Upland seal

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 05/31/15 – 8:08 PM PDT |

UPLAND >> Changes to the city’s guiding development plan have residents airing their disdain, as the prospect of more housing, population growth and their effect on resources looms.

They’re not happy.

Exhibit A: Last week’s City Council meeting.

Accusations that the City Council is holding secret meetings, padding its pensions and attempting to “rubber stamp” the proposed updates to the 1 Comment prompted Mayor Ray Musser to leave the dais during that meeting.

Musser stepped away from the dais for a couple of minutes, following a series of remarks made about the city’s leadership.

For more than an hour at the Tuesday meeting, the council heard from more than a dozen speakers — some who don’t live in the city — airing their concerns about an updated planning document — Upland’s General Plan — that is still being reviewed by staffers.

Upland is updating the 2,000-page planning document, but it was not on the agenda.

A majority of the speakers said they were concerned about proposals in the plan to increase housing density in certain portions of the city, as well as the strain on the city’s water supply if the city’s population is expected to grow. Several speakers wore white T-shirts with “Do Not Urbanize Upland,” in black lettering.

Councilwoman Carol Timm, who thanked the public for bringing their concerns to the council, addressed some misconceptions.

“When I got on the council, I got a whopping salary of $250 every two weeks,” she said. “We do not get a pension, and we do not get a special parking place. We do this because we love our city.”

Each city is required to develop policies that will provide the framework for the next 20 years known as a general plan. The last time the city updated its plan was in 1992, and officials have been working since 2008 to update it.

“This is not an unchangeable document right now,” Timm said. “It is not set in stone, and we have not voted on the document, it is a draft document.”

Timm, who lives where some of the high-density housing is being proposed, added that the Planning Commission has yet to vote on the draft General Plan.

Last month, rather than hold a hearing, the Planning Commission held off on a decision on the city’s plan. During an April 22 meeting, the commission held a nearly four-hour study session and directed staffers to come back with a list of responses to questions raised by residents and commissioners. The commission even extended the public review period on the document to May 26.

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