Hollister begins General Plan Update

Public invited to June 4 kickoff meeting

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The City of Hollister is getting ready to embark on an update of its 20-year General Plan, giving residents an opportunity to provide their own input into how the community should plan and grow for the future.

The General Plan is the city’s long-term guiding document that guides development and conservation in Hollister. The update that is underway as of this week will apply from now through 2040.

“As jurisdictions continue to respond to Covid-19 and the public health and economic impacts resulting from the pandemic, the city is taking this opportunity to let the community steer the future of development, emergency preparedness, economic resiliency, and policy direction in Hollister,” reads a statement from the city’s planning office.

City staff are “actively” seeking to involve the community in the General Plan update process.

On June 4, from 6 to 8pm, the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) will meet for the first time to officially kick off the update process. Residents and community members are invited to participate and offer input at the June 4 meeting.

Members of the GPAC are appointed by the Hollister City Council, and will provide recommendations to city planning staff at key milestones throughout the public participation process.

The city has also launched an interactive website to provide information to the public, and allow the public to comment remotely on the General Plan Update process. The website is hollister2040.org, and is available in English and Spanish.

The website includes an abundance of information about the General Plan Update, a signup form for the project mailing list and interactive online exercises. The site also identifies other ways for the public to provide input on the project.

City planners said one of the first steps of the General Plan Update process will be to create a “community vision” to establish the long-term planning document’s guiding principles.

“We are excited to get this process underway,” said Hollister Development Services Director, Bryan Swanson. “We want to hear from the community about their vision for Hollister’s future. We hope that community members will let us know their hopes and concerns for the city over the next 20 years.”

The city will host a series of virtual workshops and events throughout June and July. A GPAC meeting to discuss the resulting community vision is scheduled for August. Details will be available at hollister2040.org.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all meetings and workshops will be conducted online until further notice.

The city’s General Plan Update websites describes the document as the “foundation on which all land use and regulatory decisions are made.” The General Plan includes elements that address land use, housing, open space, circulation/traffic, economic development, public services, infrastructure, emergency preparedness, community health and other issues.

In the “public engagement” section of the website, users are offered links to upload photos, share their vision for the future of Hollister, rank their key priorities and offer other input.

Not all members of the GPAC have been appointed, according to the website. The committee will be made up of two Hollister City Council members, two planning commissioners and one Hollister resident.