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Lodi City Council approves new development code

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Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 12:00 am

In a 4-to-1 vote, the Lodi City Council approved a new development code and zoning map on Wednesday night that will dictate rules for new construction in the city for years to come.

Mayor Alan Nakanishi voted against approving the documents after asking whether the city could meet the plan's objectives without passing the plan itself, which he worried would create more regulations.

Below are some key questions about the documents:

What is the development code?

In 2010, the city of Lodi adopted the General Plan, a document that will guide development in Lodi for the next 20 years.

The development code is the document the city staff and the public will use to implement the goals outlined in the General Plan, City Manager Rad Bartlam said.

"Zoning is important because it tells property owners, developers and people in the neighborhood what uses can go where," he said.

Someone moving into a new neighborhood would likely use the zoning maps to know what their neighborhood would look like in the future.

The code also creates sections throughout the city to make sure compatible uses are located next to each other, and incompatible uses are not. For example, most people would not like to live in homes next to industrial businesses, Bartlam said.

Why did the development code need to be updated?

The last development code was passed in 1956, Bartlam said. City staff and the council first started discussing updating the code in 1999, but it was delayed twice because of the economy, reduced staff and strained budgets, the city manager said.

Since the 1950s, the code has been updated and changed. But because there was never a complete overhaul, Bartlam said the code is often not in compliance with the city's General Plan, its policies and state and federal laws.

How has the city improved the plan?

Through the process, the city has streamlined many of the regulations in the development code to make it easier for people to understand, Bartlam said.

For example, the city reduced the number of zoning districts from 10 to four.

"You do not have to have a master's degree in city planning to interpret what it says," Bartlam said.

Councilman Larry Hansen thanked the staff for more than a decade of work on the document.

"I never thought this day would come that we would actually be approving this," Hansen said.

To see a copy of the land use development code, go to www.lodi.gov. Click on "Meeting Agendas," and then "City Council." It is a separate document, titled "Item G-01 Development Code."

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com.

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  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:55 am on Fri, Feb 8, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    And as for the sewage treatment plant at White Slough, why haven't the newspaper or the city council and management team, notably public works, ever notified Lodi taxpayers of the many fines assessed by the CSWRCB, the latest Jan. 14, 2013 for exceeding ammonia and coliform limits and faces a $9000 fine. And this link from 2009 shows the disregard by council and management to follow the rules: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_decisions/adopted_orders/water_quality/2009/wqo/wqo2009_0005.pdf. And there were 25 violations from Feb. 2000- Sept. 2007, a $21,000 fine in Oct. 2009, violations and penalties in Feb. 2011, and Jan. 2012. The city council and the Lodi paper are seemingly adept at keeping these council and management violations from the taxpayers. These fines for violations at White Slough, and one violation already at the Lodi Energy Center, indicate to me the management and staff at public works are not doing their job by repeatedly violating these laws and need to pay closer attention to who is either flasifying or incapable of reporting the correct figures. This nonprofit generating this award should be questioned concerning their lack of research into the many past violations and I wonder what it is they recognized White Slough for? So how much are these cities "donating" to this nonprofit for these "recognitions" and what are they based on? Just go to the CSWRCB website and search for White Slough violations and see for yourself the real track record of this sewer treatment plant and the accusations and fines levied acainst it, including one document alluding to false figures being reported.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 6:52 am on Fri, Feb 8, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    I see the city of Lodi is still trying to move out of their 50's style mode of governing. Thank you, Mayor Nakanishi, as well as past Mayor Mounce for being the only two council representatives who are not afraid to question and challenge the many controversial decisions made by the "three amigos", who appear to pass any, and nearly every issue or ordinance on the whims of their large contributors and always voting together to assure the three votes needed to assure passage. It is rather ironic that Mr. Bartlam seems to be a major participant in the authoring of this document as well as the general plan and the controversial superWalmart project, while failing in his bid to become a major player in the development/real estate industry in this area. And I would assume that many other participants drawing up these documents are those who would stand to profit the greatest when they were approved. Has superWalmart/Browman ever reimbursed the COL for the over $300K spent during Mr. Bartlam's part time, highly paid short tenure, and many hours of staff and advisory fees that were promised by them to be repaid when the project was approved? Or will this just be swept under the rug?



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