Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Growers Respond to Details that Matter

Last night's general plan advisory committee meeting was really interesting. Many of the comments made it look like the board had little to do with    drafting of much of the updated new general plan. The video is just one example. In a joking tone, one member said they had worked on 3%.

The other interesting thing was the MIG guy (Daniel Iacofano) was very selective in which advisory board comments he would respond to. For many comments he would go into depth and with others he just wrote them on the board and tried to move on. To the credit of the board, various board members kept bringing  up one key concern (this was another sign that board was distanced from the drafting of most of the plan). That key concern was the insertion of the word "endorse" into the document.  Such a change can be construed as an effort to make the plan something other than a plan.

Daniel and Patrick Murphy were pressed to respond, but they did so in a very shallow manner and never discussed the word endorse. One member even highlighted the importance of clarifying terminology, regarding different language, as means of bypassing needless discussion clutter from the deliberative process. The terminology should have been the first thing Daniel addressed and to many it appeared that Daniel either had zero clue or was going to try to skip past its discussion. Daniel spoke at length about many subjects. Why not clarify language as a starting point?

Even Patrick Murphy ended up vaguely admitting that the usage of the word shall or should matters. 

It is time to bring the deliberative process regarding the drafting of this document into the public's view. Hopefully, the upcoming meetings will be designed to result in options, each of which are analyzed and weighed. It sure would be easier if the staff released which options they had considered and their analyses.


  1. I think the city has done an excellent job of informing citizens of all the workshops and meetings.
    You can lead a horse to water........
    All the general plan info is available with opportunity to comment at:

  2. I agree with Chris and we have been planning on doing a post on that. I've got my mailer next to me for the visual. The city has done decent to solid advertising.

    The problem I have is figuring out why I should invite my neighbors who don't read their "junk mail" to take the time to go to one of the workshops? Why bother? Chris?

  3. I think the city has done an excellent job of informing citizens of all the workshops and meetings.

    Exactly. The city has informed citizens. What it hasn't done is honestly taken the citizens' opinions into consideration.

    Staff knew all along that they wanted to build high-density mixed-use all along El Camino Real.

    They didn't ask residents if we wanted high-density mixed-use, because we would have overwhelmingly said no.

    They asked leading questions like "How do you feel about walkability?" Then when we respond that we like walkability, they take that as an endorsement of their plan to build high-density mixed-use.

  4. Very clear WC. It really wasn't a poll of our wishes as much as a plan presented that solved the numbers, then we were asked how we liked it

  5. They asked leading questions like "How do you feel about walkability?"

    Over on Patch, Mike Andreen quoted this from the General Plan:

    "the conscious and deliberate creation of gridlock during the peak AM and PM hours" along the two commercial corridors, "for the particular reason to increase walkability"

    If that is really in the Plan?!? That's retarded!

  6. Why bother?
    Good question.
    I have seen the city, in fairness, respond to logical public comments. You can make a difference, if you choose to.
    Most of the mass of information is logical responses to needs of the city and residents. There are requirements of the State for housing that need to be accommodated if the city wants state money, safety, transportation needs, parks and rec. stuff, zoning, etc. There are issues that individuals are concerned with more than other issues.
    If one were to wander through the site and get a feel for what is being considered than one can possibly find a topic that they can offer a better way or concept. They will listen and if it is better and others agree, a change will be made.
    With that said, there is no guarantee that council will agree, even though it appears in the final draft. We have seen this happen in the N101 Specific Plan and Cardiffs SP. then we get to voting, supporting and promoting council members that see their word as you do.
    So getting involved or knowing what is being considered will strengthen your position and give you validity is you choose to complain.
    Or one can choose to take the 'andreen' position and do and add nothing to the process and throw rocks on the contributors wagon on the home stretch, like he did in leucadia and downtown a bunch.
    Or hope for the best.
    I do believe that the city and facilitators are listening
    and responsive to public input.
    Your choice.
    And thanks to folks like Kevin, who has no more time available that anyone else and makes the time because he cares.


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