St. Helena’s updated General Plan has cleared its last hurdle before heading to the City Council for adoption.
The Planning Commission voted 5-0 Tuesday to recommend that the council adopt the revised plan, which is 12 years in the making. The council could review the plan as soon as May 14.
The commission recommended adoption of a previous draft back in 2010, but the City Council decided to table it in order to work out some water-related issues. After almost nine years of rewriting, updating and wordsmithing, there’s a new push to adopt the plan as soon as possible and fix its flaws through the amendment process.
Commission Chair Lester Hardy proposed that the commission revisit the plan in a few months.
“We need to get this on to the City Council,” agreed Commissioner Bobbi Monnette. “We can parse it later.”
The whole commission agreed with that approach, acknowledging that the plan isn’t perfect.
“This thing has bounced around so much that it’s definitely developed some rough edges,” said Commissioner John Ponte. “Some of it is so old … that yes, it meets code, but it may not be relevant to what’s going on now.”
The commission endorsed the plan with the same changes it discussed at a March 20 hearing. The most significant edits call for extending Oak Avenue over Sulphur Creek and eliminating a proposal to rezone several residential parcels on Church Street to Mixed Use or convert them to parking.