At its 2018 Regional Conference & General Assembly in Indian Wells, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) presented Sustainability Awards in six categories, including the "Against All Odds Award" presented to the City of San Fernando for its Corridors Specific Plan.  Sarge

nt Town Planning prepared the plan through a sometimes contentious public engagement process of almost four years - under a grant from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) - ending with the City Council's enthusiastic adoption of the Plan in late 2017.  The awards were presented by Randall Winston, the Executive Director of the Strategic Growth Council, the State agency that provides much of the funding that SCAG and Metro award to cities to support planning focused on long-term sustainability.  Accepting the award were (above, left to right); Jack Wong, Interim Community Development Director at plan adoption; Peter VanderWal, senior urban designer with Sargent Town Planning; City Manager Alex Meyerhoff; Vice Mayor Antonio Lopez; Finance Director Nick Kimball; Community Development Director Tim Hou; and David Sargent.

New 11th Floor Offices

To enable us to continue to grow, while sharing our studio with frequent collaborators, Sargent Town Planning has leased the 11th floor of the building we've been in since early 2015.  We were previously a sub-tenant to Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates on the 12th floor, along with Raimi+Asso

ciates and Lisa Wise Consulting, where things were getting a bit crowded.  So when the 11th floor became available we took it , and the building owners have done a beautiful job remaking the space to our design.  Raimi+Associates and Lisa Wise Consulting have moved with us, and we've also been joined by Meridian Consultants and Sherwood Design Engineers. This move provides our five firms, and Nelson Nygaard, with room to grow, upgraded techology, and plenty of shared spaces for meetings and collaboration.

Claremont Village South Workshop #1

On Saturday, July 15, 2017, the City of Claremont held the first public workshop at the Alexander Hughes Community Center to solicit public input on the Village South Specific Plan.

 The event was attended by over 50 citizens and produced many thoughtful comments and good ideas regarding a plan for the area along Indian Hill Avenue just south of Claremont Village.  The workshop began with an introduction by City staff and David Sargent of Sargent Town Planning, including background on the project, early observations about the project area, and some potential planning and urban design concepts and options.  Attendees were then divided into small working groups to develop and prioritize their ideas for the plan, with results then shared with the entire group.  These ideas will form the basis for a draft vision plan which will be presented in Planning Commission and City Council workshops in the fall, and brought back to a second public workshop toward the end of the year.  

Central Southeast Planning Area

The City of Fresno has selected a consultant team led by Raimi + Associates and Sargent Town Planning to prepare the Central Southeast Area Specific Plan.  The 2,200 acre area has suffered from disinvestment in recent decades and is characterized by a mix of suburban housing developments, industr

ial uses, incomplete public facilities, and large undeveloped parcels.  The plan will provide a vision, policies and standards for more complete, better connected neighborhoods and centers, and market based strategies for reinvestment in infrastructure, private properties, and good quality neighborhood infill development.  The plan area is bounded on the north and west by the Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan, the consultant team for which included Raimi + Associates and senior staff of Sargent Town Planning.  

Wilshire Boulevard

At their meeting of June 29, the Beverly Hills City Council approved a contract with Sargent Town Planning for the preparation of the Southeast Community Plan.

 The Plan encompasses an area of approximately 700 acres in the southeast quadrant of the City, including approximately 1 1/2 miles of Wilshire and Robertson Boulevards, and almost a mile of Olympic and La Cienega Boulevards and Doheny Drive.  The Plan is focused primarily on these major urban corridors, and how they may better contribute to the local economy and the quality of life of the residents of surrounding neighborhoods.  Working with the community and the Southeast Task Force, the consultant team will develop strategies and designs for rebalancing each corridor from an auto-dominant through route to a more pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use place that better supports commercial and civic amenties while providing improved all-mode mobility for residents and visitors.  The first of Beverly Hills' two new Purple Line Metro subway stations - now beginning construction - is located at the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega, and the Plan will include "first/last mile" improvements to leverage the value of this major regional infrastructure investment for the residents of Beverly Hills.

The City of Indio selected a team led by Raimi + Associates and Sargent Town Planning to update their general plan.

 A top priority for the update will be defining a comprehensive vision for evolving old Highway 111, a defunct retail mall, and vacant and underutlized properties to a city center boulevard with mixed-use centers and walkable neighborhoods, well connected to a revitalized downtown district and civic center just to the north. STP will lead the team's work with the community to reimagine this area, and to better connect it to the newer neighborhoods and retail centers north of the freeway, and to the Coachella Festival grounds to the south.  A unifying circulation and public space framework plan and place-based land use designations for the entire City will be the firm's main deliverables, weaving together the many existing and future development projects into a unified city plan. The R+A/STP team recently completed a similar effort for the City of Palm Desert, just to the west of Indio.

Mary Madden, Driehaus Award Jury Chair, presenting award to STP

At the Charter Awards Ceremony on May 5 - held during the Congress for the New Urbanism's 25th Congress in Seattle, Washington - the Form-Based Codes Institute honored Sargent Town Planning's Palm Desert University Neighborhood Specific Plan with one of two annual Driehaus Awards.

Mary Madden, chair of this year's Driehaus Award jury, and Lisa Wise, Chair of the FBCI Board of Directors, presented the STP team with the award.  Present to accept the award were Ryan Stendell, Palm Desert's Community Development Director; David Sargent, Peter VanderWal and Yuan Liu of STP; and John Baucke of New Urban Realty Advisors. In selecting this code for recognition, the jury noted the code's innovative approach to flexibly regulating the subdivision and street network of the neighborhood, the clarity of the development standards, and the document's organization with design guidelines in a separate volume.  

Indian Hill Corridor Plan Area

At their meeting on March 28, the Claremont City Council unanimously authorized the City Manager to enter into a contract with Sargent Town Planning (STP) to prepare a specific plan and environmental impact report for a 17-acre area at the south entrance to the historic Claremont Village.

City staff reported that STP's proposal was one of 15 received, and that after interviewing 5 teams the staff unanimously recommended the STP team for the job. The plan is funded primarily by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), under a TOD planning grant for this area within walking distance of Claremont' existing Metrolink station and planned Gold Line Station scheduled to open in 2025.  Key project objectives include enabling a valuable new mix of uses within currently underutilized and vacant properties, extending Claremont's unique village character south of the tracks, defining a beautiful south gateway to the Village from Arrow Highway, and providing new pedestrian and bicycle connections from neighborhoods south of the tracks to the new transit stations, the Village, and the colleges.  The STP team includes our frequent collaborators Raimi + Associates, Nelson\Nygaard, Metroplitan Research + Economics, Crabtree Group, Gibson Transportation, and Meridian Consultants.