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City Begins General Plan Update
Attending the recent general plan update meeting, a group of Oakdale residents fill out Post-Its in preparation for poster displays. - photo by CRAIG MACHO/THE LEADER

An estimated four dozen residents turned out for a community meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Gene Bianchi Community Center, hosed by the City of Oakdale to discuss the updating of Oakdale’s general plan.

Those attending heard from Dan Dameron of PBS&J, the company hired to assist the city in formulating its general plan.

According to city officials, the general plan process is used to provide direction for land use, transportation, housing, conservation of natural resources, open space, noise, public health and safety, community design, and economic development.

Dameron said the series of community meetings the city will be holding is an opportunity for residents to help shape the future of Oakdale.

“We want to hear what your vision is for the community,” he told the residents attending the meeting.

Dameron said the general plan is a long-term opportunity for residents to voice their opinions on topics such as residential growth and infrastructure.

“It’s the blueprint for city planning,” he said.

Poster boards lined the room with various topics that will be considered during the general plan update. After the presentation by Dameron, city staff and representatives from PBS&J instructed residents to fill out yellow post-it notes with their concerns about various aspects of the city, including residential growth, the downtown area, retail services, jobs and industry, and transportation — among other issues — and to place the post-it on the appropriate poster board highlighting the topic.

“It’s a good turnout for the first meeting,” said Danelle Stylos, Oakdale’s community development director.

Stylos said Oakdale last updated its general plan in the early 1990s, and noted the procedure itself has undergone modifications based on state requirements.

“So much has changed in the general plan process in the past years,” she said.

Stylos said community members should become involved as the planning continues.

“It’s a great opportunity for public input.”

When the general plan is updated, it will guide and direct growth until 2030.

Mark and Sandy Ichord attended the meeting, and said they were there as not only business owners, but also residents.

Mark Ichord, who was born and raised in Oakdale, said one of his concerns is the city growing too big, too fast.

“We like the small community feel of Oakdale,” he said.

The Ichords, who own Ichord Overhead Doors in Oakdale, said although their business would benefit from the city’s growth, they hope the city retains its small town character.

After the meeting, Oakdale resident Amy Rowe said she was interested in how the city might change.

“It will be interesting to see what they’re going to do with commercial and retail development,” she said.

Tom Hart of Oakdale said he was going to stay informed with the city’s progress in possibly extending its boundaries.

“I’m interested to see where the city is going to expand,” he said.

PBS&J and city staff will review and begin compiling information provided by residents, according to the city’s implementation schedule. A second community workshop will be held in the spring of next year.

For more information, visit the City Of Oakdale General Plan website at