East Palo Alto is a diverse and economically disadvantaged city in the midst of Silicon Valley. In recent years, the City has seen substantial demographic shifts as well as increased levels of development on its fringes. Both City staff and political leaders recognized the need for a more comprehensive approach to improve the quality of life in the community and, in 2012, sought consultant assistance for a General Plan Update.
Circlepoint focused efforts on an exceptionally robust public outreach program as well as preparing a programmatic EIR. Public outreach for the General Plan Update set a goal to engage community members from every neighborhood and demographic, including non-native English speakers and new and long-term residents. Together with the city, the public outreach team designed a Community Engagement Plan that provideded a flexible but enduring structure for the outreach effort. Circlepoint also provided technical support to implement new media strategies for diverse community engagement.
Circlepoint prepared a programmatic EIR that will be developed in close coordination with the General Plan such that the EIR requires very minimal specific mitigation. By ensuring that the General Plan policies reflect best practices and sound science, the General Plan is a largely “self-mitigating” document.