General plan outlines growth for city
Liset Marquez, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/31/2010 07:41:14 PM PST

ONTARIO – For the next 20 years, city officials, planners, developers and residents will rely on the Web-based Ontario Plan as their guiding document.

It is the first general plan in the state that will be completely Web-based, city Planning Director Jerry Blum said.

“(The plan) is a game-changer, an achievement in the process of community building. A lot of people will be talking about the Ontario Plan,” said Al Bell, project manager with Costa Mesa-based Planning Center, the city’s consultant on the plan.

The Ontario Plan is different from other city general plans because it incorporates the general plan with city policies that will provide the framework for the next 20 years.

It is not meant to determine how future councils operate but instead sets some guidance that they can take into consideration during the decision-making process, City Manager Greg Devereaux said.

The Policy Plan and the Governance Manual have a combined 270 policies, said Blum. The policy plan is the city’s General Plan. Its components are land use, mobility, community design, economics, an environmental impact report, safety, social resources, housing as well as parks and recreation.

Breaking from tradition, the city decided to take the plan online. By switching to the Web, it allows the city to keep the document updated.

In the past, any time the city made changes to the general plan, it would have to make sure all of existing copies were replaced to reflect the changes.

As “groundbreaking” as the Ontario Plan may be, it is a characterization, honing a direction that has been established for the past decade, Devereaux said.

The document will provide a vision for the council for the next decade, but it’s not a departure of their direction in the past, Devereaux said.

The Ontario Plan outlines how the city will grow in the future. Housing in the city is expected to increase from more than 45,000 units to 104,000 in 30 years. The population is expected to double from 173,000 to 360,000 people.

Jobs in the city will go from 103,394 to 326,000, said Brian Judd, vice president of community planning and design for the Planning Center.

Build-out will be mostly for intense urban uses. All areas will be walkable and designed with the pedestrian in mind, he said.

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