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    Barry's Avatar
    Founder & Moderator

    City of Sebastopol Newsletter - General Plan Advisory Committee

    The latest City of Sebastopol Newsletter is attached. I've included the lead article about the upcoming General Plan update below. The full newsletter has an article about wood smoke and becoming a volunteer Firefighter.

    Note that a General Plan Advisory Committee of citizens will be formed. This is an excellent opportunity If you are interested in helping guide the future of Sebastopol.

    I was on the GPAC on a previous update and I found it a very engaging and important process where you can have real impact, while having a smaller commitment than other civic roles. Please contact the Planning Department if you are interested in participating and let us know how it goes!


    General Plan Update

    Sebastopol is about to embark on a comprehensive update of its General Plan.

    The General Plan is often referred to as the land use ‘constitution’ for cities. The General Plan sets forth along-term vision for the city, and includes policies and programs to work towards that vision.

    The General Plan addresses key topics including circulation,development regulations, parks, air quality, noise, urban design, and economic development, as well as other issues. The Plan is implemented through the Zoning Ordinance and development standards, by public works projects, and by other implementation programs.

    The current Sebastopol General Plan was adopted in 1994. While its vision of maintaining the special small-town qualities of Sebastopol remains valid, many aspects of the Plan need updating, and there are significant issues such as climate change that were not considered in the prior General Plan.

    This year’s City Budget includes funding to initiate a major General Plan update. The City is retaining DeNovo Planning Group, a consultant with experience in preparing General Plan updates; will form a General Plan Advisory Committee(GPAC); once the draft Plan is prepared, will draft an Environmental Impact Report (EIR);and eventually, will conduct formal public hearings by the Planning Commission and City Council.

    The process will include preparation of technical background reports addressing a wide variety of topics,including traffic conditions, air quality, noise levels, infrastructure,geotechnical data, and other aspects that provide a picture of existing conditions in Sebastopol.

    Stay tuned to the City website for information about the General Plan Advisory Committee. The City Council wishes to appoint a broad-based Committee whose members represent a variety of interests of the Sebastopol community.

    If you are interested in applying to be a member of the GPAC, please contact the Planning Department.
    It is anticipated that major work on the General Plan Update will commence in early 2014. The project is expected to take about two-and-a-half years to complete.

    To help shape Sebastopol’s future,plan on participating!

    Attached Files

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  3. TopTop #2
    Hollyanna's Avatar

    Re: City of Sebastopol Newsletter - General Plan Advisory Committee

    Applications for the General Plan Advisory Committee are now available in several formats.

    Deadline to apply is January 21, 2014.

    Hard copies are at City Hall (7120 Bodega Ave.) and at the Planning Department office (714 Johnson St.). Download a copy to print up and fill out by hand here, or fill out online here.

    Excerpts from the online application are below:

    The City is seeking applications from persons interested in appointment to the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC). The GPAC will serve as a community forum and sounding board for development of a new Sebastopol General Plan. The General Plan is sometimes referred to as the ‘constitution’ of a jurisdiction, reflecting community values, establishing a vision, and setting policies for the future of the community.


    GPAC Composition
    The GPAC will be a 15 member committee, with three alternates as follows:

    • Two Planning Commissioners selected by the Commission and approved by the Council
    • One Design Review Board member selected by the Board and approved by the Council
    • Twelve other ‘at large’ general representatives comprising a cross section of the community, such as residents, businesses, representatives of local non-profits, representatives of schools, the hospital or other institutions, residents of the Sphere of Influence or unincorporated Sebastopol, property owners, persons knowledgable about particular subject areas, and others who the Council determines appropriate to appoint. It is likely that many interested persons would represent more than one category, such as a resident who is also on a non-profit board, and who is also a property owner.
    • Three alternates who could participate in discussions, vote as needed in the absence of members, and automatically become members in the event a member resigns
    All meetings of the GPAC will be open to the public and noticed in accordance with the Brown Act.

    GPAC Role
    The City and the community will be investing considerable time, effort and financial resources in the update, with the goal of a productive and positive outcome that finds broad community acceptance. The GPAC will play a critical role in working towards that desired outcome. The Council will provide direction for the work of the GPAC, and will seek to appoint persons who will follow Council direction, and work productively in a group decision-making process, and can make a minimum two-year commitment to serving.

    This will be a voluntary service to the community. Members are appointed by the City Council. All GPAC members will serve at the pleasure of the City Council. The primary responsibility of the GPAC is to serve as a sounding board and forum for shaping a preliminary draft General Plan. The GPAC will have support from the City’s consultant, De Novo Planning Group, and the City Planning Department. The consultant will draft the actual General Plan. After this initial stage with substantial GPAC involvement, formal review of the draft General Plan will be conducted by the Planning Commission and City Council.

    The GPAC’s role is advisory to the Planning Commission and City Council. The Commission and Council will consider the GPAC’s recommendations, and in a public process, may alter or revise the draft General Plan in accordance with their best judgment.
    Term of Service

    GPAC applicants are asked to commit to a minimum service of two years. There is no monetary compensation or benefits for GPAC members.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-09-2014 at 03:20 PM.
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