be an overview, a sense of the grand picture of where the Town is going and what it wants to be when it gets there. This ‘Big Picture’ view is known as a General Plan. The General Plan provides a look at what amenities and facilities the Town has and strategizes how to manage growth without losing the overall character of the Town.
In Danville, the General Plan was last updated from 1997-1999. The update, which planned for growth through 2010, took 21 months and 38 public meetings to accomplish and was finally approved by the Town Council on August 3, 1999.
In most cases, the results of a General Plan update are not easily seen by residents. Generally, the update brings with it policy level decisions that wouldn’t be noticed unless an individual were to try to build something in an area where guidelines have changed or wish to make changes that would conflict with an action called for within the plan.
In the long view, many of the modifications and changes that were approved weren’t seen until years later. One example would be that many of Danville’s parks and trails were upgraded or improved through the formulation and adoption of the Danville Park, Recreation and Arts Strategic Plan.
Now, as the Town reaches the end of the 2010 General Plan, it has become necessary to once again look at where things stand in the Town of Danville and plot a course for where the Town should be and what it should look like in the future.
Chief of Planning Kevin Gailey began the behind the scenes work involved in updating the plan in March 2009. The opening chapter of the update dealt with the Housing Element, looking at what housing is currently available, what the Town is mandated by the State of California to provide and how to ensure that those minimums are met.
The update will also look into environmental impacts in Danville and how well the Town meets state environmental requirements.
Throughout the course of the update, public input will be a critical element in crafting a plan that most accurately reflects the Town of Danville. Public meetings will be scheduled over the next several months to allow residents to give feedback on the plan update and help shape the Town’s future. One such public meeting was held Nov. 30, 2010. Over 100 residents attended and offered input into the scope of the study to be conducted as part of the Environmental Impact Report. A powerpoint presentation was given, explaining much of why the update needs to take place and what information will be updated.
Information on further meetings will be posted on the Town’s website www.danville.ca.gov, but will also be available via e-mail through the Town’s e-news service. Residents can sign up to receive bulletins pertaining to the General Plan Update as well as a host of other issues. In order to sign up, residents should go to the Town’s website and click on the “Sign up for E-News updates” link at the bottom of the home page.
For more information on the General Plan Update, contact Chief Planner Kevin Gailey at (925) 314-3305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.