The process to update Newark's general plan and its environmental impact report is nearing completion, but it is not too late for the public to give feedback to influence the city's plans.

A draft of those planning documents has been completed and is available for review at the Newark Public Library and at City Hall. It also is available online at www.newark.org, said Terrence Grindall, Newark's community development director.

A general plan is a city's 20-year vision for urban planning and land-use decisions, providing residents a comprehensive statement of the goals, policies and actions that will guide its growth.

Newark's work on its general plan began in late 2011. A team of city officials, consultants and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate students performed research, audited planning policies, held public meetings and other tasks.

Next month, the Planning Commission and City Council each will conduct work sessions to review the draft general plan and environmental impact report. The public can give formal comments at those meetings.

The City Council might consider adopting the general plan at a public meeting scheduled in October or November, Grindall said.

School dress code update in San Leandro


Advertisement

San Leandro students might be able to wear one type of sneaker, shirt and hat on one school campus but not another, due to differing dress codes. That will all change this year when a stakeholder committee creates a single dress code for district schools, officials said this week.

The issue arose when board member Vince Rosato inquired about the district's dress code policy on saggy pants at a board meeting this summer and noted that various policies existed. For instance, spaghetti strap shirts and a specific type of Air Jordans are banned at Bancroft Middle School, while no such prohibition exists in the district policy.

Superintendent Mike McLaughlin said he hopes to have a new policy in place by the new year. The policy is expected to still allow schools, like McKinley Elementary, to have uniforms.

People with disabilities, seniors may avoid tax

School district officials at San Leandro Unified are deciding whether to allow senior and disabled residential property owners to obtain refunds of the Measure L parcel tax after it's paid later this year.

Seniors and people with disabilities who own property in the district and live on that property can request an exemption from the flat $39 tax, according to the ballot language, but the deadline to request an exemption passed on July 31. The district can choose whether to refund the tax, due to the county in December, to those who missed the district-imposed deadline, according to the district's parcel tax administrator. If they don't, those wishing to opt out will pay the tax this year and can apply for an exemption in subsequent years.

Exemptions granted do not need to be renewed each year of the five-year parcel tax unless there is a change in property ownership.

At least one resident is hoping they'll allow the refunds.

"I hope they let us get our money back if we have to pay," said 66-year-old district property owner Don Rathbun. "Senior citizens need every dollar we can get and if we don't have any children in the school district, why should we have to pay for the ones that do?"

---