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Without a doubt, the Economic Development Committee is excited to see the City of Lompoc moving forward on several fronts including a long-awaited complete zoning overhaul and an update to the software and hardware systems at City Hall.

The zoning update modernizes our code and should provide new opportunities for businesses to open in Lompoc. On March 28, the city held a public workshop that showcased several of the updates. Staff members from the planning department were available to answer questions and discuss scenarios on how certain codes would work.

During the current 60-day public review period, the planning department is engaging with the public to gather feedback as they work to refine the final update. If you would like to participate in the public review process, do so quickly. April 20 is the last day to offer your comments. More information can be found at the cityoflompoc.com. If all goes as planned, the city hopes to have the new zoning code adopted by October.

While the new zoning code is being finalized, City Hall is finally upgrading outdated hardware and updating it's internal software management systems. These changes should help improve efficiencies throughout city staff and provide for higher levels of service.

One element that goes hand in hand with economic development is public safety. Without high levels of public safety, businesses are less likely to open and this impact can ripple throughout the community.

At the most recent EDC meeting, we invited Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh to speak with us about his department and the successes and challenges they deal with daily.

Several committee members had questions ranging from shopping carts, theft, homelessness in the riverbed, and general enforcement levels. When asked which elements would be first on his list of priorities for the LPD, Chief Walsh mentioned his hopes of creating a gang enforcement unit and an officer dedicated to the homeless. In all, it was a great discussion and we look forward to developing ideas for improving enforcement levels.

As we identify ways to make a positive impact, The Lompoc Economic Development Committee is working with many local leaders by engaging in substantive dialogue. With various backgrounds and skillsets, our committee has the ability to address a topic of economic concern from several angles. Our number one goal is to define solutions to the economic challenges found within our city. Next month our committee will participate in a joint workshop with the City Council as we develop our committee's new strategic plan.

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Even with many successes, we are constantly looking to improve. If you are thinking of volunteering and/or participating in discussions that impact our city, we hope that you will consider the Economic Development Committee. Our committee has a few openings and we would welcome additional ideas and perspectives from our community.

Please attend one of our meetings to learn more about the topics we discuss. Our meetings are held in council chambers on the first Thursday evening of the month. If you are interested in joining the EDC, please download an application at http://www.cityoflompoc.com/government/committees/list.htm.

To stay updated on the EDC’s progress throughout the year, like the “Lompoc Economic Development Committee” page on Facebook. Also, the EDC’s meeting agendas and minutes can be found on the City of Lompoc’s website.

Building the Future Today is a column by the Lompoc Economic Development Committee. The column runs on the first and third Sundays of each month. To contact the committee, email lompocedc@gmail.com.

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