While some cities take years and spend freely to craft a general plan to guide their regulations for land uses and public infrastructure, Newark officials in the past year have taken a more frugal, low-key approach.
First, they paid a rather inexpensive sum of $20,000 last year to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which employed graduate students to craft the City of Newark Community Plan.
Some residents raised eyebrows at the cost-friendly move, saying that you often get what you pay for. But that decision, in lieu of hiring a professional consultant, saved Newark at least $100,000, said Terrence Grindall, Newark's community development director.
City officials and the university co-hosted four public community meetings, capturing residents' input on the city's planned future land uses. That feedback from residents was a key part of the Community Plan, Grindall said.
For example, "the community told us that they're fine with intensifying development in certain areas, even if that means more traffic," he said. "It was helpful to get answers to those kinds of questions."
Next, the City Council approved a $300,000 agreement with a Santa Ana-based consultant firm to build on the students work and complete the city's general plan update. Council members recently approved the contract with The Planning Center/DC&E, which is expected to complete the update within the next eight months.
The consultant's report will address several issues, including climate change, economic development and promoting the improvement of residents' health, according to city staffers.
City officials have described the new general plan as a "tuneup" because it will not bring big changes to the previous plan, which was completed in 1992.
The decisions around Newark's land uses are pretty well-settled, Grindall said.
Hayward plans first citywide garage sale
The city is hosting its first citywide garage sale Oct. 20.
A map with addresses of the sales will be posted on the city's website Tuesday.
The idea for the garage sale came from the city's Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force, which hosts monthly cleanup days in neighborhoods throughout the city.
"There's a huge city truck that comes out," said Heather Enders, a former task force member. "It has to take away couches, cribs, mattresses and other large items at every cleanup event."
The hope is that items will be sold at garage sales rather than left on the street, she said. "This is a great way to reuse items that may have ended up in the landfill, and a great way to earn some quick cash for residents," Enders said.
To find the map, go to www.hayward-ca.gov, click on the "events" tab and look for garage sale. The deadline to include a sale on the map has passed, but Enders encouraged residents wanting to take part to email email@example.com or call 510-515-1185.