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West Downtown Visions for Walnut Creek

August schedule has Aug. 14 Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, then a community meeting Aug. 30 to look at planning for residential-commercial mix area.

August contains a couple mileposts on the road to a West Downtown Specific Plan.

One public committee will take a look at the demographics of Walnut Creek's west downtown, followed by a community meeting to hear people's visions for the area between Highway 680 and North California Boulevard, and between Mount Diablo Boulevard and Walnut Creek BART.

The plan's Citizens Advisory Committee meets from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, in the third floor conference room of City Hall, 1666 N. Main St.

The community workshop meets from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 1924 Trinity Ave.

Call for design standards

One resident said he'd like to see design standards built into the West Downtown plan.

In an email, Tom O'Brien wrote, “As an Almond/Shuey neighborhood activist (who was passed over for a seat on the Committee), I would like to see the Specific Plan include codification of design standards in the properties surrounding our neighborhood to buffer us from the impact of adjacent high-density development. This was promised in the General Plan, but never delivered. I’d also like to see adjustments to the zoning of certain properties that the City doesn’t recognize as being inside our neighborhood, more emphasis on neighborhood character when considering new development within the neighborhood, and the Stow Steps.

"But , all I expect to see is codification of City Hall’s vision for the area – more high density urbanization and probably more whining about how height limits are stifling development opportunities.”

At stake is "a community-driven plan that defines a vision for the area and develops a regulatory framework for future development and public improvements," in the description on the city website. The defined are is about one-third residential, one-third commercial and one-third civic and community uses (including churches, the BART station).

A 13-member Citizens Advisory Committee met on June 12. Also in June, the consultant team conducted small group interviews with 27 "stakeholders" concerned with the West Downtown area, including business owners, residents and community groups.

The West Downtown Specific Plan process is funded by a $450,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The city's project planner overseeing the West Downtown process is Andrew Smith, asmith@walnut-creek.org. The consultant team is led by The Planning Center/DC&E.

One more time with feeling August 07, 2012 at 04:55 PM
David P, I agree with you - this goes both ways. I've lost count of the times various Contra Costa County Library downtown Walnut Creek branch supporters, Council members, Yes On WC, and the rest of the Arts (and Crafts) folks have tossed out inaccurate sound bites in order to gain support from unknowing voters. A current/recent example: http://www.walnut-creek.org/about/qualitylife/libraries/dlp/funding.asp Specifically (and for those who don't want to click the link): "Private Fundraising: The Walnut Creek Library Foundation has pledged to raise $5 million from the private sector to support the construction and establish an endowment fund for operating costs." We barely got the $5 million contribution to the $40 million project a couple of years ago. Now we have the Library Foundation Director (and Silva) pushing to quickly get more funding from the City. Where's the "endowment fund"?
WC-Independent August 07, 2012 at 05:15 PM
:), I'm tiring of all these comments stating the council is "on the take" from the developers. I don't believe any of it. It comes up every time on these topics. You know who you are that continue to raise this using development company names, family ties etc. So my comment above is sarcastic as I'm tired of all the other comments posted along the same lines as my sarcastic one above...
Terri Shamroukh August 10, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I was disgusted when the VFW hall was demolished. Is there going to be a new one built? It seems to me we have more than enough space devoted to commerce downtown. I have lived here a relatively short time, 15 years. Sadly, it has been long enough to see a big change in the character of our downtown. It used to be a really nice place for my kids to go after school or on weekends. I don't think I'd feel as good about it now.
One more time with feeling August 10, 2012 at 05:42 PM
@ Terri Shamroukh, There was a deal to consolidate the Walnut Creek and Lafayette Veteran's Halls http://www.lafayetteveterans.org/history.html (cynicism) How could you not like the 10 year old dirt lot left by razing the Walnut Creek Veteran's Hall? Apparently *someone* was in a rush to level it... and we citizens get the short end of the "development"...
Ralph Hoffmann August 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM
See y'all tonight.

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