With the passing of Measure E, the public has made it clear that the people want a say in determining how land will be zoned for future use.
In Riverbank, a draft environmental impact report for the city general plan is available for public comment until April 1. The draft considers three alternatives, each of which extends the city's sphere of influence to McHenry Avenue. Many feel that if the sphere extension is approved, the City Council will annex and likely rezone the land for possible development.
Our group of citizens, Riverbank Watch, drafted our own alternative to the general plan which keeps the city's boundaries intact. Our concerns center around the decrease in quality of life an expansion in development would bring -- more traffic, a decrease in air quality, a loss in farmland and a threat to the Stanislaus River. We sent our proposal to city officials, soliciting their feedback, and have heard nothing. Our contention is that Riverbank's sphere of influence should remain unchanged so that the public, and not elected officials, can determine the type of community we want to live in.