Monday, December 23, 2013

White Slough nature reserve and Sonoma Blvd. redevelopment in Vallejo

Contact Bill Tuikka, City of Vallejo [] [707-648-5391]
Map showing the Sonoma Boulevard Corridor 

"Public input sought on Sonoma Blvd design plan"
2012-01-06 from "Vallejo Times-Herald":
As part of the efforts to improve Sonoma Boulevard, the city will hold a second community workshop 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at JFK Library, 505 Santa Clara St. in downtown Vallejo.
City of Vallejo officials and consultants are seeking public opinion on the Sonoma Boulevard Corridor Design Plan meant to present a vision and specific actions to improve the street.
The two-hour workshop will include an overview of various elements of the plan and will also involve discussion on economic development, land uses, transportation alternatives and design elements.
Participants will break up into small groups to discuss alternatives and help come up with a plan and vision for the street.
Some tactics the city can do immediately to improve the street also will be discussed.
In a previous workshop, participants were asked to dream big and present ideas for what they might want along the street.
Some suggestions included a town square, a roundabout, as well as branding certain ethnic neighborhoods along the corridor.
Others said the street should be narrowed with bicycle lanes, landscaping along with benches and trees.
A consulting firm will lead Wednesday's workshop.
The Berkeley-based firm of MIG (Moore, Iacofano and Gotsman) was hired with a $300,000 California Department of Transportation grant to draft the plan.
The area under consideration includes Sonoma Boulevard between Curtola Parkway to the south, and Highway 37 to the north.
For more details on the plan go to

"Meeting produces several visions for 'spine' of Vallejo"
2012-01-13 by Sarah Rohrs from "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
Bike lanes, environmental tourism focused on White Slough, and a hub of technology-based cafes and stores downtown -- these are some ideas Vallejo residents have for improving Sonoma Boulevard.
Nearly 75 citizens attended a second community workshop Wednesday night on the city-sponsored Sonoma Boulevard Corridor Design Plan meant to present a vision and specific actions to improve the street.
For two hours residents, business owners and several city officials considered what would be best for the street that many consider the "spine" of the city.
Other suggestions included restaurants, bookstores, bed-and-breakfasts, international markets, flower shops, wine- and tea-tasting activities, and youth activities for teens.
"Sonoma needs to be improved in so many ways," Councilman Robert McConnell said, adding the street is too wide, landscaping "is terrible," cars drive too fast and there's not enough lighting.
"It's an exciting project and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to get grants and other funding so we can do some of these improvements," Councilwoman Marti Brown said.
The area under consideration runs north from Curtola Parkway to Highway 37.
The Berkeley-based firm of MIG (Moore, Iacofano and Gotsman) was hired with a $300,000 California Department of Transportation grant to draft the plan.
Participants were asked to think big and to react to suggestions from Sonoma Community Advisory Committee members who have met with consultants and city staff to fine-tune the plan.
Besides presenting a vision for new businesses, the plan is also meant to address design elements, pedestrian safety problems and options for bolstering alternative transportation uses.
Moving south, four areas and the committee's suggestions for them include:
* Highway 37 to Redwood Street. A diverse district to strengthen retail while also bolstering residential, office, and open space uses. Also, more motels and better links to the Kaiser Permamente Medical Center.
This northern gateway into the city should be enhanced and made more attractive, while White Slough should be highlighted as a natural asset.
* Redwood to Couch streets. Encourage new and existing businesses and enact better zoning regulations for greater flexibility.
Due to the large number of people living and working in this area, create safer conditions through crosswalk lighting and similar tactics.
* Couch to Florida streets. Create neighborhood "commercial nodes" at key intersections as well as interim commercial uses (such as a weekly flea market) on vacant parcels.
MIG Principal consultant Chris Beynon said this stretch of Sonoma is unusually wide with enormous medians with little on them. One approach, he said, might be sidewalks, bike lanes and trees in the medians to create a narrower, safer and more attractive stretch.
* Florida to Curtola Parkway. An attractive gateway entrance into Vallejo. Highlight the city's historical heritage as well as local businesses, arts and culture facilities and street commerce.
To slow traffic and encourage more people to shop in the area, Beynon said one option would be to narrow the street from four to two lanes and use alternative parking. Others suggested enforcement of nuisance ordinances to discourage blight.
The next meeting on the Sonoma Boulevard plan will be the summer. Public comment is still being sought.
To learn more about the plan and to submit comments and suggestions visit

"Sonoma Boulevard vision for future topic of Vallejo Planning Commission meeting"
2012-03-21 from "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
Ideas for improving Vallejo's central corridor -- Sonoma Boulevard -- will be shared Monday during a Vallejo Planning Commission presentation.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Vallejo City Council Chamber at 555 Santa Clara St.
Officials leading the Sonoma Boulevard Corridor Design project have held several public meetings to gather input on how the city should improve this five-mile artery.
The planning process, with a price tag of $282,600, has been covered by a grant from the California Department of Transportation. Funds to implement the plan have yet to be identified.
The plan will focus on Sonoma Boulevard, from Highway 37 to Curtola Parkway. Monday's meeting will include a slideshow on current efforts, as city staff begins drafting the final plan, including fine-tuning ways to move forward with some envisioned improvements.

"Sonoma Boulevard Corridor Design Plan"
2012-04-19 from "Vallejo Chamber BusinessWire" Issue 08 []:
The City of Vallejo along with the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is conducting a planning process that wil result in a land use and schematic street design plan for the historical Sonoma Boulevard/Highway 29 corridor. The 5.5 mile-long highway between Curtola Parkway and Highway 37 will be the target of the upcoming redevelopment improvements. If you are interested in joining the CAC or would like further information on the design plan, please visit

"Public workshop on Sonoma Boulevard beautification plan held tonight"
2012-10-03 from "Vallejo Times-Herald []:
The third and final community-wide meeting to gather public input on a plan meant to beautiful and revitalize Sonoma Boulevard gets under way at 6:30 p.m. today.
The public session will be in the Joseph Room, John F. Kennedy Library, 505 Santa Clara St., in downtown Vallejo.
In previous public meetings, residents and business owners have suggested more bike lanes, environmental tourism, and more cafes and stores to improve the state-owned highway running through Vallejo.
In tonight's workshop, a consultant will present a draft improvement plan, receive public input and explain the next steps, city of Vallejo Acting Planning Manager Michelle Hightower said.
The next steps will include incorporating public comments into the draft plan which the Planning Commission and City Council will consider at a later time, she said.
The plan must be completed by February as required by Caltrans, which put up a $300,000 grant to pay for the plan's completion.
The area under consideration runs north from Curtola Parkway to Highway 37. Besides a vision for new business, the plan is also meant to beautify the street, improve pedestrian safety and bolster alternative transportation uses.
To learn more about the plan and to submit comments and suggestions, visit

"Residents dreaming big for Sonoma Boulevard; Meeting draws responses for improving street"
2013-10-20 by Jessica A. York from "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
Vallejo residents were asked Wednesday night to dream big about the "backbone" of Vallejo -- Sonoma Boulevard -- in a meeting drawing more than 30 participants.
Business owners and residents alike gathered for two hours at the John F. Kennedy Library. Participants said that the approximately five miles of State Highway 29 running through Vallejo has both assets and areas in need of big improvement.
The corridor's speedy drivers, areas that are not pedestrian-friendly and insufficient alternative transportation options were some weaknesses the attendees identified.
Countering the area's deficiencies were visions for its improvement. Ideas offered included a town square, a roundabout, efforts to connect bike paths north toward Napa and a build-up of a research-medical "village" between Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center and the street. Some also suggested embracing the city's diverse population by branding ethnic neighborhoods along the corridor.
Other speakers suggested narrowing the larger portions of the road to add guarded bicycle lanes, or landscaping wide medians with benches and trees.
Wednesday's meeting was led by Berkeley-based consulting firm MIG (Moore, Iacofano and Goltsman). The firm has been hired with a $300,000 California Department of Transportation grant to focus on the area of Sonoma Boulevard (State Highway 29) between Curtola Parkway and Highway 37.
While meeting facilitators expressed optimism about the ability of a Sonoma Boulevard plan to lead to future projects, they were clear that their work began and ended at providing the city with only a "road map to the future."
The firm's next step will be to assess the feasibility of the various suggested visions. A second community workshop is scheduled for Jan. 11, although specifics on time and location have not yet been released.
Public ideas may still be submitted in person or online. Visit Bill Tuikka in the Vallejo Planning Division, 555 Santa Clara St., or go online at for information on meeting times and presentations.

"Design plan for Vallejo's main corridor up for public review Tuesday"
2013-01-20 by Jessica A. York from "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
Vallejo will set the stage Tuesday night for a Sonoma Boulevard corridor makeover.
The Vallejo City Council will hold a public hearing on the city's plan, developed from public input, that will provide a framework for future improvements to one of the city's major arteries. The design plan was developed with the help of a $300,000 California Department of Transportation planning grant.
Included in the plan is a 5.5-mile stretch of highway, between Curtola Parkway and Highway 37.
Suggested projects range from "quick win" ideas like adding bike lanes and utilizing empty properties along the street for temporary uses, to partnering with existing businesses to create new business incentives and updating city zoning laws to specify certain uses along the corridor.
Approval of the design plan will not in and of itself authorize any new projects on Sonoma Boulevard, nor provide funding for them. Each project realized from the plan will have to go through typical city approval processes and are reliant on funding availability.
For more information on the plan project, visit

If You Go -
What: Vallejo City Council meeting
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday
Where: Vallejo City Council Chambers, 555 Santa Clara St.
At issue: Sonoma Boulevard Corridor Design Plan public hearing, new city website design demonstration

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