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Council talks General Plan

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Adopting the final draft of the 2035 General Plan was on the Folsom City Council’s June 26 agenda, but as there is no deadline, they unanimously voted to discuss and potentially adopt at a later meeting.

During the evening meeting, there were various recommended changes to the general plan based off of community input which included items regarding being more specific on certain items; policy changes to address resiliency in the plan; permeable paving; the mixed use overlay boundaries for open space; as well as creating a River District section as it is more of a boundary.

Following, the public hearing was opened for speakers to comment on the item.

Folsom Planning Commissioner Aaron Ralls was up first to explain his concern for the amount of traffic in Folsom and that the level of service will be reduced to a ‘D,’ which is in the current plan as a ‘C.’

Mayor Steve Miklos assured him that the service level in the plan is referring to the ‘worst case scenario.’

“We do not accept that [level of service], but the consultants are saying beware, it could happen,” Miklos said, agreeing with Ralls.

The ‘C’ level of service Miklos is referring to is for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon with commuters going to work.

Councilmember Kerri Howell said at any other time, the level of service is no less than a ‘B.’ She said there has been a lot of discussion about this matter on social media, and she wanted everyone to understand that the ‘C’ level of service is during the peak hours – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

“If you are stopping at a light because another car triggered it to turn, that is not a delay,” Howell said. She said that if you are stopping at a light where the traffic is backed up and the light cycle changes two or three times, that is a delay.

Councilmember Roger Gaylord said after reading that the city is allowing the possibility of a ‘D’ level of service, that is what he is expecting to see.

“It concerns me greatly. The whole section scares me and a lot of residents,” Gaylord said.

Following, there were multiple speakers stating that there were still items that needed work in the general plan and asked that Council not adopt it just yet.

Howell moved to not approve the adoption as Councilman Andy Morin was absent, and she wanted all Council members to be present for it. She also said she would like more public input at the next meeting as well.

Gaylord seconds Howell’s motion.

Miklos said he agrees with Howell.

“On January of 2017, Council made a promise that this wouldn’t be a one-and-done meeting,” Miklos said. “We still have things to look over and digest, so please send as many comments in advance. If I have to reopen the public hearing, I will.”

Vice Mayor Ernie Sheldon said that four days to read through the general plan is not enough to dig through each page. He said he accepts that the end of July is a good time for more public input.

Gaylord said he agreed with Howell and Sheldon.

Council unanimously approved to discuss the general plan during the July 24 Council meeting, when all members are present.

For more information on the 2035 General Plan or to submit input, go to folsom.ca.us.