Time to move general plan forward
While we understand some people were not happy with the Tulare County board of supervisors when they approved the county’s general plan update last week, the action does finally get the plan to a point where legal challenges can begin and we all get closer to a plan becoming law.
The county has worked on the plan that will guide growth in the county for the next 20 years since 2003. A first attempt was rejected by the state, causing more delay in adopting the plan.
It is possible that anticipated litigation now could force the county back to the drawing board, but we hope any lawsuits will only help to define the plan and make it better for everyone.
Incorporated cities like Porterville are not happy with the plan because they feel it includes language that will force them to collect developer fees for the county on projects within city limits. There are other issues the cities are not happy with as well.
Many residents argue the plan does not do enough to force growth within city boundaries, thus putting ag land at risk. Some oppose any language that might allow for the development of new cities or the enlargement of incorporated areas like Tipton or Pixley, or the proposed development in Yokohl Valley. Other concerns were raised that the plan does not address issues such as water quality and air quality.
There are those who are fine with the plan and feel the county has gone out of its way to listen to concerns and address those concerns. It is hard to imagine there can be much more to be debated that hasn’t already been discussed after nine years
In the end, there was little doubt the plan would end up in court and Tuesday’s action moves that possibility much closer. To continue the debate much longer would have only put off the inevitable and further delayed a general plan that everyone agrees needs updating.