Saturday, September 19, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 29

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 5th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 23 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 23

Santa Maria seeks general plan engagement

By Malea Martin

Santa Maria wants to know what residents want for the future, according to a new website designed to gather input for the city’s next general plan update. 

In a video linked on the Imagine Santa Maria website, Mayor Alice Patino said that it’s more important than ever to work together on a plan that can help the local economy thrive.

“Especially during these times like we’re having right now, being hit so hard with COVID-19,” Patino said. “It is very imperative that we hear from you about how you would like to see this city grow, and grow into the future.”

This guiding document “outlines policies which will determine how the city will be built into the future (think year 2050),” a press release from Public Information Officer Mark van de Kamp states.

The goal, according to city Planning Division Manager Ryan Hostetter, is to get community members to talk about their vision of the future. 

“All of these things that create a beautiful community and amenities in communities, it all comes out of the community telling their decision-makers what they would like to see,” she said. “This is the vehicle for the residents to tell their leadership how they want to see the city grow and function for their kids in the future.” 

A key portion of the city’s electronic outreach is in the form of surveys, available on the Imagine Santa Maria website. Hostetter said these surveys will be available at least through August.

While the city has updated “bits and pieces” of its general plan over the years, Hostetter said it’s been quite a while since the city created a fully refreshed general plan. The plan includes several key elements mandated by the state, including land use, environmental justice, and economic development, to name a few.

Hostetter explained why now is an important time for Santa Maria to reassess its plans for the future. 

“If you go around, there isn’t a lot of vacant land left within the city limits,” she said. “The state is telling communities that they have to make space available for a whole lot more housing than we ever have before. We have to plan and figure out how we’re going to do that as a community. Is that going to be annexing land? Is it going to be re-use, or re-envisioning underutilized properties? Is it a combination of both? … It’s time to rethink how we’re going to grow.” 

Weekly Poll
Should the county Public Health Department help elementary schools apply for the state’s waiver program?

Yes, that’s what the department is there for.
Schools shouldn’t open at all right now, nevermind with the county’s help.
If the state thinks schools are ready, what’s the problem?
Schools should have to fend for themselves; it shows whether they’re ready to handle reopening.

| Poll Results

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