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, email@example.com. The consultant team is led by The Planning Center/DC&E.
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