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Calaveras Planning Chief Discusses General Plan Update

San Andreas, CA – Now with the public comment period closed, the Calaveras County Planning Department is busily incorporating some 1,500 pages of input into a draft General Plan update that, once finalized, will see the county through 2020.

Calaveras County Planning Director Peter Maurer says it will probably take until sometime in May to compile all the public data gathered through last Friday, March 20, so that public hearings, which come next, will probably be scheduled for sometime in June.

In crafting the draft update, one of the main issues planning staff encountered was whether or not to include citizen-submitted draft community plans for existing and future developments. To address this, planning staff gleaned and incorporated “common thread” policies and land use designations from the plans into a cross-reference table.

“My directive [from the Board of Supervisors]  was to try to get a plan adopted that meets legal standards in as quickly a time frame as possible but that still meets the needs of the county as well as the legal requirements under state law,” Maurer explains. “Incorporating the community plans will add time to that task, but it may be time well spent,” he adds, thoughtfully.

“When I reviewed all those community plans, I found a lot of similarities…not…that the communities are similar, but the policy…the people in all of our communities…want the same things, a healthy environment, jobs…walkable communities where they can get from Point A to Point B, easily and safely,” Maurer offers. “There are unique aspects to each community… Mokelumne Hill is different than Valley Springs…from Copperopolis — and we need to recognize that — but the policy language that comes out of those plans is very similar.”

Planning for density with a reduced population forecast and to avoid “rural sprawl” is another main issue, according to Maurer. “We try to balance the expectations of growth with flexibility for the community… flexibility for property owners, and at the same time, develop a community that the county is able to support and maintain.”

Growth projections, more robust in the early and mid-2000s, were reflected in the current plan, according to Maurer. However, as current State Department of Finance annual projections have Calaveras County adding just 10,000 more residents over the next two decades, the update will make adjustments accordingly while planning for flexibility. Current draft plan-related documents may be viewed by clicking here.