WALNUT CREEK — The third and final public workshop for gathering input on the city’s North Downtown Specific Plan is July 25, with the hope of a final draft plan in place in early 2018.

“The goal is to create an environment where people are less reliant on cars, where they can walk and bike, and better connect to the Iron Horse Trail, the BART station and other transportation corridors,” said Jeanine Cavalli, a senior planner for the City of Walnut Creek.

Other key goals of the plan are to keep the automobile sales and service businesses in this area, and to help bolster efforts to make the area a mecca integrating housing, retail, restaurant, civic, hospitality, arts and entertainment uses into a more cohesive neighborhood.

The North Downtown area is marked by Civic Drive on the east and south, California Boulevard and Interstate 680 on the west and Parkside Drive on the north.

The first such public workshop about this area’s future was held in May 2016, and information gathered there and at a similar April 17 session from the public helped feed discussion by a 15-member advisory committee (made up of property owners, area residents and members of several city commissions) and information for study sessions held by members of the City Council and the Planning Commission.

The advisory committee has met six times, and there have been two community surveys to gather ideas from as broad a spectrum of the community as possible, Cavalli said.

“Public participation has been a vital part of this process, an important part,” she said.

The ideas gathered through these meetings and survey responses have been used in creating a proposed North Downtown land use and circulation plan, which along with streetscape designs will be the focuses of the July 25 workshop, Cavalli said.

A final plan would complement the …read more

Source:: East Bay – Politics

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