Complainers lamenting the process, costs, and time to update the City of Santa Barbara’s General Plan [“Only Consensus Is No Consensus,” 2/18/10] need to realize that one single element of the plan, known as the “Circulation Element,” meaning transportation, took seven years and at least two incarnations to complete.

It was expensive. The transportation update was a contentious process because it attempted to represent everyone: businesses, residential neighborhoods, bicyclists, pedestrians, the disabled, the young and old.

By adjusting the automobile’s status to identify it as more of the culprit in deteriorating neighborhood and community, the transportation update took some onus off of the usual suspect—property development rights.

Some of the newly elected councilmembers represent a revolt of sorts—to a “no growth” philosophy. If indeed the answer is “No,” I’d like to know what that would look like—in the General Plan Update, which is supposed to look to the future, or, possibly, written in stone. — Don McDermott


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