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Concerns: 2040 Comprehensive Plan Approval Process

After Monday night’s City Council Meeting, we are still very concerned regarding the proposed 2040 Comprehensive Plan (PLAN). We believe that the current process is destined to ‘approve’ a version of the PLAN that has not been properly discussed nor the implications of the proposed changes understood to justify approval in June.

The public is scheduled to see a revised Draft on 05/19/2021. The public will have only 2 weeks to submit comments on the revised draft. If the process of ignoring substantive community comments is repeated, Then we will be left with a PLAN that does not achieve the stated goals of adequately implementing strategies to achieve the stated goal of mitigating the racial/income disparities in our Neighborhoods (Goal #2 Achieving Neighborhood Diversity & Inclusion). We will publish more detail concerns regarding the updated version of the PLAN over the next two weeks.

The City has not yet documented how the proposed actions in the PLAN will mitigate the racial/income disparities in our Neighborhoods. Furthermore, they have not documented how the proposed changes to the Land Use Policies (the primary function of the PLAN) would reduce the rapid forced displacement that is occurring today in many of our Neighborhoods. The PLAN currently promises to address these issues only through other Programs funded through the City’s Annual Budget Process. (It is worth noting that the amount of proposed City Budget funding for Affordable Housing beyond the Housing Trust Fund is $2million lower in the proposed 2022 Budget that was allocated in the 2020 Budget. Furthermore, the 2022 Budget documents the total amount of households assisted by the Programs listed in the 2022 Budget have only assisted approximately 1,500families in the last 3 years (2018-2020) or 3% the over 150,000 families making less than $50,000 in the latest census data for 2019.) However, the current PLAN does not promote the need to increase the amount of funding for either homeownership or rental assistance nor addressing the root causes of the Income and Wealth racial disparities in our City.

As a result, it is difficult to see how the primary stated goal of the PLAN to remedy the City’s contributions in actions that led to the racial/income disparities can be achieved.

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