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.  

Workshop #2

At the second public workshop for Fontana's Downtown Area Plan, the STP team presented a proposed district framework structure, a series of suggestions for public realm improvements, and range of recommended infill development types.

 The core strategy recommended is to improve the underdeveloped area separating the civic center from the historic downtown retail core as a "Civic Park District" and restaurant row, which will act as a new "north anchor" for the retail district connecting existing assets and attracting new customers and visitors. A new mixed-use center focused on student housing was recommended for the Chaffee College/Metrolink Station area as a "south anchor" for the retail district, and a "Foothill Gateway" themed with Historic Route 66 imagery was recommended to draw visitors from that historic highway into Downtown.  These recommendations were met with a good deal of interest and a great deal of valuable input was received, which will now form the basis for a Draft Specific Plan that will be presented at Workshop #3 in early December.

Sierra Avenue in Downtown Fontana

Over the past year Sargent Town Planning has been supporting the Stantec Urban Places Group in preparing the urban design framework for Fontana's general plan update.

Through the Fontana Forward stakeholder engagement and public workshop process, a series of priorities for the new general plan have been identified, and one of the goals with the broadest and deepest public support is the revitalization of the City's small underperforming downtown core.  STP - with support from Stantec, Kosmont Companies and Lisa Wise Consulting - is leading a Downtown Plan process to define a clear vision, market-based strategies, and vision-based development standards for attracting new investment to the City's well-located historic center.  Initially conceived as a Downtown Specific Plan, the Plan will be an Area Plan within the General Plan, and new zoning contained in the Zoning Code.  

Among the many untapped assets in Fontana's city center are a Metrolink commuter rail station, a civic center complex including City Hall and a major library, Chaffee College, a number of park and lovely historic buildings, and significant volumes of through traffic representing potential customers and residents.  Challenges include a fragmented street network, generally dilapidated streetscapes and buildings stock, and the lack of a core group of businesses to attract a diverse clientele. Additional downtown-specific stakeholder engagement and an initial visioning workshop are scheduled for the summer, with a draft plan expected by early 2017.

At their meeting on November 10, the Mountain View City Council endorsed the concept of introducing up to 9,100 housing units into the North Bayshore District.

The 2014 North Bayshore Precise Plan - prepared by the team of Raimi+Associates, Sargent Town Planning, Nelson/Nygaard and others - provided a vision plan, development standards and implementation strategies to transform the existing 1970s business park to a transit-oriented, mixed-use employment district. Council sentiment at the time was opposed to including housing in North Bayshore, but in early 2015 asked City staff and the Raimi/Sargent team to study options for including housing.  The alternatives presented to the Council represent several month's work by the team, which now also includes Van Meter Williams Pollock and Seifel Consulting. The team will work with City staff to refine the alternatives and incorporate appropriate standards and guidelines into the plan.

At a special joint study session on October 29, David Sargent presented the Nason Street Corridor Plan to the Moreno Valley City Council and Planning Commission, who expressed their support for the town center, walkable neighborhood, and employment district concepts presented.  

The plan - prepared by the team of Raimi + Associates, Sargent Town Planning, and Fehr & Peers under a grant from the Southern California Association of Governments - envisions this major corridor as a "complete street" with high quality pedestrian and bicycle facilities and future enhanced transit, with a mixed-use new town center at Alessandro Street and walkable neighborhoods and employment districts connecting two major existing medical centers to the south.  Working with the Raimi/Sargent team and City staff over the past year - with two public workshops for input and discussion of alternatives - Sargent Town Planning prepared an urban framework plan for the 3-mile corridor and 2,500 acre planning area, including detailed illustrations and perspectives of corridor and town center design alternatives. 

The STP team presented initial planning and design concepts for the North Eastern Sphere Annexation Plan to the City Council and received their input and support for the proposed approach.

 The plan framework envisions the conservation of approximately 3,500 acres of foothill terrain, the restoration of natural streams through the site, the development of a mixed-use town center in a former gravel mining area, and development of several walkable neighborhoods with a wide range of housing options, a new elementary school, and neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and trails connecting to newly conserved wild lands of the foothills above.  The City Council expressed their support for the proposed balance of new development, the proposed conservation and restoration of foothill habitats, and asked that they receive updates as the strategies for habitat conservation are further developed.

In a an evening study session the Rancho Cucamonga Planning Commission received the STP team's presentation of the goals and initial concepts for habitat conservation and restoration of the large majority of the City's 4,388-acre North Eastern Sphere Annexation Plan Area, and the development of n

ew walkable neighborhoods and mixed-use town center to underwrite the cost of conservation.  The presentation included habitat analysis and conservation strategies, a flexible framework for walkable mixed housing type neighborhoods, and conceptual designs for a town center in a former gravel mine with shops along a "Wilson Avenue main street" with restaurants around a major plaza overlooking a preserve running through the center of the site.  The neighborhood design emphasizes access to recreational trails and views of the mountains, valley, and open space preserve.  The Commission was supportive of the concepts presented and indicated they look forward to seeing the plan again when the conservation plan is further developed.

In a third and final public workshop, the Raimi/Sargent team presented a preferred alternative framework plan for the Palm Desert 111 Corridor and City Center.  The plan presented consolidated concepts presented in two earlier workshops, reflecting the expressed community input and preferences.

The presentation included illustrations of themajor streetscape transformations proposed, illustrations of typical devleopment types and urban scale and character, and preliminary recommendations for zoning changes and updates.  As in the previous two workshops a lively and productive discussion ensued, with additional valuable input and direction. The team will now organize all of that information into a 111Corridor Plan section for the General Plan Update, along with new zoning standards. public realm standards and implementation manual for the Corridor.