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Op-Ed: City Offices Need Design Review's General Plan Assessment

Novato resident Trish Boorstein says that the Design Review's City Offices General Plan Consistency Report is required by state statute.

 

After the decision to deny a liquor license was celebrated and folks began leaving Novato's Planning Commission meeting on March 5th, a discussion among the commissioners began that the public should be aware of.         

One commissioner noted that no meetings were scheduled for the rest of the year and asked staff when the new City Offices plan would be coming to the commission for a General Plan Assessment. The response given was no.       

The commissioners noted that when they approved the capital improvements budget in June 2011, which included the City Offices project, they were told that pursuant to Cal Gov Code 65402, once the project had passed the design phase, it would come to them for general plan consistency. The commission chair noted that he had emailed the City Manager about this a few weeks ago but hadn't heard back.       

City Manager and Attorney who were absent were not able to field Staff's questions. The commissioners moved and voted 4-2 in favor of making the City Offices General Plan Consistency Report an agenda item on a meeting to be scheduled.The General Plan consistency assessment is required by state statute. The commission was to discuss it after it passed design review. Side stepping section 65402 is not in the best interest of the public.      

If you agree with the Planning Commission please write or call the City asking to schedule this meeting. Let's keep our government transparent.

Trish Boorstein

Addison March 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Our elected officials fear they have lost the trust of the community.... Imagine. Does anyone know how the whistle was blown on the out of control city government in the city of Bell? I am writing a letter this afternoon: novatocouncil@cityofnovato.org
Just Curious March 13, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Just wait. That lack of transparency that is pervasive in Mr. Frank's playbook will find a way to avoid allowing any oversight of his and the Council's actions in this and any other decision where there is any question or objection voiced by the public.
Pam Drew March 13, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I support review of the new city offices for consistency with the general plan by the Planning Commission with or without the back up of California Government Code 65402. Supporting the spirit of the law is every bit as important as following all the technicalities of the law. If you want trust, you act in a trustworthy way. If you strive for transparency, you avoid the appearance of the opposite. The idea of elected officials as public servants needs to be revived. The idea of 'professionalism' has overshadowed the concept of public service. Professionalism runs a distant second.
Brant March 13, 2012 at 05:51 PM
It would appear that (i) the Planning Commission does not have regularly scheduled meetings and (ii) they do not control the scheduling of their own meetings. Sounds like they are of limited value in guiding the development of Novato.
Michael Reyff March 13, 2012 at 08:20 PM
If we want to be heard and taken seriously, consider joining the Novato Community Alliance. The Novato Community Alliance is neighborhood organization that is organized to protect the quality of life in Novato through citizen participation. The website is www.nca4bh.org
J. Feldman March 14, 2012 at 09:40 AM
Very few people asked for the downtown that we ended up with. 10 years ago it was old-time, but much nicer. And it is the State of California that has pushed this city to grab the scraps thrown to it if it builds tons and tons of bad housing.

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