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Home News Latest Planning for the future: Graduate students introduce elements for new Clearlake General Plan

Planning for the future: Graduate students introduce elements for new Clearlake General Plan

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Professor Cornelius Nuworsoo and his team of graduate students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are working with the city of Clearlake, Calif., on its new general plan. Photo by Nathalie V. Antus.

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – A preview of the document that will help shape the future of the city of Clearlake was introduced to the community this past weekend.

On Saturday, March 9, the fourth and final meeting for the city of Clearlake’s General Plan Project was held by the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the city of Clearlake at Clearlake City Hall.  
The meeting presented the preferred growth plan, generated from both community feedback gathered from the last community meeting, and background research on the city’s current conditions.
The general plan project is a partnership between the city and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Together, they are working to review and renew the existing general plan, placing strong emphasis on the public’s involvement.
The team is made up of second-year graduate students in the City and Regional Planning master’s program, under the leadership of Dr. Cornelius Nuworsoo.

The presentation began with describing the process of the general plan’s three stages.

The first stage was describing what the city is currently like.

The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students conducted an inventory of all land uses and researched the background of available documents.

In the second stage, preferences for the vision of Clearlake were explored.

In the third stage, the students put together what they thought were ways to get to the vision that was expressed in the previous two stages.
All of the information from the three stages and Saturday’s meeting are to be compiled into the draft general plan, with a target date of this month.  
The general plan provides a city with guidelines for future planning decisions. California law requires that cities and counties prepare a general plan to guide planning decisions.
The city of Clearlake currently has the same general plan as it did when the city incorporated in 1980.  This project is to review and renew this plan.
The general plan is required by law to address seven elements: land use, circulation, housing, safety, open space, noise and conservation.
Four other elements – economic development, public facilities, community design and health – are optional and have been included by the Cal Poly Graduate students to provide further depth.
At the last workshop meeting, the students looked at three plans for growth development: business as usual, infill/redevelopment and clustered growth.  

The participants responded to a series of questions regarding each plan, telling the students what the community desired.

The feedback from that meeting included:

  • Emphasis on mixed-use housing options;
  • A commercial development that focused on tourism and the waterfront;
  • Slowing down traffic and creating more pedestrian options with addition of sidewalks;
  • Light industry supported in Ogulin Canyon;
  • Pocket parks in residential neighborhoods;
  • All weather road options for emergency service access for unpaved roads;
  • Traffic calming measures and safe routes to school for Pomo Elementary.

The background research for the Cal Poly students helped them to identify Clearlake’s strengths as well as where improvements are needed.

That background research included a land use inventory and analysis of the existing conditions in the city, which included economic and demographic data provided by the U.S. Census and other government agencies.

To develop the background report, background research was combined with community input.
A variety of mediums were utilized in hearing the community’s opinions, preferences and feedback to the process.  

A presentation board on the preferred scenario for the city of Clearlake, Calif., created by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate students who are working with the city on its new general plan. Photo by Nathalie V. Antus.

The Plan Clearlake Web site, , has been populated with all documents and presentations to the community.  

Residents not able to make the meetings took advantage of the site and sent in their comments via email.
As a part of the process, three community meetings were conducted preceding last Saturday’s presentation.

Meeting one recognized the community’s thoughts on what is holding the community back and what aspects have the potential to reinvent and reinvigorate the area.

Meeting two took the concerns and ideas of the community and presented emerging directions from community input.  

Meeting three the planning team presented three growth plans based on projected population, job, and housing projections.  

After the feedback of preferences by element and by plan, the Cal Poly Graduate students developed a preferred plan for review at Saturday’s meeting.
All recommendations were made in accordance with state and federal standards as well as local input.
The students then presented the city’s land use inventory, 2010 employment trends, income comparison and housing types.

Next was to review some of the opportunities and constraints to development and the growth that is expected to occur in the city between now and 2040 in terms of population, housing, employment, land opportunities, land constraints, population growth, 2040 employment target and housing need.

Then, under the preferred scenario process, the students presented assumptions, land use map, redevelopment map, Lakeshore Drive, Austin Park, the Avenues, Gateway at Lakeshore and Highway 53, public parks, regional shopping center and circulation maps.

Finally, the students presented how this plan is likely to affect the elements included in Clearlake’s general plan.  

They covered housing, circulation, conservation, open space, noise, economic development, safety, public facilities, police and fire, community design and health.

After the Cal Poly students finalize the draft of the general plan, they will submit a draft plan to the city of Clearlake for editing.  

Once the draft of the general plan is approved, a review of the environmental impacts of the plan will be conducted.
Once everything is approved by the Clearlake City Council, policy implementation will begin.
The zoning code can then be updated and specific plans envisioned.

Special thanks to Professor Cornelius Nuworsoo and his Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Planning graduate students for their help with excerpts of their presentation for this article.  

Email Nathalie V. Antus at [email protected] .

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 March 2013 02:11 )