What will the Focus Groups do for the General Plan Update?
In December 2015, the Board of Supervisors approved a General Plan Update Scope of Work provided by the consulting firm Mintier Harnish. This Scope of Work specified the formation of several issue-area Focus Groups. As stated in the Scope of Work, the purpose of the Focus Groups is to provide technical and policy input on draft General Plan documents. Focus Group participants include representatives from existing boards and commissions, as well as local and regional stakeholders with expertise in a given issue area.
In consultation with Mintier Harnish, County staff established the following seven Focus Groups:
- Climate Change
- Economic Development
- Open Space and Recreation
- Transportation and Infrastructure
In an effort to ensure that Focus Groups include a variety of perspectives and expertise, yet afford opportunity for all members to have ample time to talk and to address topics in a more in-depth way, Mintier Harnish recommended that each Focus Group consist of no more than 10 to 12 members. After the Focus Group issue areas were identified, County staff from various divisions and agencies, including the Resource Management Agency Planning Division, Public Works Agency Transportation Department, Watershed Protection District, Agriculture Commissioner and County Executive Office, identified candidate issue-area experts to participate as Focus Group members. This list was then supplemented by input and suggestions made by stakeholders throughout the County.
The ultimate selection of Focus Group participants resulted from an iterative process based on the willingness and availability of identified experts to participate and the desire to balance membership among various interests. It should be noted, membership in Transportation & Infrastructure Focus Group was expanded to include representatives from each of the ten cities in the County as well as issue-area experts.
When will the General Plan Update interact with the Focus Groups?
The General Plan Update will interact with the Focus Groups at 5 points in the General Plan Update project. These points of engagement include review of the following public draft documents: