The community is invited to tell regional planners what they envision for San Joaquin County as part of a regional "blueprint" of the county's future through 2050.
The San Joaquin Council of Governments will conduct a community forum from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at the Lodi Public Library, 201 W. Locust St. Forums will also be held in Thornton, Clements and other county locations throughout the month.
The blueprint is intended to be a guide for growth, transportation and environmental challenges through 2050. Eight counties throughout the San Joaquin Valley will develop their own blueprint, which will address topics like urban sprawl, air pollution, congested roadways and loss of open space.
San Joaquin County's population alone is expected to double by 2030 and grow by more than a million people by 2050, according to regional planners.
Once the Council of Governments adopts the blueprint, community leaders and elected officials in San Joaquin County can use the blueprint to help guide their decision-making on regional planning efforts.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and Great Valley Center are joining the Council of Governments in developing the blueprint.
Meanwhile, members of the Board of Supervisors, who awarded a $2.1 million contract last week to Mintier and Associates to develop the new county General Plan, said they were concerned that the public will confuse the General Plan, which is the county's land-use bible, with the blueprint.
Kerry Sullivan, the county's community development director, told the Board of Supervisors that the General Plan has more clout than the COG blueprint, although a lot of the ideas in the blueprint thus far are being incorporated in the new General Plan.
Supervisor Steve Gutierrez said he is concerned that three county supervisors sit on the Council of Governments, so that a majority of the five-member board will have already voted on land-use issues on the COG before the Board of Supervisors considers the new General Plan. Supervisors Ken Vogel, Victor Mow and Leroy Ornellas sit on the Council of Governments, as does Lodi City Councilman Larry Hansen.
Other local forums:
- Thornton: June 17, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thornton Community Hall, 26590 N. Sacramento Blvd.
- Clements: June 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., fire station, 1891 E.
Other forums will be held in Tracy, Lathrop, Ripon, Escalon and Manteca. Two forums have already been held in Stockton and one took place in Linden.
Source: San Joaquin Council of Governments