The public will get a chance to weigh in on how they want Ceres to grow for decades to come at the first workshop on the Ceres General Plan Update, set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. The event will be held at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street.
By state law a city must have a General Plan and it's time to revamp the one Ceres adopted in 1997. Updating one is costly. Last year the Ceres City Council awarded a $938,912 contract to Dyett & Bhatia, the firm that produced a General Plan for the city of Turlock.
Sophie Martin will be the project manager for the update, which is expected to take two years to complete.
Once produced and adopted, the Ceres General Plan will set policies and directions of how Ceres will grow into the year 2035.
The expense includes the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
"It's a pretty big deal, this item," said Tom Westbrook, the city's Director of Community Development, "and as a planner it's a fairly exciting endeavor to be undertaken."
He said the update will "reflect new trends and evaluate the effectiveness of the existing general to kind of set what policy direction we want for aesthetics, where we want to grow, utility infrastructure, etcetera."
Once the General Plan is completed, it will be the foundation for an update of the Zoning Code and the nexus study for Public Facility Fees.
Westbrook said the city has been thinking about an update for years.
Sewer and water funds are contributing $675,000 toward the work while $475,000 is coming from the proceeds of a bond issued by the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency.
Earlier this year the council awarded a $100,000 consulting contract for project management to Marjorie Blom.
Those who would like more information should call Director of Community Development Tom Westbrook at 538-5778 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.