The San Juan Bautista City Council this month unanimously adopted its General Plan, which will guide growth in the city for the next 20 years.
The council discussed the parameters of the plan in January, with limited dissent from the public, prior to giving final approval on Feb. 16.
“Overall, everyone was very supportive,” said City Manager Roger Grimsley. “There were a few concerns, but by and large, the community embraced it.”
Previously revised every two years, the new 2035 General Plan lays out San Juan Bautista’s growth for the next 20 years.
“The old plan reached it’s capacity and it was time to work on a new one,” Grimsley said.
Students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo worked on the plan, conducting studies, research and holding numerous public participation meetings with residents about what growth plans in the city should look like from 2015-2035.
While the plan calls for an extensive list of improvements and growth to the city, one of the most notable is the land-use element and housing projects.
“In the next 20 years, the city will show a 3 percent home growth cap that is sustainable for the city,” Grimsley said.
Also included in the plan are renovations to the city parks — Verutti Park and Abbe Park — which are funded by the city’s general fund. There is also a park impact fee, which accumulates for parks as well as requirements for developers to set aside land for recreational use.
Verutti Park is already under renovation, with Grimsley saying its sand is being replaced with a rubber base mat, which should stop the accumulation of dog and cat feces there.
There is no timeline for the park renovations, Grimsley noted, but “They are ongoing projects.”
The city also plans to have ongoing street closures on weekends, including for a new farmers’ market that will be held every Sunday running from April through October, as well as the city’s annual holiday parades, antique faires and other events.
The 2035 General Plan also lays out a sewer payment plan that raises current fees. “We are a small town of about 1,930 so in order to maintain upkeep the whole town will be affected,” Grimsley said.
However, there is a discount for senior citizens, who can receive a 12 percent discount on water and sewer services through an application process.
The potential growth in San Juan highlights the need for infrastructure improvements, which Grimsley said city leaders are discussing. They are also considering building a well to support the water needs of future housing projects.
While the 2035 General Plan lays out San Juan Bautista’s future for the next two decades, Grimsley noted residents play a large role in the success of the popular tourist spot.
“The city is unique and the amount of enthusiasm and volunteerism is outstanding,” he said. “What the document doesn’t reflect is the pride of the citizens.”