I recently looked at the 1992 Sebastopol Downtown Plan, which is one of a series of plans approved for improving and guiding Sebastopol’s growth over the years. I was interested to note that it  called for, among other things, a pocket park at the Union 76 site adjacent to the Post Office to create a link between Main Street and the Veterans Building/Ives Park.  Although this pocket park (along with most of the Plan) has never been implemented, it would fit perfectly with the creek daylighting concept for Calder Creek, since the creek passes under the parking lot at this location.

Some pieces, like the extension and development of Laguna Park Way and encouraging commercial development on Burnett St. have come about. Some are currently planned, such as a light at High and Bodega to create a safe bike and pedestrian path and improvements to Weeks Way (town plaza).

Others recommendations, including improvements to what is now the Whole Foods and Rite-Aid shopping center aren’t even on the radar. Both sites were described as “not appropriate for a downtown site,” both for the strip-mall plan and the “franchise/modern architecture.” No mention was made of the similar, but much newer Safeway site at the corner of Main and Healdsburg. I remember several comments during the Northeast Area Plan public meetings noting the irony of creating a new downtown when the existing downtown could be so much better. As things have gone, the fate of the NEP up in the air due to that very question.

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