Town Green

At their regular meeting on December 8, the Palm Desert City Council unanimously approved the University Neighborhood Specific Plan, and its adoption became final on January 2017.

 The Plan area is part of the larger University District, in the northerly part of town adjacent to Interstate 10, adjacent to the growing Palm Desert branch campus of California State University at San Bernardino.  This area is one of two areas  - the other being the 111 Corridor/City Center in the southerly part of town - in which the newly adopted General Plan prioritizes transformational change to a walkable, mixed-use urban environment.  Most of the University Neighborhood area is currently vacant, except for some framework streets that were built to serve conventional suburban housing tracts that were not built due to the recession.  Those properties, along with 170 acre city-owned parcel, were replanned as a walkable, mixed-type traditional neighborhood and center, with a mix of housing types targeted to faculty, staff, students and older residents looking for an amenity-rich living environment.  The City will be issuing a request for proposals to developers in the coming months.

San Pablo Center

At their regular meeting of December 8, the Palm Desert City Council unanimously adopted the new General Plan and 111 Corridor/City Center Plan and Code.

 Beginning in early 2014, a consultant team led by Raimi + Associates with Sargent Town Planning leading the urban design work worked closely with City staff and General Plan Working Group to update their general plan based on the Envision Palm Desert strategic plan prepared the year before.  The new Plan anticipates conserving the existing suburban character and unique desert quality of most of the City, whlle transforming the old Highway 111 Corridor and surrounding City Center area to a more valuable, walkable, mixed-use district, and developing new walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods adjacent to the growing Palm Desert branch campus of Cal State San Bernardino to the north.  STP led the planning work for the 111 Corridor/City Center chapter of the General Plan and prepared new form-based zoning for that area.  The City has retained the firm to develop the final design for the San Pablo Corridor and expects to be underway with Phase 1 streetscape improvements within a year.

At their meeting on April 22, the Coachella City council voted unanimously to adopt their new General Plan, prepared by a consultant team led by Raimi + Associates with Sargent Town Planning leading the urban structure and design effort.

Regional growth plans estimate that the City's current population of 40,000 will more than triple to 135,000 by 2035, and the plan provides and organizing framework of green avenues within which sustainable, walkable neighborhood development will occur over time. Neighborhoods are organized in relation to neighborhood centers to bring daily necessities within comfortable walking or biking distance from most residences, and a number of districts - including the downtown and employment districts along the railroad near the airport - provide important civic and economic development opportunities as the town grows in size, success, and sustainability.

At their April 26 meeting, the Merced City Council unanimously adopted the Bellevue Corridor Community Plan.

Prepared over the course of the previous 2 ½ years by a consultant team led by Lisa Wise Consulting and Sargent Town Planning, the Plan provides a vision, framework and implementation strategies for the phased development of a series of walkable neighborhoods, transit-oriented employment centers, and a community-serving retail district connecting the existing town of Merced to the new University of California Merced campus to the northeast of town.

The Lancaster City Council has adopted new transit-oriented development (T.O.D.) zoning that provides development standards, street standards, and architectural guidelines the under-developed area at the east end of their downtown, around the Lancaster Metrolink Station.

The new zoning is based on a conceptual station area plan prepared previously by STP, which envisions the largely vacant area being developed as a compact, walkable, transit-oriented mixed-use neighborhood center, anchoring that end of the City's rapidly rebounding Lancaster Boulevard main street. New zoning was also prepared for existing neighborhoods to the north and the west of the station area - to ensure that new infill development and housing renovation enhances their quality - and for the Sierra Highway Corridor to gradually transform it from a highway that cuts the station area off from downtown, to an urban avenue that connects and unifies the two areas.

The Mountain View city council voted to approve a new precise plan defining how and where development can occur in this 500-acre light industrial area north of Highway 101.

The plan allows for up to 3.4 million square feet of new commercial space to be built, transforming the existing auto-oriented business park into a walkable, transit-oriented, mixed-use employment district. The Plan includes development standards, design guidelines, a transportation management plan, public improvement funding strategies, and a system of density bonus incentives for projects that provide high levels of environmental sustainability or transfer of development rights abutting environmentally sensitive areas.

At their October 6 meeting the City Council of the Town of Tehachapi unanimously adoped a groundbreaking citywide hybrid development code, prepared by the team of Lisa Wise Consulting, Tony Perez Associates and Sargent Town Planning. The new code is the culmination of a decade-long effort, with contributions by Sargent Town Planning, Moule & Polyzoides, Lisa Wise Consulting, Opticos Design’s Tony Perez and others. 

In 2005 the city hired David Sargent of Sargent Town Planning in 2005 to help them understand why new development wasn't meeting the communities expectations for a "small mountain town." Through policy and regulatory analysis and a charrette-based community visioning process, it became clear that Tehachapi General Plan and zoning standards was generating the very results that they didn’t want and the Sargent team prepared a vision plan, interim form-based design guideliines, and recommendations to update their general plan and zoning. 

In 2007, when Sargent and Perez were working for Moule & Polyzoides, that firm was hired to prepare a new form-based general plan based on the new vision plan. They led that general plan consultant team and the new general plan was adopted in late 2012.  In 2013 the City retained the team of Lisa Wise Consulting, Sargent Town Planning, and Tony Perez Associates to completely overhaul the zoning ordinance, integrating form-based development standard and street type standards for areas of growth and change, with conventional zoning for other parts of town. 

 

On the evening of February 23, David Sargent and Ann Benson McGlone - the STP team's historic preservation consultant - delivered a public presentation of the Final Public Draft Design Guidelines at the Indian Hills Country Club in Mission Hills, which was warmly received by the community.

Following the presentation, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the Guidelines to the City Council for adoption, which occurred on March 6. Over the course of the year previous, Sargent Town Planning worked closely with the Planning Commission, Design Review Committee, staff and community of Mission Hills to prepare Guidelines that expand upon and clarify the design concepts of Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance, for application to new homes and improvements and expansions of existing homes in each of Mission Hills' several distinct neighborhood areas.