With so many city council people up for election, it is critical how you vote this year. Your way of life is on the line. Recently there have been several attempts to change the general plan of Yucaipa for the benefit of real estate developers, not for the benefit of citizens. In case you aren’t familiar with the Yucaipa General Plan, every city must file a general plan that details the values of the city and how those will be accomplished over the next 20 years. This plan has many elements like traffic, housing, recreation, etc. Yucaipa as a city values its natural environment, its semi-rural feel, as well as other things.
No matter what city you live in though, several of these elements truly effect your day to day life. The number one impact on your day to day life is the number of people that live in your town. They drive on your roads, they go to your schools, they use your trails and parks, they participate in local youth sports. The general plan accounts for this through zoning of land. Zoning details how many dwelling units can be build on a section of land. If there are more dwellings, then more people and more impact on your way of life.
All this to say that when roads and schools, and parks and all the city amenities are planned they are planned for certain numbers of people designated by the housing element of the general plan. There may be good reasons to update or change a general plan but it must be for the benefit of all citizens not one potentially out of town developer who wants to make a lot of money and leave the city with the consequences of that change. When zoning is changed from say two houses per acre to four houses per acre, it is not the houses that are a concern, but the people in those houses. You have just doubled the potential number of people. That is more people in the parks, more cars on the roads, so everything in town takes more wear and tear. There are many parcels of land that are undeveloped. But those vacant properties were carefully zoned so that when they would all be built, there would be a comfortable number of people using the amenities within the town. Any time zoning changes to increase the number of people in town it puts more pressure on everything. A builder who doesn’t care about Yucaipa or how people live just wants to make as much money as possible by building as many units as possible on a parcel of land that they own. There are two major developments proposed for Yucaipa where general plan changes are being requested.
One is a developer that is requesting a change in the general plan to increase the number of living units that can be built on some vacant land across from Calimesa Elemen-tary school on Second Street. The land is zoned so that a certain number of people could live there, a number that was calculated for when roads and parks and business areas were planned. A general plan amendment for a single development is not appropriate. Another is the development on the North Bench.
Be careful how you vote.