Public can help create a vision for health in the county

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is launching the public process to create a new health element for the General Plan, beginning with three Healthy Communities Workshops April 12, 26 and 30, to seek ideas from the public.

Many factors determine the well-being of a community. Access to healthy foods, green space, the ability to get around with or without a car, affordable housing and easy access to essential services all play a part.

The county is considering how to make local communities healthier.  

The Santa Clara County Department of Planning and Development and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department have joined forces to ensure the new section of the General Plan will focus on promoting community health and wellness, and create a vision for a healthier future.

The Health Element will provide an opportunity to address the many diverse aspects and policy issues related to public health and planning in Santa Clara County.

A General Plan documents a community’s shared vision of the future and sets goals, policies, and programs to achieve that vision. It describes how a community’s physical, social and economic resources can and should be used and managed to address the vision.

California law requires that each county and city in the state develop and adopt a General Plan, and update it periodically.

The General Plan must contain the following seven state-mandated “elements”: Land Use; Open Space; Conservation; Housing; Circulation; Noise; and Safety. Additionally, cities and counties can include “optional” elements on topics that are important to the jurisdiction.

The county is beginning its General Plan Update by first focusing on the health element.

The process will offer a vision and goals for many of the other General Plan elements as they are updated in the future.

The health element will promote a “health in all policies” approach, improved coordination among county agencies, departments and other localities and be a model for other jurisdictions in the county, state and nation.

The series of Healthy Communities Workshops is an opportunity for community members to share their ideas on health-related issues and help to create a vision for a healthy Santa Clara County. Health-related issues for discussion may include mental health, public safety, smoking, obesity, health care facilities, environmental quality, healthy housing, healthy foods, walking and bicycling, safe streets and parks and recreation.The workshops will be bilingual in English and Spanish. Vietnamese translation will be provided upon request.

Details: www.HealthySantaClaraCounty.org.

To request translation services at the Healthy Communities Workshops, contact [email protected] or call (408) 658-8722.

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