The Star-News - Aug. 16, 2002

Who will plan the Chula Vista story?


Sometimes it seems there's only one story in the city of Chula Vista and all we do at The Star-News is tease out angles topical to the week in hand. The story, of course, is growth.

We don't always call it growth. Sometimes it's development. Sometimes it's planning. The difference usually depends on who wrote the press release.

Some residents take the view that the City Council is driving with its collective foot hard down on growth's gas pedal but with no discernible forward vision through the windshield. City officials, on the other hand, want to make a big deal of the machinery of public consultation that is gearing up as the City updates what it likes to call the General Plan.

They're calling for civic minded individuals to step forward and help set the course for all growth, development and community planning during the next 20 years. To help guide and assist in this effort, the City Council has authorized the formation of a General Plan steering committee and three subcommittees. The City is seeking qualified individuals to fill eight positions on the steering committee.

Four of the positions will represent four geographic areas of the city: the northwest (north of L Street and west of Interstate 805), the southwest (south of L Street and west of Interstate 805), the east (east of Interstate 805), and the unincorporated areas (Bonita, Sunnyside). The desirable qualifications for candidates would include residency within the area to be represented (non-city residents would serve as ex-officio, non-voting members); knowledge, experience and/or involvement with community issues unique to the area; and the ability to effectively represent and convey the interests of the residents within their geographic area.

The other four positions will represent key stakeholders in the areas of education, housing, transportation, and finance/real estate. The desirable qualifications for these candidates would include substantial knowledge, experience and/or involvement with issues related to their respective areas of expertise in the city or the South Bay. Residency within the city is also desirable for these positions; non-residents would serve ex-officio (non-voting).

The role of the steering committee is to provide oversight to the General Plan update process and to build and sustain community leadership for the project. The committee will also serve as a conduit for sharing information about the issues and perspectives of the diverse interests in the community. In this capacity, the committee will guide the creation of a common, citywide vision and ensure continued movement toward this common goal.

Anyone interested in serving on the General Plan Update Steering Committee should write a letter to: General Plan Update, Planning and Building Department, 276 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista, CA 91910, before Sept. 10. Applicants' letters should indicate the specific position they would like to represent (area resident, education, housing, transportation, or finance/real estate), and list their qualifications.

The Star-News, meanwhile, will be following the story.