Speaking in Support of General Plan Update at Fresno City Council Meeting

Thinking twenty five years ahead is not easy for a person or a small group of people, let alone an entire city with nearly 200,000 residents yet to celebrate their 18th birthday and 112 square miles in land area.

For over a year, the City of Fresno, the General Plan Citizens Committee, the Long Range Planning Team and its citizens have been working towards building consensus around the vision for the future in preparation for a General Plan Update.  For Cities, this most commonly comes in the form of a General Plan or a General Plan Update.  It requires elements which address a number of issues including population, transportation, environment, land use and so on.  Perhaps the most important outcomes however are not the quantifiable items like how many housing units, or travel times for public transportation, but rather the comprehensive vision that is developed for the next twenty five years.

On Thursday, the City Council held a hearing to initiate the General Plan Update to allow for the future adoption of the 2035 Fresno General Plan.  Recognizing the importance of this effort and the impact upon the built environment, Paul Halajian spoke at the meeting to offer enthusiasm and a charge to initiate the process which will improve the City.  Through his involvement in the process of developing the “2035 General Plan Initiation Draft” document, Paul has witnessed an effort that has gathered momentum and inspired several stakeholders to participate in the process and bring their respective issues to the table.  Paul indicates that more than 16 public meetings have taken place, four ‘Alternative Models’  have been prepared by the consulting team and the option which City Council has adopted – ‘Alternative Model “A” - as the path forward is one which “has been vetted and fairly represents several groups.”

As architects, the quality and form of the built environment is important to us but the General Plan and the City’s vision for growth provide us with the ‘where ‘ and ‘how’ that built environment takes shape.

“The plan here given is a program of improvements calculated to cover a period of many years.  The order in which improvements are made, and when, is not so important as that each shall be done as to fi

t into its place in the general plan.”

Harland Bartholomew

2035 General Plan Initiation Draft:


About the Effort:







Copyright 2011  ©  Paul Halajian Architects