The purpose of the Galt Parks Master Plan Update is to provide a comprehensive update to the existing Parks Master Plan that:
The Galt Parks Master Plan Update will provide strategies to develop and maintain high quality recreational facilities in the City of Galt until 2025. During this time, the population of the community is likely to increase, and it is critical that the Master Plan be updated now to ensure there is an accurate assessment of what recreation facilities will be needed so that impact fees and other revenue sources are adequate to meet those needs.
The City of Galt is one of the fastest growing communities in the central valley of California. Ideally situated between Sacramento and Stockton, Galt provides easy access to major employment centers while fostering a relaxed, small town atmosphere for its residents. As a result, Galt has grown to a community of approximately 23,000 people. Increases in population and other development pressures have resulted in the need to increase and improve the City's recreational opportunities. While the recent economic downturn has slowed the rate of development in Galt somewhat, existing development pressures have prompted the need to annex additional acreage in the northeast section of town. This Master Plan update must address the need for new park facilities and programs in these newly annexed portions, as well as existing parts of the city.
While most cities fund Parks and Recreation through their general fund, much of Galt's recreational funding is provided by revenues from the Galt Flea Market, which operates in the city every Tuesday and Wednesday. This funding source has allowed the city to provide first-rate park facilities that are extremely well maintained, as well as a variety of recreation programs at much lower costs than comparable programs in other cities.
Changing times are affecting the revenue stream from the Galt Market. The growing presence of discount retailers and the popularity of internet shopping have reduced the pull for both shoppers and retailers to area flea markets. These changes in retail trends reduced the annual sales for the Galt Market by $160,000 last year. The City sees this as a trend that will continue in the coming years.
The Galt Parks Master Plan Update must address this concern with recommendations for additional funding mechanisms to offset the decreased revenues from the Galt Market. It will also be critical to identify ways to meet the community's recreation needs by leveraging existing resources and partnerships to the fullest extent possible.
The Galt Parks Master Plan Update must provide strategies to address these changing conditions as well as maintain the current outstanding park quality and leisure programs City residents now enjoy. The Master Plan Update will provide guidance for future park and recreation needs that will evolve from a comprehensive assessment of the unique opportunities and challenges that exist in Galt.
In addition to its existing parks, the City is currently in the process of developing several new park sites and has acquired two parcels that have yet to be developed. The City is likely also to acquire new park acreage to accommodate growth. The Master Plan Update will examine existing parks to ensure that plans for new parks provide an optimum mix of recreational facilities, including walking and biking trails and nature areas. The City also has a number of joint use agreements with the school districts. These agreements will be reviewed to look for ways to maximize their benefit in meeting recreation demand.
General Plan Consistency
update for the City of Galt General Plan is currently being undertaken
and is expected to be completed in 2009. The last General Plan was
adapted by the city in 1990. This Parks Master Plan Update will be
referenced by the City of Galt General Master Plan Update as the Recreational
Resources component, and it is important that the two documents interface
in a way that is consistent and meaningful. In addition, there are
other General Plan elements that must be considered in the development
of the Master Plan.
Coordination with the General Plan Circulation and Transit Element Goals will be required. These goals and related policies address bicycle and pedestrian circulation. The Parks Master Plan Update will need to consider connections to existing and planned local and regional bicycle routes and opportunities to locate park facilities along pedestrian and bicycle accessible routes.
The Parks Master Plan Update will also need to be consistent with goals in the Conservation, Open Space, and Scenic Element of the General Plan. Existing goals that are likely to remain in the General Plan Update include preservation of visual resources and aesthetics, preservation of native plants and animals, protection of water resources, and minimizing the risk of flooding. The Parks Master Plan Update recommendations for improvements at existing parks and the development of new parks will need to incorporate design concepts, materials, and construction techniques that are consistent with all of these goals and policies.
The Safety element includes goals to protect against fire, flooding, and other hazards. The Park Master Plan direction on park facility maintenance and use will need to demonstrate consistency with certain relevant policies under both of these goals.
Finally, the Parks Master Plan Update itself will propose additional goals, policies, standards, and implementation programs to further direct park and open space facility use and development.