Menifee receives American Planning Association award

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MENIFEE – Menifee received the 2020 Best Practices Award from the Inland Empire section of the American Planning Association for the city’s comprehensive development code update. The Best Practices Award is for a specific planning tool, practice, program, project or process.

The category emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices help to create communities of lasting value. The APA California Awards Program encourages quality in planning and increases the public’s awareness of the planning profession by recognizing outstanding achievement in the planning field.

The comprehensive development code, adopted by the city council, Dec. 18, 2019, includes regulations for zoning, subdivision, grading and design guidelines reflective of Menifee’s vision for the community as reflected in the goals and policies of the city’s general plan, which was adopted in 2013. The new development code provides more consistency with the general plan and adds more certainty and clarity for the development community. The zoning code was developed as a smart code utilizing an online platform to make the code user-friendly and interactive. The new code can be viewed on the city’s community development website at https://www.cityofmenifee.us/494/Development-Code.

“This award highlights the outstanding work staff has put in to updating the development code,” Cheryl Kitzerow, director of Community Development, said. “This was no small undertaking and a great accomplishment for the city as a whole as we comprehensively unify the development code to consistently align with the general plan.”

To complete the process of updating the development code, city staff, in conjunction with the consultant team from Michael Baker International, prepared the comprehensive updates through a structured process that included: stakeholder interviews and workshops; development code analysis; planning commission and city council study sessions and workshops and preparation of draft zoning, subdivision and grading ordinances and public hearings.

“As a priority of the city council, the Menifee Streamline is the city’s business friendly initiative,” Armando Villa, city manager of Menifee, said. “We are proud of the group effort to spur economic development, and updating the development code enhanced the ease of doing business in Menifee and assisted with certainty for our stakeholders.”

Submitted by city of Menifee.