Kerman General Plan Update and Program EIR
APA 2021 Award of Merit in Planning Award – Comprehensive Planning; Small Jurisdiction Category
We are excited to announce that the American Planning Association (APA) Central Section – California Chapter has given the Kerman General Plan Update and Program EIR a 2021 Award of Merit in Planning – Comprehensive Planning; Small Jurisdiction Category.
Rincon Consultants, Inc., in partnership with the Mintier Harnish team, prepared a comprehensive update to the City of Kerman’s General Plan (GP) and Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Kerman encompasses 3.3 square miles in Fresno County and is approximately 15 miles west of the city of Fresno. With a population of just under 15,000, Kerman is a full-service community.
The GP was designed to be self-mitigating by incorporating environmental mitigations directly into the General Plan and policies and programs, to address Environmental Justice and Health Communities.
As shown in CalEnviroScreen, the entire planning area is disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution and population characteristics that make them more sensitive to pollution. Accordingly, the GP includes a complete discussion of Environmental Justice and disadvantaged communities. This was one of the first General Plan projects to work directly with the California Attorney General’s Office to create an SB 1000 compliant plan.
The Kerman GP was one of the first San Joaquin Valley General Plan/EIRs to include an assessment of traffic impacts related to vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in conformance with the requirements of Senate Bill 743 in coordination with the Fresno Council of Government’s efforts in developing County-wide VMT thresholds. The team coordinated with Caltrans early on to identify new alignments for the two State Routes (SR) in Kerman, SR 180 and SR 145. The project was unanimously approved by the City Council, while also receiving praise for being thorough, legally defensible, self-mitigating, and written to be easily understood by the public.
Rincon and Mintier Harnish, incoordination, spearheaded efforts to develop a coordinated and team approach to the project, by implementing planning principals of inclusion, efficacy, and highest of principles to treat everyone with fairness, openness, and honesty. City staff was integral to the process, as was involvement and interaction with the City’s Planning Commission, City Council, and its residents to ensure it was seen as THEIR plan. They utilized their years of experience and connections to the Valley Planning community to assist with the process. This included coordination with Kerman contract planning staff with a great understanding of the City and their planning documents, and working with Caltrans District 6 planning staff on best approaches to relocating state routes. Coordination also included working with FCOG staff to develop a VMT methodology consistent and coordinated with their VMT threshold work, and with Fresno County and LAFCo staff to ensure consistency with their planning.
Congratulations to all who contributed to this award-winning project!
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