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General Plan Approval Date Pushed Back, but Document Will Be Interactive

The package of zoning, infrastructure and development instructions that will govern the fate of the city won't be ready until August, officials say, but it will be an online document.

Though the new San Clemente General Plan won't be ready for approval until summer 2012, it will be the first document of its kind in San Clemente that will be entirely online and linked with real-time information.

The plan update was originally slated for approval this fall, but technical considerations and political developments—the , for instance—required more meetings and public input.

The general plan, required of all cities by state law, lays out the land use, architectural, zoning and the economic direction for the city for the coming decades.

"This has involved thousands of hours of community input, and that's as it should be," said Jeff Hook, the city's principal planner. "General plans are the primary decision-making tools in local governments."

The General Plan Advisory Committee is the main volunteer group hashing out suggestions for the council on what to include in the plan, recommendations that range from shielding street lights so they don't render stars invisible, to the locations of industrial buildings.

The committee, taking advice from other appointed bodies like the Beaches, Parks and Recreation Committee, the Coastal Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission—as well as the public—will continue its deliberations through February. A draft of the document will likely be available for public review in the early spring, officials said.

This General Plan will be the first one in San Clemente to be entirely online—the city's history, press releases, department information and news posted on the site will all be interlinked with the general plan, providing users of the city site with context that demonstrates how the plan is being implemented.

"It will be much more accessible, much more understandable and much easier to amend when we need to," Hook said.

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