General Plan EIR Scoping Meeting Thursday at S.P. City Hall

March 01, 2017
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly

Santa Paula Times 

It’s been awhile but Santa Paula will be the focus of a General Plan EIR Scoping Meeting Thursday evening at City Hall.

The March 2 meeting will be held at Council Chambers, 970 E. Ventura St. from 5:30 to 7 p.m. 

The Scoping Meeting is for the 2040 General Plan Update; the outcome helps decision makers focus the issues’ agencies, stakeholders and interested public whom should be considered as part of the environmental review process for the next 23 years. 

According to the website, “The General Plan is the fundamental policy document of the City of Santa Paula, providing the framework for managing the city’s physical and economic resources now and in the future. A general plan acts as the ‘constitution’ for making rational decisions regarding a city’s long-term physical development. The general plan expresses the community’s development goals and incorporates public policies relative to the distribution of future public and private land uses. California law requires that each city adopt a general plan for the physical development of the city and any land outside its boundaries which bears relation to its planning. Typically, a general plan is designed to address the issues facing the city for the next 20 to 25 years.”

The General Plan includes “topical elements” of which seven are state-mandated: Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Conservation, Open Space, Noise, and Safety. Although these mandatory elements are required to be included in the General Plan the state law allows two or more of them to be consolidated as long as the required issue areas are addressed. 

Santa Paula’s current General Plan update does not include the Housing Element, which was updated in 2013 and as long as it is consistent with the other elements it won’t be required to be readdressed until 2021.

At the February 6 City Council meeting an update was given on the process by consultant Jon Douglas and Planning Director Janna Minsk.

A survey has been conducted, stakeholders interviewed, a workshop held and other methods to garner input into the future of the city. The Downtown was later added to the study.

The city last conducted a General Plan Update about 20 years ago.

Douglas told the council that the City of Moorpark also ordered a commercial study, which was not a surprise.

“I was impressed by the consultant’s report,” that noted a “huge amount of shopping shifting online,” and how that impacts city coffers. 

Douglas said Adams Canyon is a “key component of this update,” a subject addressed by Minsk, who has had several meetings with the new owner and his consultant.

The description of the project they envision for the often-controversial 7,000-plus-acre canyon, purchased through a bankruptcy, is “very preliminary” but will be incorporated into the update.

As LAFCo has threatened in the past to take the canyon out of the city’s sphere-of-influence due to a lack of activity, Minsk said planning is important.

“The Adams Canyon folks will be submitting an application package,” later in the spring.

During questioning by the council Minsk said the survey for the General Plan Update garnered about 300 replies, “The highest rate I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” and a response that could become stronger as the survey can be taken on the website.

For more information, take the survey or view up to date survey results, visit

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