BRENTWOOD -- As Brentwood prepares to complete a more than yearlong planning process, city leaders met this week to discuss land use, circulation and growth policies that will impact where a regional commercial center like Slatten Ranch could be located in the future.
Through the drafting of its updated General Plan, the city is looking to identify potential sites for large-scale retail stores and services aimed at Brentwood residents and neighboring communities near Highway 4. The General Plan is the guiding vision for all of the city's land uses, safety guidelines, noise regulations, infrastructure plans, fiscal sustainability, design, community health and wellness and economic development. The last comprehensive update of the plan was in 1993.
One area of interest among city officials for a future regional commercial center is in the northwest corner of the city near Highway 4. According to the draft General Plan, this area will someday consist of 80 percent commercial businesses, professional office sites, business parks and light industrial and 20 percent residential neighborhoods.
"I am looking for a little more direction on what we want there versus what we don't want there," Brentwood City Councilman Erick Stonebarger said during the Tuesday night workshop. "There has been tremendous emphasis on what we don't want there, which is residential. It is the last piece of significant city land the city has for any type of commercial aspect to it,"
"I want the ability to have a super discount store, whatever the name happens to be on it," he said. "The ability to have a club store, whatever the name happens to be on it, but the ability to have it. The ability to have a department store."
Brentwood Community Development Director Casey McCann said that drafting clear policies for this property's future is tough and that a lot of the city's planning has been around residential.
"Providing more definition and more structure and more clarity for which areas are for a business park and regional commercial will enable decision makers to accommodate development requests," McCann said.
City leaders from the City Council and Planning Commission agreed to add language to the General Plan stating that the City Council encourages the development of a 30- to 60-acre parcel for a regional commercial center in that area and it will be considered in the future, once development applications come in.
Councilman Steve Barr said that the General Plan Working Group wanted to ensure flexibility in the document, so that the General Plan is functional and Brentwood may someday attract a large retailer like Costco.
Stonebarger said he fears that the city may lose the ability to plan that corridor commercially because of what the market dictates.
"My desire is to find some stronger policy language to protect against particular uses. So as applications come forward, we don't limit ourselves for those uses to come in," he said.
General Plan consultant Ben Ritchie said that the General Plan is not overly specific at this point.
"It gives the City Council and Planning Commission a tool to look through with a lens of processing future development applications. As you see parcels develop, this policy would allow you to protect this," he said.
The General Plan drafting process is nearly complete and the public review period will begin this spring, according to Ritchie.