On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, about 40 citizens attended the Corpus Christi Planning Commission to voice their concerns about PlanCC 2035. According to the minutes of the March 23 and April 6 meetings, the topic was slated for Public Hearing on April 20, which prompted the large turnout of citizens at Wednesday’s meeting.
According to the posted minutes of March 23 , “Ms. Annika Yankee, Development Services, read item ‘IV’ into record. Recap, this item was taken to City Council in November 2015, and staff will return to Planning Commission on April 20, 2016, to review the comments made by Council Members. Staff is proposing to present all comments in the form of a matrix by element/chapter to make comments easier to read and work with. Plans are to provide edits to Commissioners (2) weeks in advance for their review prior to the Public Hearing at the Planning Commission meeting on April 20, 2016. Legal confirmed that a motion is not needed in order to proceed with Staff’s plans and recommendations.”
During the Director’s Report at the Wednesday, April 6, meeting, Annika Yankee was asked to give an update on the status of the PlanCC 2035 material preparation to which she responded, “My only update is that the documents you need to review, I should have those to you by Friday morning. It’s a little bit short of the two weeks requested.”
Earlier this week, however, City staff pushed the item to May 4 and then May 18 saying that City staff needed additional time to prepare the materials for the commission’s review.
The commissioners were encouraged to read PlanCC 2035 carefully and compare it to the existing 1987 Comprehensive Plan and Councilman Magill’s PlanCC 2036 before making a decision. Some concerns about PlanCC 2035 brought forth by the citizens who spoke included:
- Unclear/imprecise language of the plan, which can lead to bad policy
- Missing elements in the plan (i.e. public safety, fire, police, port, military)
- Overreach of government on private property rights
- Negative effects of plan on local farmers
- Falls short in terms of being a “master plan”
- Will lead to more government regulation and more private property restrictions
- Too much emphasis on modes of transportation other than personal vehicles
- Runs counter to Constitutional rights
- Was created with the direction of consultants who are not from the Corpus Christi area
- Agenda 21 elements included in the plan
- Elements that infringe on the public’s rights
All who addressed the commission thanked the commissioners for their service and for allowing them time to speak. One person spoke in favor of the plan citing the elements that are designed to protect quality of life in the city and the plan’s progressive nature.
The current version of PlanCC 2035 was sent to the Planning Commission for review in November 2015 after a 9-0 vote by Council. As per the minutes, “Council Member Magill made a motion directing the City Manager to extend the time frame for council members to submit written comments for 30 more days, (until December 17, 2015) and to convey all council members’ written
comments to the Planning Commission, seconded by Council Member Vaughn and passed unanimously.”
Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day. She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.