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Planning Commission Meeting of April 22 Quick Summary

At Wednesday night’s meeting of the Upland Planning Commission, people showed up to voice their concerns over the new General Plan – and a big thank you to them! But the meeting was completely controlled as if Staff and the Commissioners “knew in advance” (ya think?) that we were coming and what we would object to.

Before the meeting began, Staff gave each attendee a “Frequently Asked Questions” flyer. Reading it over, we were “amazed” at the questions. It was as if they had read the issues on this web site and wanted to disprove all our claims. So much so, that they even went as far as to claim that the Plan did NOT CREATE OR ALLOW new HIGH DENSITY HOUSING either under the General Plan or the new Zoning Codes.

WHOA! Back the truck WAAAAAY up this time! Are you kidding me?

So when it says on Page LU-3 of the Global Warming based City of Upland General Plan that, "The purpose of this land use designation is to provide for a relatively HIGH DENSITY residential environment." and on Page 3-10 under Objective E: T-25 of the ridiculous politically motivated Upland Climate Action Plan it states, "Support the development of HIGH-DENSITY multi-family residential and mixed-use projects around transit stations by allowing deviations in development standards", those were just typos??

We can pull "their" words from the plan all day! The purpose of the new plan and rezoning is to begin the process of HIGH DENSITY development in Upland! Remember how you cook a frog; place it in cool water and raise the temperature very slowly. Say, maybe over a 20 year planning horizon?

Here is their answer to question number 2: “Is the City creating or allowing new High Density housing under the Draft General Plan and Zoning Code Updates?” directly quoted from their flyer:

(download the flyer here)

“No. The new MIXED-USE zones allow residential density up to 20 units per acre in the Business/Residential Mixed-Use (B/R MU) Zone and Commercial/Office Mixed Use (C/O MU) Zone, and up to 25 units per acre in the Commercial Industrial Mixed Use (C/I MU) Zone, corresponding to existing density limits. The Draft Code does not increase density limits. See Draft General Plan Land Use Element Table LU-1 and Draft Zoning Code, Part 2 Zoning Districts, Land Uses, and Development Standards.”

Anyone see the problem with this statement??

A single family home is low density. Duplexes are low density. 20 to 25 units (before any density bonus) per acre no matter how you spin it, IS HIGH DENSITY period! (Except maybe in New York!)

So I think they are counting on “semantics.” You know the song, “You say tomato, I say tomahto… “You say Mixed-Use 20 units per acre plus bonus density, We say “HIGH DENSITY (ie; we don't want 20+ units per acre slammed all across Foothill). Let’s call the whole thing off!”

“Mixed-use” is a new category in the Zoning that would allow apartments (20 to 25 units per acre before any density bonus) to be built above retail businesses or in business or commercial areas. This has been outlawed for years. Think of your history of the old west moving through the 30’s and 40’s. Folks would live above or behind their “shop” or business. Changes in city codes did away with “mixed use” years ago and it is now being brought back under this new “Sustainable Cities” political agenda.

Here’s another question on the flyer: “Is there water for new residents?" Remember that the plan will add approximately 8,000 new residents to Upland. You will not believe the answer! Coming shortly in a separate post.

The meeting went downhill from there. Instead of allowing speakers to comment at the first of the meeting, the Commission conducted a Study Session making intended speakers sit there for 3 hours before commenting. This was a planned “cooling off” period but speakers did their best to show their passion. The meeting ended at 10:30 pm.

The take away: good questions were asked but answers were cloaked in semantics, technical planning jargon, and some double-speak. In fact, some answers just were not answers. The public could never get Staff to answer with names, exactly who were the “stake holders” that were interviewed that helped to form the anti-car “vision” for Upland's General Plan. Without specifics, the attendees came up with their own answer – “cronies” of the Staff and Council.

The Public Hearing on the Plan was pushed back to May 27th. So we have a chance to put in more public comments objecting to the Plan. So keep fighting friends! Let your voices be heard!

See you on May 27th, City Hall, 6:30 pm.