The December 16, 2003 General Plan update provides significant refinements to the Land Use Element. The latest plan can be viewed as the General Plan Final.
Key Features of the 2003 Update
The key features of the General Plan update can be summarized as follows:
- A focus on "infill development" in the form of both "Mixed Use" and higher density multi-family development areas would provide more affordable housing opportunities.
- Infill locations are designed to distribute the locations of increased multi-family residential densities and to place these land uses in proximity to arterial streets, public transit, and, when possible, convenience shopping.
- The locations for multi-family densities are consistent with continued discussions during the General Plan update process, including but not limited to Council direction on October 21, 2003.
- A "Senior Housing Overlay" would provide an additional incentive for investment in the area north of 24th Street without increasing the concentration of housing for lower-income families.
- A "Historic Preservation" overlay is proposed for a significant part of the west side of the Downtown Area;
- The Salinas River Corridor is also shown as an overlay for future study and consideration of land use and facility alternatives designed to preserve habitat and at the same time maximize public use and improvement of the corridor;
- Physical expansion of the City through 2025 is limited to about 511 acres in the southeast area of the City (generally located between Our Town and Creston Road, along the eastern City boundary)
- These areas are proposed to be planned under the Specific Plan process before any development entitlements are approved.
- Policies support longer term physical boundaries of the City being formed by a "Purple Belt".
- Boundaries for this "Purple Belt would consist of existing development patterns (e.g. Hunter Ranch Golf Course, the County portions of the Chandler Ranch) being supplemented by City acquisition of Agriculture / Open Space easements beyond 2025 projected City boundaries.
As a result of these and other policy directions provided by the City Council on December 16, 2003, the following implementation steps can be anticipated:
- Mixed Use Zoning Overlay to be established (providing an opportunity for combinations of land uses and also multifamily residential in and around the downtown core area once development standards are formulated and adopted by City Council).
- Mixed use designations are found south of 24th Street on the city's west side and at the southeast quadrant of Niblick and South River Roads;
- Senior Housing Zoning Overlay to be established (allows consideration of senior housing on commercially designated properties north of 24th Street on the city's west side, subject to Council adoption of development standards).
- Historic Preservation Zoning Overlay to be established (applies to areas west of Spring Street with the intent of preserving the neighborhood character). Development standards are to be considered for adoption.
- Salinas River Planning Corridor Zoning Overlay to be established.
- High Density Multi-Family Zoning designations will be proposed, which would allow consideration of up to 20 dwelling units per acre, in locations designated in the General Plan and subject to Council adoption of development standards.
- "Fiscal Neutrality" (assurances that development of new land uses, especially residential, will incorporate mitigation measures that will insure that the City receives revenues that equal or exceed the cost of providing facilities and services.
- The city's population would be capped at 44,000 in the year 2025 through adoption of the Moderate Growth scenario of the General Plan.