By Johnny Flores, Jr.
COACHELLA, Calif. — Coachella residents will have their last chance to provide input for the city’s long overdue general plan update at the final Fiesta de la Salud this Thursday, September 20.
This will be the third Fiesta de la Salud, a series of community events created by the city to encourage public participation in the general plan update process.
The Fiesta de la Salud will take place at 6 p.m. at Bobby Duke Middle School’s Multipurpose Room. Dinner and childcare will be provided, along with a chance for residents to enter a raffle for a new bicycle.
A city’s general plan sets the polices for how the city uses and manages physical, social and economic resources. Elements of a general plan include land use, public services and infrastructure, agriculture, economic development, and housing. A city usually updates its general plan every 10 years. Coachella’s general plan was completed in 1997 and has not been updated.
According to Luis Lopez, Coachella’s development service director, this general plan will be the first in the Coachella Valley with a community health element. He says the update will be completed in about six months.
“People should come out to this event because it’s their chance to get to know what the city of Coachella has developed for the city’s health and wellness plan. A lot of input is needed and often residents of Coachella do not know how these plans affect them until they are already in place,” said Erika Ramirez, youth coordinator at Raices Cultura. “The city needs the residents’ feedback on anything that may affect their lifestyle in hopes of providing healthier spaces.”
Some key points that were brought up at the Fiesta de Salud in February included expensive water rates, the need for a larger library, and lack of bus stops on Avenue 52.
“The community feels that the city can do a better job when it comes to transportation. The only way to do that is through density,” said Lopez. “In addition, there is a great need for an urgent care center here in the East Valley.”
For more information on the general plan, residents are asked to contact (760) 398-3102, visit http://cityofcoachellageneralplanupdate.weebly.com/ or email Luis Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.