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Rocklin general plan update downgrades open space?

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City staff states, “The general plan update contains six goals and 57 policies which demonstrate the city’s commitment to protecting open space areas.”

City Council members stated they are committed to protecting open space areas. However, the City Council was unanimous in approving the following disputed policies:

“Recognizing that balancing the economic, physical and social needs may lead to some modification of open space areas during the development process … and open space areas shall be considered conceptual in dimension and the actual limits of these areas are to be defined during the development process.”

The council says these provisions provide “wiggle room” for rare cases. For sure, these policies are “inconsistent” with the “six goals and 57 policies” cited.

General plan language for 21 years has been clear:

“Areas currently designated for open space, conservation and recreation uses will remain in those designations. There will be no reduction in present land-use designations for these purposes, and the city will protect them from conversion to urban uses.”

The new policies will impact the city’s open space areas for many years. The city plans to double the commercial, industrial and residential footprint of Rocklin in 15 years. How will the ecological qualities of Rocklin hold up after a doubling of development? I believe the City Council missed an important opportunity to extend Rocklin’s tradition of protecting our open space areas and our natural heritage with clear policies!

Frank Geremia, Friends of Rocklin Open Space