Planning Commission Meeting: April
TO: The Honorable Planning Commission
FROM: City Planning Staff
SUBJECT: Land Use and Circulation Element Draft Goals Outreach Methodology
On January 24, 2006 City Council directed staff to pursue an outreach methodology that would involve the community in an effort to refine project goals. Draft goals have been distilled from the work products of previous outreach initiatives such as the Emerging Themes and Opportunities & Challenges reports. Council requested that the draft goals be vetted through the public participation process before proceeding with the analytical process.
Consequently, staff has developed a consistent program of activities that seeks to build upon the information collected during previous outreach efforts by validating draft goals which will be used to drive preparation of new Land Use and Circulation Elements. The outreach program is also designed to solicit input from the community regarding specific objectives against which the success of each goal can, in part, be measured. Further clarification of what defines a “goal” or an “objective” is presented in an upcoming City Council Information Item which will be received by the Planning Commission shortly.
The approval of draft goals and associated objectives will help staff devise a framework for testing alternative land use and circulation strategies. This analysis will be presented to the public in the form of a workbook that will be released later this year.
Staff is seeking Planning Commission input with regard to the program’s content in order to ensure that the community has ample opportunity to evaluate and comment on the draft goals and participate in this stage of the process that will serve as a springboard for future efforts.
Staff has devised this public outreach program with the following purposes in mind:
The outreach program is designed to capture a wide audience, and involves four components of varying interface. Publicity for these events and exercises is already underway using the internet, city mailing lists, newspaper advertisements, posters, and other city-sponsored communications tools. The outreach effort includes the following activities:
Goals and Objectives Workshop (April 26)
The purpose of this workshop is to present the community with an opportunity to validate or modify the draft goals developed by staff, and to provide examples of key objectives against which the success of the goals can be measured. Participants will first illustrate their level of support for each of the 10 goals associated with the Land Use and Circulation Elements by placing a colored dot along a sliding scale that ranges from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.” Next, referencing several example objectives composed by staff, participants will be encouraged to use colored Post-Its to write in new objectives that they feel are important to the realization of individual goals.
To bring the workshop to a conclusion, staff members will report back to the assembled participants the obvious trends in support or opposition of each goal. Staff will also quickly voice several key objectives gathered from each station. The workshop will end with a reminder that the public outreach process is ongoing, and additional opportunities for participation will be available at the passive display in the Main Library, on the internet at the www.shapethefuture2025.net website, and at the Santa Monica Festival.
Main Library Display (April 27-May 8)
Following the workshop meeting, staff will display the workshop products at the Main Library with the intention to involve more community members in the outreach process. The workshop boards will be arranged on easels and placed in a strategic location for review and observation by library visitors. Index cards that have been printed as small-scale versions of the workshop boards will be available for participants to illustrate their level of support for each of the 10 goals, as well as suggest key objectives useful to accomplishing the goal. After completion, participants will be instructed to place the index cards in a “suggestion box” that is adhered to each easel. Staff will collect comments on a daily basis.
Internet Survey (April 27-May 21)
Running concurrently with the workshop and the library display, staff proposes enabling additional functionality to the www.shapethefuture2025.net website to survey a larger audience. The survey’s scope will remain limited to the questions asked by the workshop and the library display with the additional benefit of immediate analysis. Staff is currently developing this approach in coordination with the Information Systems Department.
Santa Monica Festival (May 13)
The Goals and Objectives public outreach effort will culminate at the Santa Monica Festival on May 13. After analyzing the feedback from the workshop, the library display and the ongoing internet survey, staff will present updated materials to the community for review and additional feedback. At this event, the public will again have the opportunity to validate the goals through dot voting, and to propose objectives by way of completing a brief form that will be collected by city staff. Participants will also be invited to voice additional comments on the online survey, located at the www.shapethefuture2025.net website.
Planning Commission and City Council Meetings
Input received from the public regarding the draft goals will be presented to the Planning Commission in June. At that time, the Commission can formally offer recommendations to the City Council regarding the direction and language of the goals and comment on the community input. The City Council will consider the draft goals after the Commission completes its review and finalizes its recommendations.
At the time of writing, staff envisions the following work product being generated from the proposed outreach activities:
The data collected from these separate activities will be analyzed by staff and converted to information that is to be included in a summary report prior to the Commission’s review of draft goals. The report will evaluate the success of the overall outreach effort in achieving community consensus of the draft goals and in identifying objectives that will help measure the City’s progress in realizing them. The various comments generated from this initiative will be recorded as an addendum to the report, presented to the Planning Commission and City Council, and posted on the project website.
The following questions are offered to the Planning Commission to serve as a starting place for discussing the outreach program and providing suggestions on how to improve the success of this effort.
1. Do the outlined activities sufficiently engage the public over the issues of Goals and Objectives relative to the Land Use and Circulation Elements?
2. Do the outlined activities advance the project forward toward defining draft goals and setting the stage for future analysis?
3. Are there any other types of questions that should be included in the outreach effort?
4. Do the activities need to be modified?
5. Are the proposed publicity channels sufficient? What are other ways in which we can advertise this outreach effort?
This report recommends that the Planning Commission discuss and provide input regarding the Goals and Objectives public engagement exercise.