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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 11

Meeting Date: July 24, 2001

Subject/Title: Downtown Specific Plan Scope of Work

Submitted by: Mitch Oshinsky, AICP, Community Development Director

Approved by: Jon Elam, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION
Direct staff to proceed with Requests for Proposals for the Downtown Specific Plan (DTSP), as outlined below.

PREVIOUS ACTION
The City Council set a goal for presentation of an outline of what a Downtown Specific Plan would consist of. 

BACKGROUND
The key for a Brentwood DTSP, is to work with local property owners and merchants to analyze what we want our Downtown to be, what kinds of businesses will maintain and enhance our niche market, and not be hurt by competition from stores along the Bypass. Other issue include, should Downtown expand? Where and how big should it be, if it expands? What is the best mix and location of land uses to support a healthy downtown? Should we have more retail, more office, more housing, and what types? How much parking is needed, and what is the most efficient means of providing it? These and other issues need to be carefully thought out and planned for, in order to ensure a healthy downtown. 

A draft DTSP outline, based on review of successful Downtown Specific Plans for Pleasanton, Mountain View and Ventura, follows. The Council Economic Development Committee recently reviewed the outline, and was concerned that a DTSP not interfere with the parking structure currently envisioned for Second Street. The DTSP will not interfere with that – it will take it into account and plan around that, if that is so desired by the City Council. 

Purpose of a Downtown Specific Plan

A Brentwood Downtown Specific Plan will be a comprehensive policy and regulatory document. It will provide a streamlined, user-friendly format, whereby, in one document, all the zoning, economic, infrastructure, and architectural design parameters for the Downtown will be contained. It will be used to coordinate public and private sector development to enhance our attractive Downtown. It will provide the background information needed to remind policy-makers and others of Downtown’s context and the philosophy for it’s strengthening. It will also establish an economic strategy, development standards, design guidelines, historic preservation policy, a parking plan, and the City actions needed to realize the City’s vision for Downtown. 

Vision for Downtown Brentwood

Downtown Brentwood is to be enhanced as a thriving and integrated district of civic, cultural, commercial, recreational and residential activities. Though regional retailing is poised for development along the Hwy. 4 Bypass, Downtown Brentwood’s unique and historic role as the civic and small town community focus is to be preserved and strengthened, and its local and visitor serving economy enhanced. 

Downtown is seen as the symbolic and social “Heart of the City.” It is a compact, pedestrian scale, walkable cluster of commercial and residential buildings, converging on two central spines of activity – Oak Street and First Street. These two public thoroughfares will continue to feature a diverse and colorful array of shops, eateries, services and entertainment. Downtown residents, office workers, library patrons, city employees and visitors will frequent these businesses, infusing the streets with activity throughout the day and evening. Downtown is envisioned as a place where cars can be left and people can get anywhere within a short walk of no more than ten minutes, from end to end. Parking facilities within the core will be centrally located, well marked and easy to find.

Brentwood welcomes new investment in its Downtown. In recognizing the value and irreplaceability of the Downtown to Brentwood’s cultural heritage and social and economic well being, the community demands the highest quality in new development, and preservation of the town’s historic character.

The Planning Process

The Downtown Specific Plan will evolve through a process organized around a series of public workshops. Between workshops, a Specific Plan Advisory Committee, comprised of elected and appointed officials, Downtown merchants, property owners, and local residents will meet to review community input and guide the Plan’s recommendations.

Existing Conditions - land use, zoning, economics, traffic

A review of existing land use and development patterns, zoning designations, circulation, parking, historic buildings, and economic development trends affecting Downtown.

Economic Enhancement Strategy and Design Concept 

A statement of goals and objectives for Downtown economic enhancement and a plan for its future built form.

Land Use and Design Element

General policies for development, such as use, intensity, height, specific policies for “Special Areas,” such as the Central Park, and recommended public sector sponsored urban design improvements.

Parking Element

A survey of existing and future Downtown parking demand, supply and policies. 

Circulation & Transportation Element

Policies and improvement recommendations for streets and intersections. Consideration of planning for a potential future eBART station on the edge of Downtown.

Utilities and Infrastructure Element

Policies and improvement recommendations related to sewer, water, and storm drain facilities.

Promotion and Marketing

A strategy and mechanism to retain existing businesses, attract new businesses, and promote Downtown as an attractive shopping and business destination. 

Implementation Element

A summary of public improvements and costs, recommendations for ongoing economic and other enhancement programs and other efforts, and a review of the Plan’s relationship to the General Plan, Zoning Code, and Redevelopment Plan.

Development Standards & Design Guidelines

Regulatory requirements for new development, and renovations of existing buildings within the Downtown Specific Plan Area, including protection of historic resources

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