West Side needs to get voices out in planning process
Feb 06, 2013 | 1615 views | 3 3 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The voice of West Side residents are often ignored when it comes to regional planning, so it was a shame to see such a low turnout at the Valley Vision Stanislaus planning workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

The Valley Vision document, slated to be released by the Stanislaus Council of Governments in October, aims to incorporate both transportation and housing plans in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While the plan will not supersede any planning conducted by the city of Patterson or Stanislaus County, it will provide a basic planning framework within the county.

Despite the low turnout, it was great that StanCOG leaders made the trek out to Patterson and it was encouraging that they heard ideas presented by some of our local leaders.

Those include the mention by Councilmen Larry Buehner and Dominic Farinha of a possible bypass that would connect Interstate 5 and Highway 99. West Main Street has been the site of too many fatal accidents over the years, and it would be a great benefit to have a road that would be safer and more efficient and would prevent the West Side from being isolated from the rest of the county.

At the same time, StanCOG must do a better job of getting the word out to the West Side about these workshops. Six days’ notice is not a sufficient amount of time when conducting a presentation in a community that has only a weekly newspaper.

More work needs to be done to attract attendees, as it is vital the West Side’s voice be heard.

We’ll shoulder the blame for this, too. While the Irrigator posted information on Thursday, Jan. 31, about the Jan. 30 meeting, with additional details about this week’s workshop in Patterson, we could have done more to mention the meeting on our social media sites.

In addition, we wrongly assumed at first that the joint City Council and planning commission meeting would start at the normal 7 p.m. time, and not at 6 p.m., as scheduled.

As a result, we had to correct the information when the city finally released a staff report on the meeting late Thursday.

One way or another, locals need to become more involved in the planning process in upcoming meetings in March and during the summer.

It’s not often that the rest of the county wants to hear the West Side’s input, so we should take advantage of it while we can.

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February 11, 2013
Maybe if the mayor would reach out to the people we would support these meetings
February 06, 2013
Low turnout for a planning meeting in Patterson? What else is new? During planning sessions in the past, hardly anyone from the general public showed up. Just like the General Plan meetings. Those attending were those looking to make a buck from the City's planning process. Zoning for dollars. A basic planning framework is meanlngless. A majority of the County's nine cities have already demonstrated they can't come to a basic framework on anything. They will put their own self interests first anyways. At this workshop, there was talk about the need to create larger densities to prevent sprawl and protect farmland. Patterson did just the opposite.
February 06, 2013
Don't forget that this is the height of cold and flu season. There are a lot of sick people right now.

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