Thursday, August 7, 2008

Smartville planning

Middletown is not the only town working on a long term Plan of Conservation and Development. Last week, driving on Rte 20 in the Sacramento Valley, I picked up a local newspaper, the
Marysville--Yuba City Appeal-Democrat.  On the front page was an article about the efforts of Yuba County to update its general plan through 2030.  The primary issue in Yuba is how much growth there should be in the county, and on what sort of land should the growth occur (the foothills or the valley). This newpaper article focused on a public meeting held in Smartville, a town halfway between Ousley Ditch and Riffle Box Ravine, south of Mooney Flat (I'm not making this up, look on Google Earth). The meeting was for residents to comment on 5 different maps of how growth might occur, ranging from no growth to huge growth but only in the foothills. From the newspaper coverage, the residents seem to place great value on preserving the valley floor for farmland.
Middletown's Department of Planning, Conservation, and Development has also held a series of public meetings on our city's Plan of Conservation and Development.  Since Middletown is only 1/15th the size of Yuba County, these meetings have not been geographically separated, but rather have been targeted at various citizens groups interested in specific aspects of the City (transportation, or economic development, or conservation, for example).  The next public meeting will be on September 10th, when the Planning and Zoning Commissioners will discuss the plan.  A great deal of thought has gone into Middletown's POCD, from the department's website:
The key principles used to guide the strategic plan are as follows:
  • Limit the sprawl of Low-Density Housing
  • Encourage infill Development
  • Attract Office and Light Industry
  • Protect Natural Resources
  • Emphasize Downtown as the Community Focal Point
  • Increase Access and Use of the Riverfront
  • Improve Design Quality of Development
The presentations of the Middletown POCD  have not been extensively covered in the media (the only reports I can find are HERE and HERE, both in the Middletown Eye).   Perhaps if P&Z had prepared graphic descriptions of extreme possibilities for the future of our city, more media might have covered the POCD. 
The Department of Planning, Conservation, and Development website has the POCD available for very convenient downloading, along with many supporting documents.    

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