The following text has been taken from Upland resident Marilyn Mills' commentary that was printed in the Daily Bulletin on June 28th, 2015:
A Changing World Needs Unchanging Values
I am writing to address the guest commentary written by Upland City Manager, Rod Butler (Daily Bulletin - June 21, 2015).
Mr. Butler says Upland needs a new General Plan “to keep up with our changing world.”
That is what we do NOT need. Our world is changing, yes, and we want growth, but not like this. Politicians and planners are trying to force change by implementing a political philosophy. A very well-planned transformation has evolved through the idea of Global Warming – hence AB32 and SB375, California’s Global Warming Acts. The stated goal is to redistribute wealth to the poor (and friends of the political elite) which is crushing the middle class and driving business out. (See new report on effects from Chapman University Center for Demographics and Policy).
Whether one believes in Global Warming or not, Upland must implement certain laws but according to Southern California Associated Governments, most goals are voluntary. They get away with forcing changes by threats of withholding funds and law suits from environmentalists.
Mr. Butler, you have not made an honest attempt to involve residents. If you had, you would have heard the outcry from the start.
Some citizens received a notice in their February water bill announcing the new General Plan was ready for review. We were shocked that a plan was even being created. The planning department told me that four notices were put in the legal section of the newspaper to alert citizens to the early workshops. Information was also given in 2008 at the Halloween Scary Affair and the Christmas Parade. Are you kidding?
If Mr. Butler would reveal what is contained in the over 2,000 pages in just the General Plan, Zoning Plan, EIR and voluntary Climate Action Plan, (yes there is more) more residents would be shocked and NOT support his plan to “keep up.” Keeping up will mean our basic character and values will be gone. Upland will become a city urbanized with higher density housing, congestion and more crime (Downtown Upland’s plan allows for up to 55 units per acre). We do not want to be Los Angeles. People have come here because of the safe, family-friendly environment.
Lately, residents have seen apartments and condos under construction in the city. Obviously, higher density is being implemented already. Mr. Butler says that “Millenials” want to live, work and play in one neighborhood and use public transportation. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. (Ask locals and see 2 June Fannie Mae survey).
After the budget meeting on June 15, it is obvious that Upland is desperate for money for pensions. So it seems Mr. Butler has personal interest in creating a “boom-town” for developers. Sorry to say, but other cities which have tried this plan have found it unsustainable. News stories abound on how this plan isn’t working in city after city.
Come clean Mr. Butler. Tell the citizens the purpose of the plan; that it is not unique for Upland; that its “Transit Oriented Development” is meant to constrict car use which will actually cause congestion and crime. And the important question is, “If we are severely cutting back on water, why build for 8,000+ new residents during a drought?”
No thanks, Mr. Butler. We don’t want to keep up with political philosophies and change our world. We want to hold on to our values which are based on the Constitution and freedom of choice, the bedrock of American life. We demand a plan that IS unique to Upland, our character and values.
Marilyn Mills is an Upland resident.
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