We’d be in favor of that, not just because it would mark the end of an ugly political squabble, but also because it would eliminate the primary distraction to what should be the biggest story in town right now.
Patterson is revising its general plan, the document that will most directly influence the city’s future growth. A draft environmental impact report on the proposed revisions is expected to be released in March — which could be perfect timing, if the health center issue is resolved in February.
The city is looking at three variations of the new general plan. Each offers a different view of what Patterson will look like in 40 years, from population to housing density to the number of jobs.
All three plans favor quick, significant growth. The most modest calls for the city’s population — now about 21,000 — to more than double in 20 years, rising to 46,360. The most aggressive has it more than tripling, to 65,713.
In the longer term, the plans generally see a slowing of that growth. The 40-year estimates range from 57,510 to 77,186.
The revisions also have differing ideas about zoning and how many jobs and homes would be created over 40 years. The decisions being made now are certainly worth our attention.
That’s not to say the health center’s move is not a big deal. It certainly is. But the general plan revision is on the level of West Park and Walmart in terms of long-term consequences for this town.
We hope those who have become so passionate about the health center’s move will remain engaged throughout the general plan revision. A document as important as the general plan demands public involvement.