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Collaboration as a Foundation for Sustainability in Butte County or… How can we all get along? CALAFCO Annual Conference Sacramento – August 29, 2007 Stephen Lucas, Executive Officer Butte LAFCO. Recognizing Opportunity… beginning with good communication!

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Collaboration as a Foundation for Sustainability in Butte County


How can we all get along?

CALAFCO Annual Conference

Sacramento – August 29, 2007

Stephen Lucas, Executive Officer



Recognizing Opportunity…

beginning with good communication!

Countywide Planning Directors Group

Effective distribution/review of agency work programs, projects and policy actions

Fully informed elected bodies


Open communication allowed local agencies to recognize the opportunities related to the preparation of numerous foundation planning documents currently underway…


Planning documents currently being prepared…

County General Plan update

City General Plan updates

City of Chico

City of Biggs

Town of Paradise

City of Gridley

City of Oroville


Planning documents currently being prepared…

Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG)

Butte Regional Conservation Plan (Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan)

Regional Housing Needs Allocation Plan

LAFCO Sphere of Influence Updates for all cities (GC 56425)


The coincidence of these foundation planning documents being updated has presented an unprecedented opportunity for all local planning agencies to cooperate and pursue common goals.


Common Goals Cont’d…

Fully map and mitigate impacts to the natural environment

Accommodate and direct future growth to city spheres to the extent feasible

Develop common development standards within the spheres


Common Goals Cont’d…

Consider revenue sharing options between the County and the cities that recognize the total cost of new development to each jurisdiction.

Integrate city and County general plan updates into the sphere of influence update process.


The common goals are expected to…

Minimize the duplication of efforts by:

Sharing background information

Coordinating data analysis

Utilizing baseline EIR assumptions

Maximize the use of scarce local funding resources.

Fully involve local agency staff in the overall land use discussion within the county region.


The collaboration of land use planning processes allows LAFCO to…

Direct each city to evaluate its current and proposed SOI within its General Plan update and accompanying environmental documents.

Be significantly involved in the early planning and development stages of the various general plans.


The collaboration of land use planning processes allows LAFCO to…

Be a part of a coordinated dialogue on countywide growth strategies to be implemented through the eventual

sphere of influence updates.

Be influential in reducing boundary, land use and service inconsistencies between cities, districts and the County.


The question for LAFCO’s is fundamental…



butte regional conservation plan city county general plan coordination

Butte Regional Conservation Plan&City/County General Plan Coordination

Jon Clark

Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG)

regional planning projects in butte county
Regional Planning Projects in Butte County
  • BCAG is facilitating coordination meetings with the cities and county on General Plan updates;
  • BCAG is coordinating preparation of a Regional Conservation Plan in cooperation with the cities, county, state/federal regulatory agencies & other regional stakeholders
  • BCAG will be preparing the Regional Housing Needs Plan to identify the allocation of housing units to the cities and county for inclusion in their Housing Elements
coordination meetings for city county general plan updates
Coordination Meetings for City/County General Plan Updates
  • Meetings include city, county planning staff, meetings with city and county administrators;


  • Regional growth forecast for population
  • Regional Guiding Principals for General Plan Development
  • Regional allocation of housing units by income level for incorporation into Housing Elements
butte regional conservation plan
Butte Regional Conservation Plan
  • BCAG is coordinating development of a Regional Conservation Plan in cooperation with the cities, county and state/federal regulatory agencies.
  • Butte’s Conservation Plan covers 560,000 acres.
  • Land and resources will be set aside to implement conservation measures to preserve listed species and habitat.
  • Activities covered by the Conservation Plan such as planned, proposed land uses and agricultural activities implemented by local agencies, will receive permits from state and federal regulatory agencies.
shared benefits of a regional conservation plan
Shared Benefits of a Regional Conservation Plan


  • Protection for scenic habitat & species
  • Proactive approach to conservation and development

Local Governments

  • Long term solution to land use and habitat/species conflicts
  • More certainty with General Plan implementation

Land Owners & Developers

  • Streamlined regulatory process
  • Greater regulatory certainty, consistency and predictability

Environmental Interests

  • Large scale conservation instead of “piecemeal”
  • Multi species and habitat protection – better habitat
regional conservation plan other bcag products helping with general plan development
Regional Conservation Plan & other BCAG Products helping with General Plan Development

Ecological Baseline Report - An ecological analysis of the Plan area that identifies information on habitat and the 39 covered species for the plan.

Regional Growth Assumptions – Forecasts for population.

Regional Guiding Principals – Consensus based principals for future growth and development.

Identification of Covered Activities – Development that will occur through General Plans, under special districts and other regional plans that will require an Incidental Take Permit covered by the Conservation Plan.

Regional Housing Needs Allocation – Forecasts for housing units that need to be reflected in jurisdictions Housing Elements.

end results
End Results
  • Realistic, consensus based General Plans
  • A Conservation Strategy to streamline the implementation of the General Plans
  • Good Planning!




Butte County General Plan 2030 Competition – County vs. Cities vs. BCAG vs. LAFCO

Why We Can’t Work Together!!!...

CALAFCO Annual Meeting

August 29, 1007

Tim Snellings, DirectorButte County Department of Development Services


“As clearly and objectively as we think we see things, we begin to realize others see them differently from their own apparently equally clear and objective point of view.”Stephen Covey


who is we
Who is ‘We’?
  • Butte County
  • Cities of Biggs, Chico, Gridley, Oroville, Paradise
  • Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG)…our COG
  • Special Districts (41)
unique opportunity
Unique Opportunity
  • Butte County General Plan 2030
  • Cities of Oroville, Chico, Gridley underway with General Plan Updates
  • Biggs and Paradise to follow soon
  • MSRs by cities/districts
  • SOIs reviews
why some say we can t work together
Why Some Say ‘We CAN’T Work Together’…
  • We have too many things that we disagree about
  • Chico doesn’t like the County and the County doesn’t like Chico
  • Biggs, Gridley and the County can’t work together – too many conflicts of interest
  • Paradise’s plans for growth are too big
  • Oroville’s sphere is too large
  • Chico’s sphere is too small
why some say we can t work together28
Why Some Say ‘We CAN’T Work Together’…
  • Cities should concentrate on infill development, not greenfield development
  • County should provide all of the open space/habitat/Ag
  • There’s just too much bad history between cities/town and the County
  • Cooperation is bad
  • Etc., Etc., Etc.
in fact
…In Fact
  • We need each other
  • We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves
  • We want to be proactive
  • We want to create something special for future generations
  • The reasons why we can’t, are in fact the reasons why we MUST work together

Butte County

Tim Snellings, Development Services Director

Dan Breedon, Project ManagerPete Calarco, Chuck Thistlethwaite, Noel Carvalho

D E S I G N, C O M M U N I T Y & E N V I R O N M E N T

Project Management; General Plan, Community Outreach, Environmental Review

David Early, AICP, Principal, Lead Facilitator

Joanna Jansen, Senior Associate-in-Charge

Tanya Sundberg, Associate, Project Manager

Jones & Stokes Associates

Fehr & Peers Associates

Crawford, Multari & Clark Associates

Biology, Cultural Resources, Air Quality, Noise

Circulation and Transportation

Zoning Ordinance

Maggie Townsley, Project Director

Paul Crawford, Principal

Jeff Clark, Senior Associate

Questa Engineering

Gallaway Consulting

Bay Area Economics

Economic and Fiscal Analysis

Infrastructure, Geology, Hydrology, Hazards

Migratory Deer Range

Jody Gallaway, President and Wildlife Biologist

Norm Hantzche, Managing Engineer

Matt Kowta, Principal

13 guiding principle topics
13 Guiding Principle Topics

1.Cooperative Planning

2. Circulation

3. Growth/Urban Development/Housing

4. Airport Land Use Planning

5. Natural Resources and Environment

6. Public Health and Safety 7. Economic Development

8. Agriculture

9. Rural Development

10.Recreational Opportunities and Protection of Cultural Resources


12.Public Services

13.Water Resources



Alternatives Evaluation

and Selection

Preliminary Goals and

Policies Development

Zoning Ordinance Update

Existing Conditions


Alternatives Creation

Issues Identification

Final Review

and Adoption

Draft General Plan

Project Initiation

Draft EIR





We Are



how are we doing
How Are We Doing?
  • Historic Summit held Jan 2007
  • 5 one on one meetings with cities…follow up in process
  • Bi-monthly city/county/LAFCO/BCAG
  • Upcoming City Council updates
key issues to deal with
Key Issues to Deal With
  • Getting real with Revenue Sharing
  • We will either partner with the cities or we will compete with them
  • The answer to this will shape Butte County General Plan 2030
calafco conference collaboration in butte county a city perspective
CALAFCO ConferenceCollaboration in Butte County“A City Perspective”

Craig Sanders, AICP

Principal, LandWorks