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Re - Downtown Plan

From: Nancy Couperus <couperusj_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2011 11:07:44 -0800

Clarification -

Mr. Cline states in response to Mr. Madson that the City has a Plan rather than a Project. It is precisely in the planning phase that issues like this need to be addressed - not when the project is underway. The planning disasters and consequent parking loss represented by 885 and 724 Oak Grove are testimony to planning with telescope raised to the blind eye. Mr. Cline goes on to state that "there is little, if any, planned development in the plazas." However, according to the Specific Plan (G26):

"The Specific Plan proposes making significant public space improvements in the downtown area in the short term (i.e. within 5 years), to maximize the benefits from such improvements on community life and downtown vibrancy."

"The Specific Plan recommends the City make the following improvements in the short-term:

The Staff Report (#11-211) for the December 13th meeting includes the Chestnut Street Paseo/Market Place. Unless there has been a change that we're unaware of, the Market Place (i.e. food trucks/food vendors) will be occupying space in Plazas 6 and 7 with Chestnut Street converted to a Pedestrian Paseo.

This will result in the loss of convenient surface parking spaces in an area (Plazas 6 and 7) that is critically important to the retail and service businesses in this area.

Also, although perhaps not phased in immediately, pocket parks are still planned in Plaza 2 (loss of approximately 25 parking spaces) and in the surface parking area adjacent to Plaza 3 (off of Crane Street - 25 parking spaces affected).

If all of the above is true, Plazas 2, 3, 6, and 7 (half of downtown parking plazas) will all lose a number of surface parking spaces. Any downtown merchant will tell you that easy, convenient parking is essential to the success of their business.

It is true that some businesses are not adverse to the widening of sidewalks, even though it could result in the loss of a few on-street parking spaces. It is also true that some businesses would not oppose a modest parking structure if it were conveniently located and if it disrupted as few businesses as possible during the construction period.

While the Downtown Alliance has opposed the loss of surface parking spaces in the downtown, it has also made positive recommendations, such as consideration of Plaza 2 (Oak Grove Plaza) for a future modest parking structure, if needed and/or a parking structure at the train station; installation of solar panels in some of the surface parking lots; landscape and lighting improvements throughout the downtown; incentives to encourage building owners to upgrade the front and back of buildings.

Nancy Couperus Received on Tue Dec 13 2011 - 11:07:51 PST

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