Modesto to Consider Sending Fitzpatrick Homes/Woodglen to LAFCO Tonight
By Emerson Drake
This article was based on information disseminated at last night’s Modesto City Council Agenda Meeting. Unfortunately, much of the information given to the Council and the public yesterday was incorrect. After a call acknowledging this from Patrick Kelly, Modesto’s Planning Division Manager, the corrected information is at the end of the article.
Tonight the Modesto City Council is considering sending the Woodglen development to LAFCO for zoning approval, The
proposed development is outside Modesto city limits and must be annexed by Modesto.
LAFCO Not requiring Ag Mitigation
At the time Marjorie Blom Executive Officer of LAFCO isn’t requiring ag mitigation according to Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh because of the projects density rate. Apparently when you build enough apartments to counter all of the high-end luxury homes, you can destroy all of the prime agricultural land you desire.
The topic is on the council’s calendar for tonight. The meeting starts at 5:30 PM so if you want to weigh in you need to be there.
Fitzpatrick Homes cannot formally apply to LAFCO until after the Modesto City Council votes their approval. Marjory Blom, Stanislaus LAFCO Executive Officer, has yet to make a comment or decision since LAFCO has only received a draft document and not an official one. Modesto’s City Council recently voted to avoid setting their own Agricultural (prime farmland) preservation policy and decided to use LAFCO’s by default. Some much for accepting responsibility.
There are several possible options to Fitzpatrick Homes regarding preservation of prime farmland, including creating a solution of their own, and they have yet to officially choose one. We’re sorry for the misinformation presented earlier but this does go to show how the Modesto City Council, and the public, are occasionally misinformed by city staff.
Well done Emerson and thanks for trying to keep those guys on the straight and narrow! I’ll have more to say tomorrow.
For the record, I have not spoken with Mr. Marsh about LAFCO and/or the Woodglen proposal. Nor have I said anything regarding whether or not the LAFCO Commission will or will not require ag mitigation. The LAFCO Ag Preservation Policy can be found on the LAFCO website at: http://www.stansislauslafco.org.