The Los Banos City Council, at its Oct. 19 meeting, approved the Los Banos General Plan 2042, also referred to as the “Constitution for Growth and Development.”
The plan, according to Stacy Elms, the city’s Community and Economic Development Director, establishes the city’s vision, supporting goals, policies and actions; provides consistent direction for future development; and balances growth and quality of life.
The key issues that the general plan intends to address, Elms said, are economic development, growth management, downtown development, agriculture mitigation, water supply and historical preservation.
Before council members could accept the new general plan, they had to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which explains how general plan projects will impact the environment, evaluating topics such as air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, noise and agricultural resources.
Several persons individually stepped forward during the public hearing to express their opposition to rezoning and redesignating the East Inter-Canal Area for industrial use, since it would significantly impact the movement and health of migratory birds and other animals in the area.
The council ultimately voted to approve the Los Banos General Plan 2042, after changing the East Inter-Canal Area back to ag/rural to protect the land for wildlife. The council also certified the final EIR.
Elms thanked the council for its decision, since, as she noted, the general plan update has been in the making since 2017; she added, “This is very momentous tonight.”

Malina Duran

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