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Greenbelt issues can be resolved

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Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 10:00 pm

Last week the Lodi Chamber of Commerce task force presented their General Plan White Paper to the planning commission.

Through the combined efforts of Lodi's business and community leaders, a vision for Lodi's future was created. This was a daunting task requiring hundreds of hours. The result is an informative analysis which outlines the Chamber's position on the major components of our general plan, and it offers real strategies as we move forward.

As we explored the research, there was consensus on a majority of the points, but as with any large-scale project, there were questions and differences in interpretation. The best example was the AL-5T "community separator" concept. Basically, the AL-5T designation can be defined as 5-acre-minimum parcels containing one dwelling and/or one conforming commercial enterprise. The AL-5T proposes "cluster" residential parcels and lists conforming commercial uses (principally those that target the expansion of our tourism industry). Mike Carouba and Pat Stockar spoke passionately about this proposal and they believe if done correctly, their model would alleviate many of the "worst case scenario" fears raised at our meeting.

When we consider our options, this concept may be our best opportunity to create a community separator. It certainly warrants our full attention and consideration.

While the Sentinel's story accurately reflected many of the discussions, it did not seem to capture the positive "cooperative" spirit of the meeting. Readers did not have the opportunity to hear the positive, discussions about economic development, tourism and revitalization, and I regret not doing a better job of communicating those positives.

Through cooperation and understanding, I am convinced we can overcome the remaining hurdles and a viable proposal will be crafted. One thing we can all agree on is that Lodi is very fortunate to have community members and volunteers who willingly share their resources and experience for the betterment of our community. We have some of the best and brightest people working on our general plan and I have no doubt their efforts will yield positive results for Lodi.

David Kirsten

Lodi City Planning Commissioner

Pat Patrick

Lodi Chamber of Commerce

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