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Community Notebook: East Palo Alto holds General Plan workshops this Saturday

 

East Palo Alto leaders are inviting the community to help shape the city's future this weekend and throughout the fall and winter through a series of workshops on its "Vista 2035 General Plan."

The city will host seven workshops on critical community topics ranging from neighborhood traffic and parking to parks and recreation facilities and land use and economic development. The city is also encouraging the public to take a short survey about their ideas and priorities for the future of East Palo Alto.

The general plan update will be the city's guiding vision through the year 2035. It is expected to be completed in late 2015. The document establishes policies, goals, and programs for the long-term physical development of the community; it is a guideline or blueprint for implementing the community's vision for what residents and other stakeholders want the city to be for future generations. Vista 2035 will replace the 1999 General Plan, which was adopted as an update to the city's first general plan that was completed in 1986.

"We've seen great participation at our general plan workshops so far, and we're counting on that level of involvement continuing and expanding as we enter this critical phase of the process," East Palo Alto Mayor Laura Martinez said.

"Now is the time for every community member to think about the future of our city, to reflect on their concerns as well as the opportunities that can make our city better, and to share their thoughts on what they want our city to be for the generations to come."

The following topics will be discussed during the workshops:

Neighborhoods:

Saturday, Nov. 8, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Attend one of three concurrent neighborhood workshops specific to one's neighborhood to explore pedestrian safety, neighborhood identity, traffic congestion, parking, and more.

Location 1: Ravenswood Family Health Center Annex, 1842 Bay Road

Location 2: East Palo Alto Senior Center, 560 Bell St.

Location 3: East Palo Alto Education Center, 763 Green St.

Youth:

An informal workshop for teens and young adults to discuss the future of the city.

Saturday, Nov. 8, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Location: East Palo Alto Academy, 1050 Myrtle St.

Land use and economic development:

Monday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.

Explore potential land use changes in the city, and learn how new development can enhance city services and economic vitality.

Location: City Hall, at 2415 University Ave.

Transportation and parking:

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 6:30-9 p.m.

Discuss issues including traffic and parking congestion, biking, sidewalks, and transit.

Location: East Palo Alto Senior Center, 560 Bell St.

Public health and quality of life:

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, 6:30-9 p.m.

Discuss a wide range of topics impacting public health and quality of life in the city, including parks and open space, public safety, trees and landscaping, and access to health care and healthy food.

Location: East Palo Alto Senior Center, 560 Bell St.

Childcare and Spanish translation will be available at all workshops, except for the Youth workshop on Saturday, Nov. 8. Refreshments will be provided. More information about the General Plan Update is online at vista2035epa.org.

To help determine how community members feel about various issues facing the city, a short survey is now online at the Vista 2035 website, and will be available at each of the upcoming workshops. The survey asks about quality of life, priorities for development, top issues facing the city.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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