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Quick Status Update on General Plan 2040 – May 2018

Posted on May 29, 2018

Aerial view of San Rafael

  • Project kicked off in Summer 2017
  • This is a Plan Update, not a brand new Plan. Updating policies in the existing plan to reflect new state laws, emerging issues, current data, and forecasts to 2040
  • Initial tasks were to retain a project manager, form a Steering Committee, and prepare a detailed Work Program
  • Project manager retained in July 2017
  • Steering Committee appointed in December 2017. Will meet for next 2 years
    • 23 members and 22 alternates
    • Represents City Commissions, interest groups, geographic areas, and city at-large
    • Meets 2nd Wednesday of month; four meetings have taken place already
    • Committee is a sounding board for policies and map decisions—also a liaison to the community and their respective groups
  • Work Program approved by City Council in March 2018
    • Lays out 15 tasks to complete the General Plan and EIR
    • Detailed descriptions of the data to be collected and analyzed
  • In April, City received a $500,000 grant from ABAG/ MTC to do a “Downtown Precise Plan”.
    • Work on this Plan will be done concurrently with General Plan.
    • Will look at Downtown in more detail than the General Plan and address historic preservation, economic development, design, public space, and similar issues
    • Will result in new/ revised zoning districts for Downtown
  • General Plan Update is building on recent (or ongoing) plans, such as Climate Change Action Plan Update, Bike and Ped Master Plan, Station Area Plans, Downtown Parking and Wayfinding Study, Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Critical issues that must be addressed by the General Plan:
    • Growth (Where? How much? What type? Density? Design?)
    • Traffic congestion – local and regional
    • Need for affordable housing
    • Resilience (sea level rise, fire hazards, earthquake vulnerability)
    • Impacts of technology (autonomous vehicles, “smart” city technology, on-line retail, etc.)
    • Environmental justice, health, and equity (new State mandate)
  • Next steps: Community engagement
    • Community Workshops (tentatively planning “Town Hall” meetings in late September)
    • Periodic meetings with stakeholder groups (such as Federation, Chamber, MCL, etc.)
    • On-line engagement (website, interactive questions for public feedback)
    • Briefings to Council and Commissions
    • Focused outreach to groups who are harder to reach (meetings in Spanish, etc.)
  • Next steps: Will be working with Federation and neighborhood organizations to update the “Neighborhoods” Element
  • Next steps: Data collection and analysis (to provide the basis for new policies and maps)—demographics, economy, real estate, hazards, natural resources, transportation, infrastructure, historic preservation, community services, etc.


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