With 12 years on the Lodi City Council and 13 years on the Planning Commission, Councilwoman Susan Hitchcock has always watched over the city's General Plan.
At Wednesday's meeting, she spent about an hour-and-a-half going through specific questions and concerns.
"I go through it thoroughly knowing that it will impact budgetary decisions and land-use decisions," Hitchcock said.
The General Plan is a state-mandated blueprint, and its overall focus is on how the community will grow and where growth will occur over the next 20 years.
The Lodi City Council certified the Environmental Impact Report for the document in a 4 to 1 vote with Councilman Larry Hansen voting no. It will have to come back before the council for final approval, most likely in April.
For the most part, the conversation was focused on specific points in the plan. Below are some of the main issues discussed.
- Delta College: The Lodi City Council discussed whether to add property that has been investigated by Delta College on Victor Road as a potential Lodi campus east of Highway 99.
Councilman Larry Hansen advocated including it in the plan because it shows that Lodi is committed to having a campus in Lodi.
"I would support including in our General Plan that option, so if all the ducks lined up in a row, we could see that location as a learning center for Delta College," Hansen said.
Councilwoman Susan Hitchcock did not want to expand Lodi's boundaries unless it were to be designated specifically as college reserve because Lodi should not grow out there unless the college was present. She said with a generic reserve designation, the area could become a business park, residential or commercial.
Bartlam said the city designated an elementary place holder in the General Plan, so the city could include a college reserve designation.
- Eminent domain: In response to concerns from redevelopment opponents, Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce wanted a section added to the document that would prohibit eminent domain.
In conjunction, she also had some tweaks for Ordinances 1775 and 1776, which prohibit eminent domain.
"People who oppose it would like additional light shown on it," she said. "This is an opportunity for the light to shine twice."
- Community separator: The property owners of parcels between Harney Lane and Armstrong Road requested the city give back the designation they originally had in the early 1990s General Plan of urban reserve.
Instead, the council ended the city's boundaries at Harney Lane. Hitchcock and Mounce both agreed this will give the property owners a better chance of getting an ag cluster designation with the county.
The property owners had originally pursued the ag cluster zoning, but the idea has stalled at the San Joaquin County level.
Hithcock said she would not want that area to become another Reynolds Ranch, which was previously zoned urban reserve.