Fresno County should use 2015 to set a firm foundation for its future by conducting an inclusive, community-driven General Plan and Housing Element Update. The county’s operative 2000 General Plan is based on grossly outdated information and data, including 1990 U.S. census data; the plan also lacks current information about residents’ needs for housing.
We all know that our economy, environment, and demographic realities are vastly different from those that existed two decades ago. The county needs a new General Plan that will protect our disappearing farmland and water supplies, meet residents’ needs for affordable housing, plan for effective transportation systems, and direct public services and infrastructure to existing communities that need them most. The county cannot govern effectively with policies addressing 1990 realities.
Proposed revisions to the 2000 plan by the county do not respond to our present needs and opportunities. Instead, they would only weaken protections to farmland and eliminate policies that require new development to demonstrate a sustainable water supply, pay its fair share of public service and infrastructure costs and include housing affordable for working families.
In 2015, the county must commit to its future and the futures of residents through sound planning.