Theres a lot to talk about in developing a plan for Modestos future. We hope that doesnt get lost in what could be a heated Modesto City Council meeting tonight. On the councils agenda is the general plan amendment that would designate Wood Colonys farmland for industrial development. Not surprisingly, many of the people who are happily farming that land today are very unhappy with Modestos plan.
Up the road in Salida, people know exactly how those in Wood Colony feel. They, too, feel as if theyre under assault by their overreaching Modesto neighbors.
Dave Cogdill Jr. is among those who desperately wants to see a broader range of jobs for Modestans. Three weeks ago, he suggested that its time to rethink Modestos entire general plan not just tack on extra ground for truckstops. Such piecemeal planning, Cogdill noted, has resulted in battles on two fronts.
So, its time to call a truce. The council should abandon its plan to include Wood Colony and begin the process of reviewing its 19-year-old general plan. Invite a broad range of residents and those who live nearby. Invite neighboring cities, who might become partners in new roads and facilities. Invite farmers. Invite visionaries people who know the city and know it doesnt belong on all those silly worst of lists.
The farmers of Wood Colony have been good stewards of their land. We know City Council members want to be good stewards of Modesto. Instead of making enemies, they should make a decision that will lead to better partnerships and a better place to live, grow and work.