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City approves long-delayed general plan

Posted: Thursday, Jan 24th, 2013

WATSONVILLE After nearly seven years, a lawsuit and many meetings, the Watsonville City Council approved the Watsonville Vista 2030 General Plan Tuesday night, which is now subject to approval from the Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

The council voted 6-1, with councilwoman Nancy Bilicich dissenting.

The plan, a document that sets a framework for city growth and other issues, was originally approved by the council in 2006.

However, a legal challenge from the Watsonville Pilots Association, Friends of Buena Vista and the Sierra Club resulted in the city revising the plan.

The lawsuit objected to eliminating safety zones at the end of the runways at the Watsonville Airport, which would add homes and retail space on 465 acres near the airport. That, the lawsuit said, would threaten both pilots and residents who live in the flight path.

The city revised the plan, increasing safety zones and reducing the potential development in the area, but the Watsonville Pilot's Association said more work needs to be done.

"Putting jobs for general public activities next to a runway is unsafe, irresponsible and I think it's an asinine idea," said Dan Chauvet, who serves on the board of directors for the association.

For the complete article see the 01-24-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-24-2013 paper.

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