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Council Adopts a Vision Plan for Downtown

Post Date:09/07/2017 10:48 AM

Seeking to maintain the downtown’s vibrancy, desirability and charm, the City Council Tuesday adopted the Downtown Concept Plan and provided direction to continue to move forward with Mission Plaza Concept Plan specifically identifying the replacement of the restroom as a key first phase of implementation.

The long-range vision for the downtown includes, among other things, more infill housing, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, additional parking structures, improved public restrooms and more public art. Meanwhile, Mission Plaza could feature more patio space for concertgoers, a café and shared streets designed to easily convert to event space.

The Downtown Concept Plan was first adopted in May of 1993 and has served as a vision for the downtown area ever since, guiding capital improvement projects as well as public and private development. The General Plan Land Use Element update in 2014 included an objective to update both the Downtown Concept Plan and the Mission Plaza Concept Plan.

The premise of the Downtown Concept Plan is that keeping the downtown area vibrant requires constant vigilance, ongoing experimentation, adaptability and visionary leadership. The plans take several trends into consideration, including changes in transportation and retail, the aging population, changing housing needs and sustainability.

The updated Downtown Concept Plan resulted from a collaborative process with robust public engagement. The project began in December of 2015 and was led by a Council-appointed Creative Vision Team of ten volunteers who provided important direction and design assistance. It also included stakeholder meetings, public workshops, neighborhood meetings, and an online survey. The final draft was unanimously recommended for adoption by the Planning Commission in July.

The plans are not regulatory documents, but they will guide the form and character of the downtown for the next 25 years. They can be found on the project website at   

CONTACT: Rebecca Gershow, Associate Planner, (805) 781-7011,