After a presentation to a Special Meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission, San Juan Bautista's City Council voted to use graduate students from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, led by their professor, Dr. Cornelius Nuworsoo Phd. to update the City's General Plan.
Dr. Nuworsoo's doctorate is in Transportation and he also holds a Master's Degree in City Planning. The decision process was led by Assistant City Planner Matt Leal, a graduate of Cal Poly, who was familiar with the program.
Cal Poly's Graduate program has worked with King City, Clear Lake, Newark and San Joaquin to work with them on their General Plans.
This is a program which is the essence of Cal Poly's intention of "learning by doing". There will be 12-18 students involved in the project. Teams of students will take on the roles of a more traditional consultant. The teams can work simultaneously and assemble the parts, allowing them to accomplish in nine months what would take a consultant two years to accomplish.
They will begin by gathering information for their first document of "Existing Conditions and Emerging Directions" after receiving input from all of the stakeholders. They will be having community meetings, do support research and perform a land use inventory. The community will have opportunities to participate in aiding the team to understand what they value and what could use improvement in the community.
The second document will cover Land Use, (where do various types of uses; residential, commercial, open space), Circulation (automobile, walking) Housing (various income groups, single multi-family housing, mobile homes), Conservation, Open Space (parks and passive open space, agriculture), Noise (finding sensitive areas), Safety (Fire and Police), Public Facilities, Economic Development, and Community Design.
Once this document is achieved, there will be a process to identify which Preferable Outcome the city would choose to pursue.
The General Plan will incorporate all of the State Required Elements and serve to guide San Juan towards the year 2035.
The move is believed to be considerably less expensive, at $34,000, than the $200,000 to $550,000 that other consultants were charging and is supposed to be done in less time.