UPDATE (3/27/14): Save the date April 25. On that day, the Urban Land Institute’s panel of objective experts and professionals will present their recommendations for downtown Concord.
Details forthcoming. If you’re interested in attending, contact Joel Devalcourt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concord is poised to achieve great changes for its communities. Following on the heels of its visionary Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan, the City is already moving forward on One Bay Area Grant program-funded projects that will make streets downtown safer for walking and biking.
The Downtown Specific Plan, which the City is currently developing, presents an opportunity to create a unique downtown that has new homes, more jobs, thriving businesses, and safer streets. While the current iteration of the plan includes several policies that improve safety for bikers and pedestrians, decreases reliance on parking, and provides connections to public transit and rich open spaces, Greenbelt Alliance and our Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord partners believe the plan needs to be strengthened to create the vibrant downtown that residents deserve.
Struggling to compete regionally for investment, Concord needs to do more to help downtown thrive. For example, the City should take advantage of its own property to create needed homes that are affordable at the diverse income levels of current and future residents. The City can work with BART to convert underutilized surface parking lots into equitable communities near quality jobs and transit.
In order to achieve this vision, the City needs to encourage public participation from residents of downtown and adjacent communities by not rushing the planning process. Doing this will also allow Concord to take full advantage of the upcoming opportunity later this spring to host some of the Bay Area’s brightest planners, developers, architects, and economists through the Urban Land Institute. The city can only benefit from hearing the recommendations of a panel with such diverse expertise.
The Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord, along with Bike East Bay and the Monument Community Partnership / Michael Chavez Center, will continue working to shape the plan for downtown Concord so that it lays the foundation for a thriving neighborhood that residents can enjoy for decades to come.