Ukiah Planning Commission to review updated General Plan – The Ukiah Daily Journal


At its next meeting Wednesday, the Ukiah Planning Commission will discuss the continuing update to the city’s General Plan, which is expected to go before the City Council for adoption in December.

“Public comments will be taken all the way until adoption of the document,” Community Development Director Craig Schlatter told the commission last month when the draft Environmental Impact Report for the 2040 General Plan was released for public review.

Included in the staff report for the Sept. 28 meeting are comments submitted by Commissioner Rick Johnson, who requested more details regarding the city’s plans in terms of having adequate water supply, particularly given the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Potter Valley Project.

“It would be helpful to have a couple of pie charts showing the current amount of water needed and its sources compared to the amount of forecast need in 2040 (population growth),” Johnson wrote. “If the city’s policy is to reduce dependency on the Russian River itself, our prime source would then shift to aquifers. If the Potter Valley Project is curtailed, this will have a profound and immediate effect on water supply from the Russian River, both surface and through the gravel bed. How would the city continue to provide sufficient water to its citizens without the Potter Valley Project?”

Johnson points out that “one great strategy is being able to use water more than once,” and asks if the city still plans to expand the uses for the water it is currently recycling from the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“A few years back, the plan was … to get treated water to the high school, Todd Grove Park, the golf course, and the Anton Field complex,” Johnson notes. “Is this still the plan? Is there sufficient excess water from the wastewater treatment plant for this?”

Johnson also points out that “tourism is covered in a couple of places in the plan. It certainly is an important part of our local economy and there is good opportunity for growth. The sentiment is that people don’t want Ukiah to become a Healdsburg. If people want to enjoy visiting an affordable and welcoming ‘small town’, this is us. What really struck me when I first spent time here was how friendly people were and they conversed with you like you were a neighbor. For tourism also to work, we also have to make sure streets are safe and cars won’t get broken into.”

Members of Climate Action Mendocino also submitted comments, noting that the plan has the city strving to “encourage adaptive re-use of historic structures to maintain their historic character while supporting economic development,” and therefore the group asks, “are there ideas to restore the Palace Hotel?”

As for new infrastructure, the group asks if “solar street canopies could be used to generate power for the city and local businesses, and provide shade and decreasing a heat island effect.”

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 pm Wednesday and be held both virtually and in the City Council Chambers at the Civic Center located at 300 Seminary Ave.

To participate or view the virtual meeting, go to the following link: https://zoom.us/j/91264543193

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