On April 17, the City of Richmond City Council will consider amendments to the General Plan update proposed by Planning Commission (see Resolution here). The proposed amendments, some of which were provided by Oakland and Los Angeles-based Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), were passed by the Planning Commission on November 3, 2011 with no public notice, review or comment. The proposed amendments, if adopted, are very harmful to economic development and jobs.
What’s the concern?
Richmond cannot afford to adopt public policy that stops or discourages new businesses and other enterprises from locating in Richmond, or encourages existing businesses to leave. Most importantly, the lack of transparency for passage of the proposed amendments undermines a multi-year public review process for the General Plan.
The amendments duplicate existing complex and highly effective air regulation programs that already exist at the Federal, State and Regional levels. Local planning and zoning ordinances should not be used to overlap and conflict with such programs, especially where the City lacks the essential technical expertise and resources.
Other recommendations include expanding the formula restaurant ordinance to all neighborhood commercial districts; amending the inclusionary housing ordinance to limit the circumstances when developers can pay in-lieu fees; and reducing the number or width of travel lanes on key mixed-use streets.
These proposed amendments are adverse to businesses in Richmond. In fact, a soon-to-be released study by Beacon Economics concludes that approximately 1,700 workers in Richmond may be impacted if these recommendations are adopted.
What can you do?
First, carefully review the proposed changes outlined in the attached resolution.
Second, contact council members by April 12 and ask them to support a General Plan that does not include the Planning Commission’s proposed amendments. Below are their names and email addresses.
Finally, please email a copy to the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for incorporation into the business coalition comments.
For additional information please contact Judy Morgan.