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Lodi eyes greenbelt separator

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Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2006 10:00 pm

For years, plans for a greenbelt have stalled because the strip of land between Stockton and Lodi falls between the jurisdiction of either city.

Wednesday night, the Lodi City Council took a first step to extend the city's sphere of influence to include the greenbelt area.

"Thus, via our General Plan, we've created our community separator," said Councilman John Beckman. "I'm very happy about finally being able to get something done."

At the meeting Wednesday, council members directed city staff to prepare a General Plan amendment to extend the city's influence to a half mile south of Harney Lane and conform with the existing east west boundaries of Highway 99 and Interstate 5.

The plan would also change the land one half mile north of Armstrong Road from "residential reserve" to zoned for agriculture.

A few landowners in the greenbelt area, contacted Thursday afternoon, had no idea the council had taken a vote on a greenbelt plan.

After reviewing the staff report on the proposal, Kurt Kautz said he's not sure if the city could even move forward with such a proposal.

To extend its sphere of influence, Lodi would have to first approve a General Plan amendment and will have to submit that plan to the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission, which reviews land use plans by cities throughout the county.

Further, Kautz said he's not sure if Lodi could extend its influence for land that will be classified as farmland. He said he also had concerns about property owners losing the development potential of their property if Lodi extends its boundaries south.

"If they (the city of Lodi) want to zone us permanent greenbelt then the landowners do want to be fairly compensated," he said.

Lodi Community Development Director Randy Hatch said the plan would establish Lodi's commitment to development a greenbelt.

"What it does do is basically lets the property owners know the city wants to move forward," he said. "It lets the citizens of the community know the council is moving on the greenbelt concept and this is something we're serious about."

He said it would also demonstrate the city's desire to include the area within its boundaries.

"This lets the county and LAFCO know we think this is part of Lodi," he said. "This is where Lodi starts and Stockton stops."

The plan would not require the approval of property owners in the area because it essentially would leave the land as it currently is zoned by the county.

"As General Plan amendments go this is an easy one because we're maintaining what's there," Hatch said.

He said he'll be working on another proposal he'll take to the council for review. Developing a General Plan amendment could cost $12,000 and a LAFCO application could cost $30,000 to $55,000 if the city hired a consultant to do the work.

If the city's planning staff kept the project in house, Hatch said the city could save a considerable amount of money but would also have to put off other planning work to focus on the project.

Still, he said he's tentatively thinking of recommending the city do the work without a consultant's help.

Mayor Susan Hitchcock has been a longtime proponent of a greenbelt between Lodi and Stockton and said she was excited by the council's action.

"I think we're really making a good move," she said.

Much work still remains to be done on how landowners in the area could receive infrastructure for future development or even develop their land and maintain a greenbelt.

"It kind of puts our footprint on it (the greenbelt area) and allows us to move forward with greater confidence and using our resources to plan for that area," she said.

Contact reporter Andrew Adams at andrewa@lodinews.com.

First published: Friday, March 31, 2006

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20 comments:

  • posted at 7:44 am on Mon, Apr 10, 2006.

    Posts:

    SD-Sounds like we're a PERFECT match - maybe more than you even realize! You clearly already know the property owners on all 3 corners adjacent to us, so that'll give you a clue where to go. Come on by anytime after 5...we're looking forward to meeting you!

     
  • posted at 9:09 am on Sun, Apr 9, 2006.

    Posts:

    Farm Supporter... as a farmer on Armstrong Rd, I thank you for your support!

     
  • posted at 6:08 am on Sun, Apr 9, 2006.

    Posts:

    Dixon,Susan Hitchcock has made it clear at her taskforce meetings that she doesn't need our cooperation to make our land into a greenbelt.She threatens us&treats us with disrespect when we disagree with her.This woman is a teacher...God help our children who are under her influence!

     
  • posted at 5:48 am on Sun, Apr 9, 2006.

    Posts:

    In my mind this is simple, Either you believe that the market makes the best decision in the private sector or government makes the best decision. Beckman and Hitchcock have come out in favor of government.

     
  • posted at 12:10 pm on Sat, Apr 8, 2006.

    Posts:

    Listen people, wake up, USA ag will not beable to complete with world competition for much longer. Face it people, ag in our country is on the way out.

     
  • posted at 8:48 am on Thu, Apr 6, 2006.

    Posts:

    patton... How is it viable? Put a school near that imaginary GB line and I can no longer spray or sulphur. Then what?

     
  • posted at 4:40 am on Wed, Apr 5, 2006.

    Posts:

    ART... I do NOT want LODI to ever buy my property. I want them to keep out!

     
  • posted at 4:30 am on Wed, Apr 5, 2006.

    Posts:

    The last I heard Hitchcock, she wanted Lodi to become a Carmel. Good Luck! And by the way, all you farmers are here to stay because the city won't buy your property.

     
  • posted at 2:55 am on Wed, Apr 5, 2006.

    Posts:

    Maybe the council has unilateral goals to ruin us farmers. They want to annex East for the college site! NO WAY

     
  • posted at 7:40 am on Tue, Apr 4, 2006.

    Posts:

    ADAM....How did the Oddfellows contaminate the ground? I thought were a social/service organization like the Moose, or Masons. Did they take over a building that saat on already contaminated ground?

     
  • posted at 5:25 am on Tue, Apr 4, 2006.

    Posts:

    If Susan is such a good principal, why is she blogging on LODI Unifieds timeclock?

     
  • posted at 5:12 pm on Mon, Apr 3, 2006.

    Posts:

    BOB.vote them out!!! I cannot!!!

     
  • posted at 2:57 pm on Sun, Apr 2, 2006.

    Posts:

    BlueShield will not come to Lodi. Hitchcock on her own told Blue Shield she would sue them if they moved to Harney. What would you do if the Mayor called you and told you that. Especially When Sttockton has done nothing but bend over backwards for them.

     
  • posted at 7:37 am on Sun, Apr 2, 2006.

    Posts:

    Hey Farmers,
    Any word when Blue Shield will make it's decision?

     
  • posted at 4:09 am on Sun, Apr 2, 2006.

    Posts:

    The Greenbelt is the idea of Hitchcock and Beckman. Doesn't sound right, he is bragging about his solution to create a greenbelt. Then he turns around and tells the farmers that his solution does does not mean a thing. One more unethical politician.

     
  • posted at 3:32 am on Sun, Apr 2, 2006.

    Posts:

    Live in Lodi,work in the area too.

     
  • posted at 3:30 am on Sun, Apr 2, 2006.

    Posts:

    May i ask what you thought was going to happen, what you expected?

     
  • posted at 3:26 am on Sun, Apr 2, 2006.

    Posts:

    Lodi Farmer--you are correct, i JUST meant up to Harney lane. Are you south of Armstrong?

     
  • posted at 3:25 am on Sun, Apr 2, 2006.

    Posts:

    To SD and Lodi Farmer---Here is what you should do now. Lodi cant annex unless the majority of landwoners vote in favor. Time to negotiate something where this can be revisited after the next general plan. CC might feel different down the road, things change

     
  • posted at 3:17 am on Sun, Apr 2, 2006.

    Posts:

    To SD and Lodi Farmer--20 years ago Lodi put your land into Planned Rresidential Reserve so it should come as no surprise that Lodi is not changing its sphere to cover your land

     

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