The Downtown Core Streetscape Implementation Plan liaison committee  met last night. I was the sole non-business owner/rep attendee. The primary purpose of the meeting was apparently getting us to buy into the basic concept and spread the word about the (rescheduled) public meeting on May 25th (not April 21st) at Parkside School Multipurpose Room. Sebastopol City Planner Kenyon Webster and the consultants from Gates + Associates presented the outline and briefly went over maps, concepts and ideas for publicity.

Committee members will help gather ideas and images for presentation at the public meeting — one of the consultants noted that the more images we have, the easier it will be for people to think about possible changes. Budget, while obviously a factor, shouldn’t be a constraint at this point, since the plan will also guide streetscape development for many years to come.

I have quite a few ideas from my own experience downtown, as well as from friends and contacts from my various activities. At least some fit with the thinking of others in the group — we’ll see as we get closer to the public meeting.

The most interesting thing to come out of the meeting was the news from Kenyon that the CVS/Pharmacy plans for taking over the old Chevrolet dealership at the corner of Sebastopol Avenue and Petaluma Avenue would be coming to the Design Review Board soon. They plan to completely demolish the existing buildings and build the pharmacy on corner with a Chase Bank next door.  They will put a bulb-out crossing at midblock and improve the sidewalk. The consultants noted that we would have a much better chance of getting the streetscape improvements that we want if we could produce the guidelines in time.

The other piece of news is that The Barlow redevelopers may have an anchor tenant — a winery — that could mean the success of their project, which is currently stalled  for lack of tenant commitments.

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