MODESTO — High school seniors looked at different visions for the valley's future and saw pretty much what older generations did.
The Modesto High votes favored less sprawl, but keeping the rural character as Stanislaus County plans how it will look when these students are parents and grandparents.
"They're actually quite smart about it," said Kendall Flint, who presented the Valley Vision Stanislaus session to gather input and raise awareness with high school seniors last week.
Classes in general opted for slightly more dense living, to save ag land and lower pollution and road costs. "But they don't want to see Stockton-ization or San Francisco-ization," Flint said. They wanted to keep the area's rural community feel.
Flint gave seniors four choices for future living density, covering traffic problems, pollution, safety and costs associated with each.
Time after time, the majority of students took the middle road. But individuals had a range of opinions.
Student Alexis Dye, who said she works for the city, said the downtown area needs major changes and more vitality. "What we have right now isn't working," she said.
Government teacher Scott Calkins said local planning was not something the seniors had covered so far, but the discussion added relevance to many of the topics he'll be covering.
"These kids are stakeholders. If they're planning 28 years out, these kids will be my age," Calkins said.