The Blueprint Planning Process provided a unique opportunity to work together to convey a regional vision of land use and transportation that will be used to guide growth in the San Joaquin Valley over the next 50 years.
The Valley Blueprint planning process included five major steps.
In 2005 the Valley COGs secured funding for the Blueprint program. MCAG, on behalf of the Valley COGs, accepted a $2 million grant from Caltrans through the California Blueprint Program. The SJVAPCD contributed $500,000. The $2.5 million was distributed among the Valley COGs and the Great Valley Center to launch the Blueprint process. In June 2006 the Valley Blueprint was officially launched with the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Kickoff Workshop.
Next, the Valley COGs carried out a three-phase process within each county to develop a preferred growth scenario for each county.
During 2006 and 2007 the Valley COGs carried out the first phase of the Blueprint planning process: Values and Vision. Each Valley COG initiated an extensive, multi-faceted public outreach process in their respective counties.
They posed three questions to their communities:
As a result of the Phase 1 workshop, several common values emerged:
The purpose of this phase was to transform the values and vision developed in
Phase 1 into a set of growth principles and benchmarks that could be used to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative growth scenarios in Phase 3. While the Valley COGs were developing goals, objectives, and performance measures, they also held workshops with resource agencies, environmental justice organizations, and tribal governments. The goals, objectives, and performance measures continued to evolve throughout the Blueprint process. By the time the Blueprint was adopted in 2009, the Valley COGs had developed common goals, objectives, and performance measures that would work in each of the counties and be consistent Valleywide.
Valley COGs worked with the UC Davis ICE and local planners to gather GIS data that depicted the current geography and urbanization of the Valley. Alternative growth scenarios wre developed for each county using UPLAN, a growth scenario modeling software.
This iterative process involving UC Davis ICE, the Valley COGs, and local planners and stakeholders was critical to ensuring that the Blueprint identified realistic development patterns. Since each Valley COG’s traffic model used different socio-economic categories, each COG undertook its separate effort to translate local land use designations into the UPLAN land use categories.
With the help of the Planners Workgroup, the alternative growth scenarios were evaluated based on performance measures developed in Phase 2, such as land use patterns, transportation options, economic development opportunities, goods movement patterns, greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural land consumption, and habitat protection.
In the final step, the Valley COGs integrated the county-level Blueprints into the Valleywide Blueprint and adopted the 12 Smart Growth Principles and Preferred Growth Scenario. This action officially concluded the third year of the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint planning process and set the stage for the transition to implementation of the Valley Blueprint.
Stanislaus Council of Governments, www.stancog.org.
View Blueprint Process Document