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Independent Voice

Dixon General Plan Brings Zoning Up to Date

Apr 03, 2024 09:18AM ● By Angela Underwood

DIXON, CA (MPG) - The review of Dixon's General Plan 2040 Implementation is not sexy, but it's vital to local growth and development.

Still new, the 2040 high-level policy had two major initiatives in 2023, according to Community Development Director Raffi Boloyan. At the March Planning Commission meeting, Boloyan presented city officials with detailed updates to the Housing Element and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

According to Boloyan, Dixon's zoning ordinance needed updates after two decades of patchwork, which is why officials created a comprehensive update for a current, streamlined, and user-friendly ordinance.

"The main implementing regulation document for a city is a zoning ordinance," Boloyan said. "It is a big lift and project and such an important implementation step."

Mayor Steve Bird explained the importance of the General Plan Housing Element, one of the eight mandated elements every city's general plan must contain.

"The purpose of the Housing Element is to make sure that the city has an adequate housing supply to accommodate all of our residents," Mayor Steve Bird said. "The state requires each city to update its Housing Element every eight years and receive an annual update of its progress."

Boloyan said housing law and housing elements are highly involved.

"This is a pretty complex process, and if you look at the amount of legislation that comes out of the state on a yearly basis, you will see that they are trying to find ways to get more housing built and for it to be built easier and faster," Boloyan said.

Mayor Bird said the next full General Plan update will be in 2040 since its original adoption in 2021. Boloyan said any plans within it, whether minor or major, can get updated during the next 20 years. 

"As with everything else, a comprehensive general plan update is an extremely expensive endeavor for a community to perform and comply with all the legal requirements," Boloyan said.

According to Boloyan, that cost can range anywhere from $750,000 to $5 million, depending on the size, extension of the update, controversy, or legal challenges.

The Planning Commission Staff Report confirms that the labor need for both the General Plan Update and Housing Element "required significant financial and staffing resources."

According to the report, "The time dedicated to these initiatives was in addition to the already significant amount of staff time responding to development inquiries, processing a high volume of development applications, and other daily tasks." 

"They also consume a great deal of time and staff effort and typically take 1.5 to 3 years to do a comprehensive update," Boloyan said, adding, "We are currently doing a minor general plan amendment that will be going to the council next meeting, along with the Zoning Ordinance update."

According to the staff report, "in the nearly three years" since the General Plan was adopted, areas identified for monitoring include Corridor Mixed Use, Campus Mixed Use, and Mixed-Use Land Designations.

Boloyan said the general plan update to be approved by the mayor and council would correct the land use designation for 40 properties.

"Errors were recently discovered, and we needed to clarify and clean up two land use definitions," Boloyan said.