At a special joint Riverbank City Council and Planning Commission meeting on Monday, Nov. 4 both groups were informed on the issues and concerns with the current General Plan. The goal of the meeting was to spark discussion among both bodies so that there could be new policies drafted that will incorporate the economic environment that the city is in today.
City Manager Jill Anderson addressed the council and commission and expressed that many of the planning documents, specifically the general plan, were developed at a time of major growth, which has since changed.
“As we all know the whole world economy has changed over the course of the last five years and as a result of that, development today is progressing in a different way and we are indeed hearing from the development community,” said Anderson. “They are here; they are asking questions, showing interest, getting ready to move forward.”
The current General Plan requires the preparation of Specific Plans for large geographic areas. However, said, Anderson, that is where change might be needed.
“And what we are finding is that the General Plan’s current form is not conducive for the type of development that wants to happen today,” said Anderson. “And so in looking at what our resources are as a city and what our documents are, we want to initiate a discussion with you about an amendment, an administrative amendment to the General Plan and look at our annexation strategies as they are currently outlined in the General Plan.”
John Anderson has been the acting contract planner and interim community development director for the past four and a half months for the City of Riverbank. Anderson also owns his own firm, J.B. Anderson Land Use and Planning and has almost 30 years of experience. He was also an integral part of the joint meeting.
He offered a Power Point presentation to educate both council members and planners the types of development being sought today and how they are impacted by the current general plan.
“One great thing is that the entire council and planning commission were able to attend and they all expressed positive comments,” said City Manager Anderson. “The plan moving forward is to incorporate the ideas that were initiated from the discussion into a draft policy that will be reviewed at a meeting in the future.”
No timeline was set for making amendments to the general plan but officials said they are pleased the discussions are under way.